Energy usage tends to be greater in commercial buildings. Whether it’s a shop, factory, office, or warehouse, any business can benefit from making their premises more energy efficient. Energy efficiency reduces overhead costs while cutting pollution and carbon emissions. These are some practical ways to get started:
The Typical Commercial Site
In a typical office the powering of office equipment, lighting, heating, and cooling make up around 65 per cent of total energy usage. The rest of the energy usage can be attributed to ventilation, cooking, refrigeration, and water heating.
It can be beneficial to enlist professional electrical services to assess your power usage. Your electrician can perform checks to ensure that there’s no faulty wiring and make suggestions for energy usage improvement.
Conserving Energy in the Office
Conserving energy in the office often starts with empowering staff by providing guidelines and recommendations for optimal energy usage habits.
- Standby for office equipment should be discouraged where possible. Leaving computers, printers, and copiers on standby consumes additional energy.
- Cleaning out ventilation ducts ensures the ventilation system operates effectively. Using natural ventilation, such as open windows, can complement electric ventilation.
- Make sure the office is well insulated and sealed. Double check your thermostat and try a lower temperature settings in winter. Just a couple of degrees can make a lot of difference to your electricity bill. For cooling in the warmer months, try ceiling fans rather than relying on air conditioning.
- Choose energy rated appliances to cut electricity costs.
- Always use energy efficient light bulbs. If possible we recommend installing LED fittings, which cost very little to run and require almost no maintenance. You should also develop a policy of switching off lights when not in use.
Energy Efficiency for Factories
Large commercial spaces generally use a lot of electricity. While energy saving practices will differ from factory to factory, these practical strategies can assist with saving energy.
- Make use of natural daylight where possible. Use skylights and plenty of windows to allow natural light to enter.
- Light non-critical areas selectively. Don’t over-light areas with little traffic or use. Use timers, key-lock switches, or occupancy sensor lightings
- Reviewing your factory’s equipment and machinery usage policy can significantly reduce energy usage on the factory floor. Many major manufacturers have saved millions of dollars by updating and reviewing the way they use their equipment.
- In the right location, solar can be a great alternative energy source for factories and commercial sites.
Warehouses and Other Industrial Spaces
Warehouses tend to have areas that have a higher flow of traffic than other zones. Power usage can be reduced through the use of timed lighting or motion sensor lighting to reduce the need for manual switching on and off by staff.
Alternatively, automatic dimming lighting can be used in areas with skylights or plenty of natural lighting. These lighting devices automatically sense natural light and adjust lighting intensity. Narrow aisles are most efficiently lit with special lighting fixtures designed for narrow spaces. These can encourage better energy efficiency by eliminating the need for higher wattage lighting.
Reviewing routing and shelving processes to include storing frequently used items together which can further increase efficiency.
There are currently government incentives available for businesses looking to improve their energy efficiency. You can find out more here or contact us for an obligation free workplace energy assessment.