Top ten list of energy smart decisions:
1. If you can’t measure it, how can you manage it? Regularly monitor and record on your electricity consumption, plus other fuels such as gas and oil. Provide and monitor sub-meters to record different systems and sub-systems. Also don’t forget that utility companies are not infallible – remember to check that your bills relate to the fuel that you actually used rather than an “estimated” meter reading.
Incidentally, the fact that BEAM rewards a credit for energy sub-metering is an indication of the importance of energy awareness.
2. Switch off lights in empty rooms – sounds like common-sense doesn’t it? Turning off lights in unoccupied rooms and corridors especially at the end of the day. This can save up to 10% of your energy bill. And yes that includes fluorescent lighting fittings.
3. Use energy efficient light fittings – they use 25% less power and last six times longer. Switching to the last technology today will save the cost of the investment long before the old lamps have expired – recoup the savings today.
4. Use the light you need. Bright corridors? delamp (remove) or switch off alternate lighting fittings.
5. Use daylight it’s free, so regularly clean your windows.
6. Clean light fittings regularly – Dirt reduces lighting levels, encouraging people to switch on more lights.
7. Too cold, set the room thermostat at comfort levels say 24°. Air conditioning consumes forty percent (40%) of buildings energy. For example, every 1° decrease in room temperature, the energy cost increases by approximately eight percent (8%) .
8. If humidity and condensation is not a risk, don’t pay for cooling unused space e.g. empty offices, storerooms, corridors, etc. turn off the air conditioning.
9. Check that your thermostats are property sited, out of draughts and away from cold or hot spots. Consider installing remote sensing or wireless. Bonus tip – horrified, I saw a the air conditioning thermostat installed next the hand dryer – please don’t.
10. Keep equipment such as air conditioners and filters clean. Dirt reduces efficiency and lowers output.
Top eleven tips just didn’t sound right, so here is a bonus tip, it is so critical that I can’t possibly leave it out – Lead by example.
If management and senior managers are “seen” to ignore the new corporate energy measures, I guarantee that your efforts will fail. It is human nature, people follow visual cues for seventy five percent (75%) of their information – we watch and learn. Actively demonstrating energy conservation will do more to promote energy conservation campaign within your organisation or business than a memo will ever achieve. Plan to ensure that your employees see your energy strategy.