By MEGAN SACHER
Conserving energy can be easy to implement, cost effective, and will certainly save you and your business money. When you conserve energy, you cool your costs and heat up your bottom line. So how can conserving help heat up your bottom line? According to Energy Star, the average commercial building wastes up to 30% of the energy it consumes, and up to 10% of overall energy use can be curbed with little to no cost changes. With energy costs on the rise, here are some no-cost tips, rebates, and incentives from SoCal Gas that can help drive down your expenses.
- Turn off the lightsTurn off lights when not in use or when natural daylight is sufficient. This can reduce lighting expenses by 10 to 40 percent.
- Conduct nighttime audits of usageConduct a nighttime audit to find out what’s on afterhours that shouldn’t be.
- Janitorial scheduling for efficiencyRevise janitorial practices to reduce the hours that lights are turned on each day.
- Ensure maintenance and inspect equipment and operationsImprove operations and maintenance practices by regularly checking and maintaining equipment to ensure it’s functioning efficiently. Visually inspect insulation on all piping, ducting and equipment for damage (tears, compression, stains, etc.).
- Use smart power strips and energy saving settings on electronic equipmentEnable the power management function on office computers, which automatically puts monitors to sleep when not in use. Activate sleep settings on all printers, copiers, fax machines, scanners, and multifunction devices so that they automatically enter a low-powered sleep mode when inactive. Plug electronics into a “smart” power strip that let you designate which electronics should always be on, and which ones do not need power when they’re not in use.
- Clean your filters and keep your vents clean more oftenRegularly change or clean HVAC filters every month during peak cooling or heating season. Dirty filters cost more to use, overwork the equipment, and result in lower indoor air quality. Shorten the preventive maintenance intervals for replacing air handler filters. These keep air clean and prevent equipment from working harder to force air through dirty filters. Make sure that areas in front of vents are clear of furniture and paper. As much as 25 percent more energy is required to distribute air if your vents are blocked.
- Shut the door on rising costsKeep exterior doors closed while running your HVAC. It sounds simple, but it will help avoid wasteful loss of heated or cooled air!
- Keep exterior doors closed while running your HVAC. It sounds simple, but it will help avoid wasteful loss of heated or cooled air!Ensure that team members from every department are trained in the importance of energy management and basic energy-saving practices. Hold staff meetings on energy use, costs, objectives, and employee responsibilities and reward energy-efficient behaviors. For example, you might host a competition and throw an ice cream social for the building or office that achieves the greatest improvement in energy performance.
- Check out your local energy providers programs, incentives, rebates, and FREE giveaways!Did you know SoCalGas will give you a FREE Energy-efficiency Starter Kit to reduce energy and water use with three faucet aerators and a low-flow showerhead at no cost.Check out your local providers at:
- Check your accountThe energy providers give you detailed data benchmarking of your year-to-year usage and usage of comparable businesses. Use these benchmarks to see if your usage is high or just right.
We also encourage you to sign up for Flex Alerts to know when the energy company needs your help this summer and winter so we can keep businesses flowing and jobs growing with enough energy for everyone to prosper.
Sign up for Flex Alerts. Flex Alerts are a reminder for consumers to conserve energy during high usage times. When you sign up, you will receive emails or text messages directly to your mobile device to alert you when conservation is most needed. Flex Alerts are usually triggered by high peak demand, unplanned power outages, fires that cause transmission line overloads, losses, or limitations, and humid or hot weather.
Energy conservation is always a good idea; it saves you money and is good for the environment. During summer, conserving energy becomes especially crucial; energy usage is it at its peak, putting much of southern California at risk for a gas shortage that could potentially short your profits. So, it is vital that we and the business community do what they can to conserve. If you have any other useful tips on how to cut costs and save energy, feel free to share them with Member Harkey at: firstname.lastname@example.org
For more information on energy conservation, please visit http://conserveenergysocal.com/
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