25 Practical Energy Saving Tips For Businesses and Buildings

Businesses as we all know, are always thinking about the bottom line. From ways to increase revenues to ways to decrease expenses, it's all critical stuff for any company to pay attention to. That's exactly why we are creating this post on energy saving tips for businesses and companies alike. And while not every business in every building will be able to implement every single tip on this list, there should be numerous ones that will be highly relevant to your business. Saving energy will allow you to reduce overhead expenses, enhance your public view as a "going green" company (which you could use as a marketing play), or even just have better piece of mind knowing your buildings are just that much greener.

Here is the first on the list (out of 25)...   

1. Upgrade to a LED lighting system. The benefits of LED technology far surpass any other lighting technology commonly used in buildings or parking lots (e.g fluorescent, metal halide, HPS, etc). Click here to learn more about the true benefits of LED and how it could reduce lighting costs by up to 75%!

2. Install occupancy sensors. Another great way to reduce the amount of energy your lighting system uses is by installing occupancy sensors. This way, you only light an area when it is in use and aren't even lighting areas that aren't use for the majority of the day.

3. Lighting dimmers.
Light dimmers are another easy way to ensure that you aren't over lighting your building. And when you install these dimmers and dim your lights down to the levels you want, you are reducing the amount of energy that is going to power those lights as well.

4. Install sky lights.
How about all of that natural light that is going to waste otherwise? By installing sky lights in areas where natural lighting would otherwise not get to (e.g hallways and inner rooms), you open yourself up to some huge savings by not having to have nearly as many lights on during the daytime.

5. Switch to green web hosting.
This is a huge one for those companies who have lots of traffic and do a lot of business through their website. Green web hosting is a great and easy way to save energy within your company indirectly.

6. Consider some solar power.
Every business is going to use some amount of energy, but changing where that energy comes from is important too. By installing solar panels, you opt-out for less green ways of energy generation and opt-in for a much greener way, solar power.

7. Don't just put up a screen saver.
Screen savers don't save anymore energy than they do when you are using them. Thus, by powering them down entirely at the end of the day, you can reduce a lot of energy consumption depending on how many computers you have.

8 . Upgrade your HVAC system. Heating and cooling can take up a TON of resources, and if your system isn't up to date you may be using technology that is years old and isn't nearly as efficient as it is today.

9. Change your HVAC filters regularly.
Making sure your HVAC system stays clean and tuned is another critical step to reducing energy costs associated with temperature control systems. Make sure your maintenance team makes it a regular task to switch out those HVAC filters and tune it up while they are at it.

10. Install timed thermostats.
Instead of relying on someone to change the thermostat every day, you can install a programmable one that allows you to choose when it will come on or turn off. On top of that, ensuring it goes off for the weekends will also help with making sure it is never forgotten about.

11. Do some building commissioning.
Hire a reputable company that will audit your building in virtually every aspect and they will check to see if your building is running at full efficiency. If not, they will let you know.

Get employees on board. Whether this is just an email to everyone letting them know to be conscious of energy waste or holding a little meeting; it can make all of your efforts that much easier. On top of that, you never know who might come up with a great idea to reduce waste.

13. Have everyone unsubscribe from spam.
Did you know that spam email has a carbon footprint? Although this won't save your company any money, it will definitely reduce the carbon footprint associated with your company.

14. Only purchase ENERGY STAR equipment.
By purchasing office equipment that is ENERGY STAR qualified, you are buying into products that are proven to be more energy efficient than those that aren't.

15. Switch over to laptops.
Desktops are always plugged in, and that can mean a lot of energy consumption. By switching to laptops, you will use 1/4th the energy associated with powering your computers.

16. Update your insulation.
Those nasty drafts aren't only uncomfortable to your employees and / or visitors, but they are also wasting a lot of energy. If you can, consider updating your insulation to stop the escape of that warm (or cold) air you are paying to output.

17. Update your windows. While you are at it, updating your windows to ones that don't have any leaks in them will stop those drafts too. Both of these go hand in hand, and together will reduce a lot of temperature control going to waste.

18. Hold a virtual meeting.
If you have days designated for meetings and not much else, then why power your entire building (and make everyone drive) if you could easily have everyone stay at home? Your employees will probably appreciate it, and you are going to save a lot of energy for that day. Technology these days makes it a whole lot easier to save on energy for business and buildings alike.

19. Take advantage of tax credits.
All of this effort on saving energy will not only save you in overhead costs, but it could also earn you some tax credits. By taking advantage of these credits, the decision to make these updates becomes a whole lot easier. Business energy efficiency will not only save you in overhead expenses, but these tax credits may help you even more.

20. Come in when it's light, leave when it gets dark.
Although not everyone in every position can do this, if you are running an office you can try getting more people to come in and leave between the time when it is most light outside. This way, you can reduce the time you need to run lights, heat (or cool), and really anything in your building.

21. Reduce printing.
Printing can be expensive, especially when you print anything and everything. By printing only vital pieces, you will reduce paper and ink waste, along with the energy it takes to run the printer.

22. Eliminate "phantom loads."
A phantom load is basically energy that is being consumed through a product that is entirely off. The simple solution is to unplug everything when it is not in use. Alternatively, you could shut off the power to an entire room or area when it's not in use to ensure no phantom load waste is occurring.

23. Reduce hot water usage.
By installing efficient faucets, you will reduce the amount of water that is wasted. And if you do heat that water, reducing the waste of it will reduce the amount of energy you use to heat that water.

24. Install Vending Misers on vending machines.
"Vending Misers" are nifty little devices that could reduce energy consumption in your vending machines by up to half. So don't deprive your workers of their snacks, just install one of these devices on every machine you have!

25. Never stop improving.
There is surely more ways than this list has provided on business energy efficiency, no doubt. This is why it is now on you to take action with the above tips, put them into practice, and from there always be on the lookout for ways you may be able to reduce energy in your office or building. 

Energy saving doesn't have to be done all in one week, it can be a collective effort over the span of months, or even a year. But by starting today, which you can certainly start now with some of these business energy saving tips, you will slowly start to see your businesses carbon footprint decrease. In turn, you will see your overhead expense related with energy consumption slowly reduce more and more as you implement more tactics listed here.  

As always we want to ask; what is your number one tip for saving energy in the workplace?

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