Energy Saving Tips
12 ways you can reduce your energy usage and costs without sacrificing comfort or building functionality
1. Assess how your building consumes and wastes energy. Conduct regular energy audits to determine what condition your equipment is in and how it is performing. These audits will show where and how energy is being wasted and prioritizes energy improvement measures.
2. Use more energy-efficient equipment. Install new energy-efficient equipment and replace or eliminate outdated, in efficient equipment. Look for Energy Star labels for equipment and appliances.
3. Match HVAC and lighting output to occupancy. Install programmable building controls that enable systems to provide light, heat and cooling to building spaces only when they are occupied.
4. Maintain equipment for maximum efficiency. Make sure that your equipment is properly serviced and maintained so that it runs as efficiently as possible. Increase operating efficiency of chillers, boilers and packaged cooling equipment through proactive service and maintenance.
5. Maximize lighting efficiency. Upgrade lighting to high-efficiency bulbs and fixtures. Energy efficient lighting uses less energy and generates less heat, reducing your costs and easing the strain on your HVAC systems.
6. Measure water usage and waste. Conduct water audit in your facilities, campus, or geography to determine where water is being used and wasted. Reduce water consumption by installing low-flow equipment and fixing leaks.
7. Schedule cleaning during regular work hours. Experiment with different "day cleaning" schedules. Arrange cleaning schedules to overlap with work hours instead of having cleaning done after hours and keeping the lights, heating and air conditioning on at night. That will reduce energy consumption.
8. Insulate thoroughly. Insulate exterior walls, outlets, pipes, radiators, etc to reduce heat and cooling loss.
9. Meet LEED® standards. Build, renovate, and operate your facilities according to Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) standards. That will benefit your bottom line by lowering operating costs and increasing asset value. It will benefit the environment by conserving energy and water, reducing waste sent to landfills, creating healthier, safer occupant environments, and reducing harmful greenhouse gas emissions.
10. Make building occupants more informed. Educate and engage building occupants to promote energy conservation and reward wise energy decisions and behaviors.
11. Rainwater Harvesting.
12. Grey water utilization
The Ultimate List of Cost-Saving Ideas for Businesses, Municipalities and Non-Profits
Learn 60+ proven ways to reduce your expenses
- Implement an employee cost-saving suggestion plan - Reward useful suggestions with 10% of the first year's savings.
- Get money back from utilities - 80% of utility bills have errors, and nearly 90% of telecom bills are incorrect. Utility bill auditors can recover past overpayments without costing you a cent.
- Do away with contracted help – Shift the work to your existing employees
- Implement Lean – Lean is a disciplined method for identifying and eliminating wastes in your processes whether it be services or manufacturing. Learn more at www.lean.org.
- Conduct an energy audit - Professionals can visit your site to identify wasted energy and inefficient equipment. Even recomend shifting some production to off hours to lower your electrical bill. Contact your electricity and gas providers who often provide this service for FREE.
- Do away with potted plant services – If you have hired a service to take care of the plants in your facility. Consider stopping the service or shifting the watering and maintenance to an employee.
- Install programmable thermostats
- Activate lights by motion detectors or turn off lights when not needed. Some disconnect lights from unoccupied areas of facilities.
- Drug test everyone – and release those that fail the test, if you have a no-tolerance policy.
- Implement a no-drug tolerance policy – then test all employee and release those that fail the test.
- Have employees do outdoor maintenance
- Switch the facility cleaning from a contractor to underutilized employees.
- Use the less expensive labor of the disabled.
- Sell your unused office furniture and cubical components – with some facilities downsizing, more is unused
- Pay a fixed fee for cell phones - Rather than pay for cell phones, pay a fixed amount each month, say $50 for those that double as personal phones
- Disallow purchases of alcoholic beverages for employees while on business trips
- Reduce the level of approved hotel chains to use on business trips
- Stop paying for breakfast when employees stay at hotels that include breakfast
- Buy used software – Many online auction sites (like Ebay) have a good selection
- Buy used everything – Ebay?
- Use pedal powered tricycles rather than motorized vehicles at large facilities
- Recycle more
- Drink tap water – Or if people find it distasteful, provide flavoring powders
- Stop buying disposable eating utensils, cups and plates
- Insulate where lacking and stuff the cracks to reduce heating and air conditioning bills
- Turn off computers, computer monitors and everything else left on over night.
- Put out for re-bid your phone, data connection, yard maintenance and any other paid-for service
- Go through you accounts payable and see what services you can move in-house to underutilized employees. Put out for re-bid all those you cannot do yourself
- Stop paying training expenses – have knowledgeable employees teach each other. Teaching another person is the best way to cement or improve one’s knowledge. Use online learning or books
- Automate processes economically
- Solve root causes of task that are only correcting errors – then do away with the task and possibly the position
- Move to a smaller office space by switching to smaller cubicles
- Sell your used equipment and supplies you are not using – Ebay
- Use heated seat cushions instead of space heaters.
- Use both sides of printer and copies paper for non- customer facing documents
- Refill printer cartridges rather than buying new
- Buy the less expensive company cars, consider more economical brands
- Implement a company fitness program to reduce health care costs
- Stop procurement of all non-essential items
- Extend the life cycles of durables like vehicles and technology equipment
- Cease use of offsite storage – make a place on-site or consider disposing or selling it
- Stop contracts to purchase non-essential services
- Stop all non-essential travel – use the phone, video conferencing or Internet meetings (where documents can be shared between computers). Investigate Skype.
- Request to re-open contracts and return to bargaining
- Require employees to pay a percentage of cost of dental care
- Eliminate, suspend or reduce any tuition reimbursement program.
- Opt for a shorter work week – Require or allow employees to opt for a 37.5hr/5 day work week or a 36hr (90%) or 32hr (80%) /4 day work week with pay base on the lower hours.
- Lease out unused office space as office condos or unused facility space as storage space
- Stop paying non-essential association and membership fees
- Stop paying for non-essential publications - magazine, newsletter and newspaper subscriptions (paper or electronic) – often paper subscriptions can be converted to electronic subscriptions for less or for free.
- Reduce the limit or set one on daily food expenses during business travel
- Encourage mass transit options on business travel
- Downsize underutilized equipment – consider selling it and contracting out the service needed or renting it when needed.
- Return your fancy printers and copier – use an outside printer and copier services when needed for large copies, prints or color
- Subscribe to blogs for business cost saving ideas
- Publish employee productivity secrets - Persuade highly skilled individuals, through awards and incentives if necessary, to divulge techniques that would help other employees. One way of communicating the skills is through the company newsletter.
- Brainstorming cost saving ideas - Prioritize them by likely savings weighted against effort.
- Train all employees how to look for and implement simple improvements - Get the book "The Idea Generator: Quick and Easy Kaizen". Trains all employees on how to look for simple, easy-to- implement improvements that they can make in their work area immediately, without seeking management approval.
- Reduce inventory of supplies and components - Use a Kanban, a self monitoring and re-ordering mechanism that squeezes dollars of inventory back into cash. It is as useful for office supplies as manufacturing supplies.
- Manage your own web site - Web sites take much skill to create and implement. But they take much less skill to maintain.