9 Huge Ways to Reduce Energy Usage in Commercial Facilities

The energy consumed by a single building or business can prove to be a huge overhead cost, especially for those buildings of a much larger size. Starting the initiative to reduce energy consumption is becoming more and more common as the benefits become more and more clear. The benefits of reducing energy consumption is often times for one major reason, and that is to reduce overhead costs. By making switches (such as those listed here), you could realize a 50% or more reduction in overall energy usage in your facility. Sound interesting? Learn how you can do that with the tips below...  

1. Upgrade lighting to modern LED technology

Whatever lighting technology you have right now, if it isn't LED, then you are probably consuming more energy than you have to be when it comes to your lighting system. By converting to LED from a technology like fluorescent, you will easily realize a 30% reduction (on average) in energy consumption from your lights. Now, if you have lights such as metal halide or HPS (often used outside or in high ceiling lights), then you could realize even greater savings (by up to 75%)! This, in and of itself, can prove to be a major way to reduce energy usage in your buildings. 

2. Install occupancy sensors on those lights

Why have a light on when it's not in use for 90% of the day? Heck, why have a light on when it's not being used for 10 minutes?! By installing occupancy and motion sensors for your lighting system (on top of installing LEDs), you will be able to reduce the amount of time that your lights are in the first place, which of course is a surefire way to reduce energy consumption from your lighting system. It's a simple concept; if it's off, it's not consuming energy. 

3. Utilize skylight windows

Instead of using up artificial light and the energy it requires to use it, why not utilize that free light from the sun? It not only will reduce the amount of time you need lights on altogether, but sunlight is surely a healthier option overall than artificial light is. So, install some skylights and take advantage of free light! 

4. Install a programmable thermostat

By using a programmable thermostat, you can control exactly when heating (or cooling) in your building comes on. This is a great way to ensure your system is turned off (or at least lowered) when everyone is typically out of the building. By installing such device, you could realize a reduction by up to 30% in waste caused by inefficient switching on or off of your heating and cooling system. 

5. Conduct building commissioning

If your building isn't running at full efficiency as it was built to do, you will never achieve full efficiency for your building. By hiring a professional company to conduct a proper building commission, you will be able to find exactly what is running at proper efficiencies and what isn't, giving you more focus on what to work on first. 

6. Use ENERGY STAR qualified products

ENERGY STAR qualified products, such as computers, are an easy choice to make when it comes to finding the most efficient products for your business to use. So, by buying ENERGY STAR qualified, you opt-in for products that have been tested and proven to pass their standards, and thus are considered more efficient than a product that hasn't been qualified. 

7. Utilize employee suggestions

Employees on the front lines are always more aware of things that may be causing your building to be less efficient. And no, this isn't because they are better at noticing things than say a facility manager is, but it's just a fact. Think, who knows more; someone who works with all the equipment everyday or someone who overlooks said worker? Probably the former, and that's okay! But, just remember to ask them to be on the lookout for things and get them on-board with your efforts to reducing energy in your building. It will help a lot with your efforts! 

8. Plant some trees outside

Planting deciduous trees on both the south and east side of your building can provide some shade in the summer (reducing cooling load), but will still allow sun in during the winter (reducing heating load). Likewise, evergreen trees on the north and west sides will allow you to block wind in the winter, and shade in the summer. By blocking sun during the summer, you will greatly be able to reduce the cooling energy you use inside your building. Vice versa for the winter, you will reduce wind, which cools your building down; allowing you to reduce the amount of heat you pump into your building. 

9. Solar panels

Although this can seems like a big investment, you've got to look at the numbers. They almost always pay themselves back if they are installed in the right places. A little word of advice; don't install them where it ever gets shady during anytime of the year. Try installing them in open areas away from trees or other buildings that will block sunlight from hitting them. Otherwise, you may never see an ROI on them! 


Obviously these aren't all the ways you can save energy in your building, but they are definitely the huge players that eat up a lot of energy. By changing just these 9 things, you will be able to put your efforts to the highest reward type initiatives. Once you've switched these major energy consumers, you can then work on smaller areas of your building that are inefficient, just not as much as these 9 things.

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