Energy is one of the largest expenses for commercial businesses, yet many business owners are missing out on simple opportunities to reduce their energy waste and lower these costs. Below are 5 common ways businesses are wasting energy, and minor changes they can make to see substantial cost savings:
1) Not having, or not adhering to, an HVAC schedule
Most businesses have temperature set points established, but are yours enforced? External weather conditions, control overrides made by staff, and underperforming equipment can cause set points to stray and energy to be wasted. By establishing and automating a set-point schedule tailored to your business’s specific needs, you can focus on comfort during peak hours and savings during slower and unoccupied times.
2) Leaving HVAC units, lights, or equipment turned on unnecessarily
Energy savings 101, right? Leaving equipment on obviously contributes to how businesses are wasting energy, but you’d be surprised how often our data analysts find instances where parking lights are being left on during the day, an HVAC is on full blast overnight during summer months, or even where employees have left dangerous kitchen equipment on while the location was unoccupied. Collecting asset-level data can provide insight into these energy-wasting behaviors.
3) Turning all equipment on at the same time
Powering all of your HVAC units, lights, and equipment on at the same time (e.g. 8 am) can create a very large peak load for the day and become extremely expensive if done regularly. By staggering when each piece is turned on you can lower your demand and your cost.
4) Not repairing or replacing malfunctioning equipment in a timely fashion
HVAC maintenance can be costly, but not as costly as a replacement unit or the downtime that results from a unit that has failed. Proper maintenance can extend the life of an HVAC unit by up to 20%. Instead of scheduling a traditional (possibly unnecessary) seasonal maintenance checkup, tools like GridPoint’s automated HVAC Scope test can provide insight into the health of each unit and enable facility managers to identify and prioritize maintenance needs on an as-needed basis.
5) Falling victim to energy drift
Energy drift is the gradual loss of efficiency that can occur after a Building Management System (BMS) is commissioned. After the initial strategy is set, external factors can cause buildings to stray from expected savings over time. If your system is not collecting data, analyzing trends, and alerting you of system failures your sites are likely deviating off the path to efficiency. These issues can be combated by identifying where drift is occurring and taking action to put efficiency back on track. Submetering provides enhanced data that can be used to determine if there is an issue, what the issue is, and where the issue is coming from to do keep sites optimized continuously.