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Easy Steps for Energy Savings in a Tough Economy
February 20, 2009 - Contact FacilitiesNet Editorial Staff »
Today’s tip is about relatively simple things you can do to grab a few pieces of energy savings here and there to meet the constraints of pared down operational budgets.
First, make sure all controls are working properly. This may seem like a no-brainer, but experts often talk about how common it is for facility executives just to assume everything is working properly, when everything is NOT working properly. Also, make sure equipment is operating at optimal efficiency – do an in-house audit of all equipment to make sure it’s running within spec, and if it’s not, adjust it to make sure it is.
While it may be difficult to justify spending even a little money to get energy savings later, there are a few gadgets facility executives can pick up that have less-than-a-year paybacks. One example is a motion-detecting device that you can attach to vending machines that basically shuts them off when no one is around. Not running these energy hogging vending machines all night can save a lot more energy than you’d expect. Use carbon dioxide detectors to make sure there’s enough fresh air in a building, but also to make sure that you’re not changing air more often than is necessary. Use thermostats that can be programmed for a wider deadband, which is the range thermostats are allowed from the set point to the actual air temperature.
One final tip: Always ask occupants for suggestions on ways to save energy. They may have the best ideas – and just aren’t sure who to tell. You could even offer some sort of incentive for an idea that works and saves X amount of dollars. Make it an “we’re all in this together” scenario.