If you’re working with outdated business equipment, or a commercial building with older lighting and HVAC systems, the energy it wastes every month is probably causing your energy bill to soar.
Controlling your company’s energy costs requires a combination of deep equipment maintenance, energy-efficient retrofits, and upgrades. While these strategies may require an upfront investment, trying to get by without them presents a far greater financial risk.
The following are five common ways that outdated business equipment takes a toll on your energy bill:
- Inefficient Lighting
One of the easiest ways to save money on your energy bill is by upgrading an outdated lighting system to more energy efficient equipment. Green lighting retrofits and upgrades could reduce your electricity usage by up to 50 percent.If your building currently relies on incandescent lamps, for example, consider replacing them with compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs). You may also combine CFLs with a compatible dimming system or motion-sensitive controls for better management of your lighting costs.
- Aging HVAC Equipment
Your heating, venting, and air conditioning (HVAC) system requires consistent preventative maintenance in order to function efficiently. The impact of this maintenance on your energy bill is especially significant when you’re dealing with older equipment.Here are a few maintenance guidelines for maximizing efficiency, according to SRP:
- Clean or replace all air filters, preferably on a monthly basis.
- Clean all heat exchanger surfaces, as well as water and refrigerant coils, evaporators, and condensers.
- Identify and repair any leaks in piping, coils, air ducts, and fittings.
- Replace any defective insulation, ducting, or piping equipment.
- An Outdated Thermostat
Thermostat technology has come a long way in recent years, and replacing an outdated thermostat is a great way to lower your energy bill. Now available are programmable thermostats, which automatically adjust the temperature to your optimal settings for different days of the week and specific times of day.If your building has multiple HVAC units, consider staggering the timing of these thermostats so that they return to the occupied temperature at half an hour apart. This strategy helps you avoid high peak-demand charges. [link to: blog #59]
- Computers And Office Equipment
Your company’s office computers and peripheral devices may be partly responsible for a high electricity bill. If set up correctly, your office equipment’s built-in power management systems help save energy when the tools aren’t in use. For instance, make sure that your screen-saver settings are compatible with the computer’s power management features, allowing the machine to go into power-saver mode.You may also want to consider upgrading old office equipment to more energy-efficient alternatives. Using a laptop instead of a desktop system could reduce the electricity costs for running a computer by 80-90 percent.
- Vending Machines
Replacing older vending equipment has the potential to improve energy efficiency by 30-50 percent. When you’re purchasing or negotiating a contract for new refrigerated beverage vending machines, request Energy Star-qualified equipment. [link to: http://www.energystar.gov/products/certified-products/detail/vending-machines] These machines incorporate energy-efficient compressors with refrigeration and lighting controls. According to Energy Star, “qualified new and rebuilt refrigerated beverage vending machines can save building and business owners more than 1,700 kWh/year, or $150 annually on utility bills.”
Continuing to use outdated business equipment may seem financially practicial in the short term, but you pay a steep price in the form of higher energy bills. While replacing old equipment with high-efficiency alternatives might be a little more expensive up front, the energy savings make it a great investment in the long run.
Ready to learn more about increasing energy savings? Discover five sources of energy waste and how to fix them.