Low-hanging fruit: 5 simple energy-saving upgrades

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Chances are, there is plenty of energy waste at your facility. Finding the sources of that waste and improving efficiency can be difficult, however. Start by picking the low-hanging fruit – waste that's easy to spot and changes that are simple to make.

  1. Energy-efficient lighting.
    If you're still using older T12 fluorescent or high-intensity discharge (HID) lamps in your facility, now is a great time to make the switch to high-performance light-emitting diodes (LEDs). LEDs are not only highly efficient; they have a rated life of 50,000 hours or more and they're durable – resistant to vibration and breakage. You'll save big on energy and maintenance costs over the life of the bulb.
  2. Occupancy sensors.
    Are you wasting energy by lighting spaces – such as conference rooms and restrooms – that are frequently empty? Occupancy or vacancy sensors offer a simple, cost-effective solution. They automatically turn off lights when no one is there and switch them back on when they're needed. LEDs start instantly, making them a perfect fit for use with occupancy sensors.
  3. Programmable thermostats.
    Adjusting building temperatures based on your operating schedule is one of the most effective ways to reduce your energy costs. Programmable thermostats make it easy by automating the process – optimizing savings and convenience. Newer 'smart' thermostats take it a step further, programming themselves based on weather changes, building occupancy patterns and so on.
  4. Plug loads.
    Energy consumption for computers and electronic equipment is on the rise, and many of these devices continue to use power even when you're not using them. Implement power management settings on all computers and office equipment. Supplement power management settings with advanced power strips that use timers, or occupancy or load sensors to power off connected devices.
  5. Stop leaks.
    You pay a lot to keep your facility comfortable; don't let energy dollars slip away through leaks in doors and windows. Weatherstripping and caulking windows and doors in your facility is simple and inexpensive, and can significantly reduce heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) costs year-round.

    Looking to reach a little higher? Consider an energy assessment of your facility. A qualified professional will help you find the most effective cost-saving opportunities.

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