Small Ways to Improve Energy Management
It just makes sense to find the most energy-efficient way to operate your building. Energy conservation can entail simple acts, like turning off the lights when you’re not using them, adjusting room temperatures, and reducing the plug load. There are other solutions to energy management that you may not have thought about, that will reduce carbon emissions and improve your buildings energy usage and emissions.
Did you know that it is estimated that air-conditioning systems are responsible for roughly 117 million metric tons of carbon dioxide pouring into the atmosphere every year? It is very easy to do something about that.
Laptops Over Desktops
According to the Environmental Protection Agency, laptops use up to 80% less energy than a standard desktop computer. When feasible, provide workers with a laptop to use as an alternative to their desktop.
Check on Building Controls
It’s common to install energy controls in buildings but not track or monitor their efficiency and effectiveness. The National Renewable Energy Laboratory recommends setting up HVAC system log to track the operation of the controls. Logging the data will determine whether the HVAC system comes on at night, when there is no need to cool the building, and you can adjust accordingly.
Reduce Solar Heat Load
Globally, the number of air-conditioned buildings is on the rise, and in a 2010 study of energy consumption, it was estimated that air-conditioning systems are responsible for roughly 117 million metric tons of carbon dioxide pouring into the atmosphere.
Given the fact that cooling buildings often consumes more energy than heating the same square footage, it makes sense to prevent the heat from entering the building in the first place.
The newest window film technology can be retrofitted to your existing windows, reducing solar heat gain and cooling loads that would normally be put on your air-conditioner. The addition of window film will also improve occupant comfort, and play a part in reducing your buildings carbon-dioxide emissions.
If you have questions about how this works we would love to chat with you about it. Just give us a shout.
Consider Revolving Doors
Revolving doors are a creative approach to reducing energy consumption. Replacing existing doors with revolving doors reduces the amount of non-air-conditioned air that enters the building. The facilities team at MIT estimated that if people used just the revolving doors in one campus building alone, the university would save approximately $7,500 in natural gas (nearly 15 tons of CO2) in a year.
Replace Linear Fluorescent Lenses
According to the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, the clear acrylic lens that comes on linear fluorescent lamps allows approximately 90% of light to pass through. Over time, these lenses degrade, becoming clouded or cracked, and end up blocking 20% to 40% of light. Replacing clouded fluorescent lamp lenses means all the light is getting though to the space and you can dim lights accordingly.
Plant Some Trees
Trees act as insulating wind breaks and provide natural cooling. In colder climates, trees can reduce the speed at which cold winds hit the buildings. In warmer climates, trees near buildings provide shade, significantly reducing cooling costs by reducing interior temperatures. According to the Forest Service, three well-placed trees can save up to 30% of a building’s cooling costs.