With the cost of electricity continuing to increase each year, a commercial building that is energy efficient can save a business hundreds, if not thousands of dollars every year on their power bills. To this end, it is definitely worthwhile having a professional energy audit, as this will give you a detailed understanding of your power usage, highlighting areas where you can make some substantial savings.
On the other hand, you can easily perform your own energy usage audit – maybe not all in one day, but over time you can check your building and make changes where necessary. So if this sounds like a good idea to you, here are a 4 areas that will benefit from an energy audit with a few possible solutions to make them more energy efficient.
Energy efficient lighting
Check every light bulb in the building and do your best to replace them with energy efficient equivalents. Don’t forget to check the storerooms, lunch rooms, toilets, warehouses, offices, desk lamps, corridors and photocopy rooms. Switch off lights that don’t need to be on during daylight hours, particularly areas that are used intermittently, as this will reduce your power usage significantly. Consider installing automatic lights that go on and off when people enter or leave an area. Make sure that all windows and skylights are cleaned regularly, allowing more daylight to flood into your building.
Energy efficient heating
Measure the temperature of the spaces in your building at different times of the day to identify any temperature fluctuations. Ask staff if they find it too hot or too cold and check the settings of any thermostats. If you have ambient heating in your building, check that all of the heaters are working correctly and consider installing a more energy efficient heating system. Ambient heating is extremely power hungry and a more efficient system will reduce your power usage significantly. Finally, check that any roof spaces are insulated correctly and turn off any ambient heating in rooms that are used intermittently.
Energy efficient cooling and ventilation systems
Air conditioning is another large slice out of your power bill, particularly if it is an older, less energy efficient system than currently available. Make sure that the A/C system is serviced regularly and is working effectively, because this will reduce your power usage. Double check the temperature settings, turn off outlets in unused rooms and make sure any windows that can be opened are kept closed. If you have the older style air conditioning units, consider installing a ducted system, as this will deliver an even temperature all year round and will be more energy efficient than your older system.
Energy efficient electrical equipment
Make sure that all electrical equipment, such as computers, fax machines, photocopiers and monitors are switched off at the end of each day and that nothing that is not essential is left in standby mode. If any of this equipment needs replacing, always opt for a more energy efficient model, as this will reduce your power usage and your bills. Some communal equipment, such as photocopiers, soft drink machines and cold water fountains can be put on timers that switches them off after hours. Check the operating temperatures of any fridges and freezers, and replace them as needed with more energy efficient models.
The best way to ensure that these changes are actually implemented in your workplace is to ensure that the staff are on board. They need to understand the importance of maintaining energy efficient workplace practices, because they will be the ones to turn off unneeded lights, as well as equipment and appliances at the end of the day.
For the repair, installation and maintenance of energy efficient heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems in commercial buildings, contact us on 1300 937 353 or complete our online enquiry form.