Being uninformed about your energy consumption is common (because most don’t know where it’s happening). Most think that “going green” means capital expenditure on new high tech systems, controls, and lighting, with the expectation of realizing a reasonable payback period to justify the expense of this new green measure.
Even with a reasonable ROI payback, there is still an upfront expense. Do you use (or have) cash, or do you finance? Both options have an associated opportunity cost.
Sustainable Steps for Building Owners
Our society is pushing green initiatives, sustainability, social consciousness, and responsibility. Providers of new green solutions are leveraging this social agenda to present your business with amazing results if you purchase their products and the expense of implementing them. Going Green doesn’t have to be political. Business people are moving in this direction with sound judgment, rational thinking, and validated calculations. The cost of doing nothing is real wasted energy.
By properly tuning your facility, you can eliminate real waste that you probably didn’t even realize was occurring.
Nobody realizes that some people expend tremendous energy merely to be normal. | Albert Camus
We follow the old adage that people’s homes are their castles. And we fill our castles with all the latest conveniences and gadgets to make us comfortable or to ‘keep up with the Jones’s’. This is considered normal. As such, it expends a tremendous amount of personal energy and a whole lot of electricity to satisfy our insatiable desire for instant gratification and electronic convenience.
Energy Mindfulness in the Workplace
Though where applicable at home, we unplug all unused appliances to reduce phantom loads, turn off lights and the TV when not in the room, close doors when the AC is on, don’t constantly run the water when brushing teeth, remember to adjust the thermostat when we’re not home, switch off ceiling fans when not in the room, recycle, and a myriad of other things to be mindful of energy use. Being mindful of these small changes at home impact definitely impacts your energy and resource consumption.
Just like in our homes, being energy efficient in the workplace is essentially a matter of being good stewards of the resources needed to operate your facility. Paying attention and being mindful of the little things that consume energy and natural resources can really add up.
Where Do You Start with Workplace Energy Conservation
To effectively manage your energy and resource expense, you first need to understand ‘how, when and where’ consumption and waste occurs in your facility through an energy audit process. As a result of the audit (or assessment) many energy-saving opportunities will be identified, a number of which will be practical methods to tune your building with no and low-cost suggestions which have a near term and immediate payback. In many communities, local utilities have programs to rebate half the expense of an ASHRAE audit once the identified “wasteful” items are implemented.
The utilities and producers of power are vested in your efficiency. It helps them too!
It’s through this audit and assessment of your resource usage that you can identify these often overlooked demons of energy consumption and will allow tuning your facility for efficiency at minimal expense. Once the system refinements and process adjustments are made, it is imperative to include training to inform your facilities managers and general employees alike on these new processes, so that they will become as mindful of resource consumption at work as they are at their home (where they pay the bills).
Engaging an ASHRAE Level 1 Audit to assess the consumption characteristics of your facility, will not only identify where you are wasting your energy, you are now positioned to generate better returns and increase asset value, all while being socially conscious and improving the environment.
Just like at home, be mindful of the little things that add up at the end of the month that creates waste in your utility bill.
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