Facilities energy management is a juggling act. With rising energy costs and shrinking budgets, energy managers walk a fine line of maintaining occupant comfort while keeping campus costs low.
Today, we’ll take a look at a few simple ways you can provide comfort for your occupants – while minding the budget.
Simple changes can provide significant energy savings for your campus.
Making the switch (no pun intended) to energy efficient lighting is a small step that can bring noteworthy savings to your buildings.
In the average building, lighting is responsible for a staggering 15% of your energy spend. It’s time to beat the averages.
LED bulbs are friendlier for both budgets and the environment. Let’s take a look at a few of the benefits of LED lighting.
- Use 25-50% less than incandescent lights
- Last 3-23 times longer than traditional bulbs
- Burn 10 times longer than fluorescent bulbs
- Have no off state power draw
Perform seasonal maintenance
Caring for your HVAC system with the turn of each season can extend the life of your units and slash the costs of the energy required to run them. Preventive maintenance is a key means of keeping energy costs low at your organization. There are several practical steps you can take to keep your units running smoothly as the mercury rises in the thermometers this summer.
Prepare your HVAC System:
- Keep filters clean
- Check system for obstructions
- Be sure roof is in good condition
Prepare warehouses for summer months:
Making a few inexpensive tweaks to your warehouses can keep the buildings cool during the hottest months of the year. And, by using far less energy, you’ll score a huge facilities energy management win.
- Install floor and ceiling fans
- Paint roof white to reflect heat
- Insulate doors and windows
See a few more ideas for optimizing your facilities energy efficiency for the summer here.
Caulk areas of air penetration.
Sealing off drafty will trim your facility energy expenses significantly. And (possibly best of all) caulking is a relatively quick and inexpensive answer to a very pricy problem.
Here are a few key areas of air penetration:
- Door and window frames
- Electrical and gas service entrances
- Cable TV and phone lines
- Outdoor faucets
- Washer and dryer vents
- Air conditioners
- Vents and fans
By taking a few steps to guard your buildings against inclement weather, you’ll see a positive shift in your energy expenses at your facility.
Use plants and vegetation for natural air conditioning
Often called “living air conditioners”, vegetation provides both cooling shade during the hot months and additional insulation from the cold. According to the EPA, when strategically planted, trees can reduce temperatures by as much as 45%,
As an added bonus, vegetation improves air quality and lowers greenhouse emissions by reducing energy demand at your facilities.
While there is some initial cost associated with purchasing and planting vegetation, this investment can see some impressive ROI. In a recent study by the EPA, some cities saw benefits ranging from $30-60 dollars per tree.
Facilities energy management doesn’t have to be a “pick one” situation when it comes to occupant comfort and your budget. You can make small changes today to conserve energy across your organization.