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Easy Ways to Lower Your Bill

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Heating & Cooling

The biggest users of energy in most businesses are the heating and cooling systems. Exceptions to this rule include full service restaurants where cooking is the primary energy user and grocery stores where refrigeration consumes the most energy. Here are a few no-cost and low-cost ideas to cut electricity use in your heating and cooling systems.

  • Change the thermostat settings. Most people can be comfortable at temperatures below 70°F in the winter and above 75°F in the summer. A change of a few degrees can make a big difference in operating cost. Make changes gradually in one-degree increments.
  • Protect thermostat settings by installing tamper-proof covers.
  • Be sure your thermostat reading is accurate by using a thermometer to check the temperature.
  • Ensure thermostats are installed in areas unaffected by drafts and direct sunlight.
  • Reduce your HVAC run time by eliminating unnecessary operation during unoccupied hours.
  • Use programmable thermostats to operate your HVAC system.
  • Reduce or eliminate the heating and cooling of unused areas.
  • Maintain proper humidity control.
  • Clean or replace filters and clean the coil of your HVAC unit.
  • Install ceiling fans to reduce the need for air conditioning.
  • Be sure any attic areas are ventilated.

Lighting

Lighting is typically the second largest consumer of energy. Try these low-cost and no-cost options to reduce your lighting expenses.

  • Remove unnecessary lamps. Lighting levels are often higher than needed for the task being performed.
  • When removing unnecessary fluorescent lamps, disconnect the associated ballast.
  • Turn off indoor lights when an area is unoccupied.
  • Install more efficient lamps and lower wattage lamps.
  • Clean dust and dirt from lamps and fixtures to ensure you are getting all of the light output.
  • Reduce background lighting and install task lighting.
  • Replace incandescent exit sign lamps with compact fluorescent lamps.
  • Utilize light colored walls and ceilings as appropriate for a 15% to 50% increase in light levels.

Building Insulation

Repairs that improve insulation quickly pay for themselves.

  • Fix doors and windows that don't close.
  • Repair or replace broken windows.
  • Adjust automatic door closers to ensure that doors close properly.
  • Caulk around windows and weather strip doors.
  • Check for roof and wall insulation. Discuss this with an architect or engineer.

Water Heating

Try these no-cost and low-cost options for cutting costs on water heating.

  • Reduce water heating settings to 105ºF for hand washing and showers. Check code requirements to ensure compliance.
  • Repair leaky hot water faucets and any other hot water leaks.
  • Insulate older hot water storage tanks and insulate hot water pipes.
  • Install self-closing hot water faucets in public restrooms.

Ventilation

  • Turn off air handling during unoccupied hours.
  • Shut off conditioning to corridors, dead spaces, lobbies, storage areas, garages, etc.

Compressed Air

  • Reduce operating pressure.
  • Maintain air dryers to limit pressure drops.
  • Vent waste heat outside in summer.

Miscellaneous

  • Run all or part of process on another shift.
  • Start a single shift facility several hours early so the shift is completed earlier in the day.
  • Shut down and do maintenance work.
  • Reduce processes to nominal levels.
  • If there are operations that run only in the afternoon, reschedule them for the morning or late evening hours.
  • For processes that generate waste that is batch processed, store the waste and process it during off-peak hours.
  • Exhaust fans for paint booths and operations with odors or toxic fumes increase air conditioning loads and should be rescheduled to non-peak hours.
  • Schedule deliveries and shipments for morning or late evening hours to keep dock doors closed during peak hours.
  • Fill water tanks during the night so the Water Works can shift load to off-peak hours.
  • Recharge batteries during off-peak hours.
  • Recycle scrap products (plastics) during off-peak hours.
  • Be sure equipment not in use is actually off -- not just running idle.
  • Reduce the equipment speed for pumps, conveyors and blowers. This could cut loads in half.
  • When secondary loads on a transformer are turned off, also turn off the high side disconnect to the transformer.
  • Use adjustable speed drives (ASD).
  • Make sure computers enter a low-power "sleep" mode after 15 minutes of inactivity.
  • Make sure copiers go into a low-power "sleep" mode after 30 minutes of inactivity.
  • Ask tenants for help conserving energy.
  • Reduce the thermostat on electric water heaters to a temperature of 100 degrees.