There are countless ways you can save energy in your facilities and save money over the lifetime of your building. Here is a brief list.
Evaluate alternative sources of energy. Look into using sources that don't rely on the grid, like cogeneration, solar energy and wind power. Assess non-traditional methods of heating and cooling, like geothermal energy. Select your sources based on metrics like:
- Cost per kilowatt-hour
- Viability of technology
- Lifetime return on investment
Look for efficiencies in your current installations. Making your existing facilities more efficient often gives you the most payback for the least investment. Here are some simple fixes:
- Replace regular windows with Thermopane windows.
- Fix leaks.
- Insulate your roof.
- Compartmentalize your facility as far as possible.
- Install hardware or software that automatically shuts down computers.
- Replace low-efficiency motors with high-efficiency motors.
- Install variable frequency drives on the motors that power your HVAC equipment.
- Switch from fluorescent or incandescent lighting to LED light bulbs in areas that have intermittent use, like elevators.
- Try out newer lighting technologies, such as high intensity discharge and metal halide lamps, which use electricity more efficiently than incandescent bulbs and have longer lives.
Work with your suppliers and consultants. Each supplier is a specialist in his or her area, and usually has up-to-date knowledge of trends and developments. Explain your situation and goals to them. They will be glad to work out a win-win solution. Consultants provide objective analyses and recommendations, helping you find the best solutions to your problems.
Work with your local utility. Utilities like Northeast Utilities are committed to helping you use energy more efficiently and reduce your consumption. Ask them if you qualify for any incentive programs.