Basic Information Technical Assistance, Related Vendors, and Expertise Glossary
Tracking your business’s energy usage is the first step towards managing the amount of energy you consume. Review your company’s energy bills dating back at least a year. This will give you an idea of how much energy you use as well as becoming a starting point from which you can reduce your usage. From there, focus on reducing energy used when your business in closed (programming the thermostats, turning off and unplugging appliances, switching off power strips, and changing any lighting that must stay on to compact fluorescent or LED bulbs). Turn off elevators that are not in use at the end of the day.
Considering that building are one of the highest consumers of energy, you can further reduce your usage by focusing on keeping the warm or cool air inside from escaping outside and vice versa. Install revolving doors or two sets of doors to keep temperature-controlled air inside the building. Get an energy audit of your business and take action on the problem areas. Intentionally purchase energy efficient appliances when an appliance needs to be replaced (or is more than 15 years old); look for the Energy Star logo when shopping for a new appliance. Install dimmers or sensors on lighting fixtures.
Consider your energy source; purchasing renewable energy from your provider or create your own. Retrofit your space or build a new building using LEED designs and a LEED certified architect. Install photovoltaic panels on your building or, considering local weather, install a device to capture wind power.
Technical Assistance, Related Vendors, and Expertise
- North Carolina Department of Energy and Natural Resources
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capital improvements – betterment to a building or equipment, which extends its life or increases its usefulness or productivity.
energy efficient appliances – the planned management of energy to prevent waste and overuse, and to reduce consumption; incorporates costs and uses of energy, specification of energy -saving solutions, implementation of energy-saving measures, and verification of reduced consumption or cost savings to maximize the efficient use of energy resources. For more information about energy-efficient appliances, click http://www.energystar.gov/index.cfm?fuseaction=find_a_product, and for information about tax breaks for purchasing energy-efficient appliances, click http://www.energy.gov/taxbreaks.htm
energy consumption – the amount of energy used within a business or home (i.e., gas or electricity).
energy consumption reduction efforts – eliminating or minimizing energy waste and reducing energy use.
measure and track energy consumption – collecting and tracking energy consumption information is necessary for establishing a baseline and managing energy use to establish how, when and where energy is being used. Organizations of all sizes can establish systems for gathering and tracking energy use data such as using online energy management tracking systems, reading your electric meter regularly, or simple monitoring of kilowatt-hour use (kWh) from monthly electricity bills. To calculate energy use or see a list of energy intensive users for your organization and compare it to similar organizations in your area, click http://www.energystar.gov/index.cfm?c=guidelines.guidelines_index.
specific energy consumption reduction efforts – the following is a list of some technologies that, if properly installed and operated, will reduce a building’s energy consumption.
- Passive and solar energy
- Compact fluorescent lighting (CFL)
- Occupancy sensors (turns lights on/off when room is occupied/unoccupied)
- Controlling the daylight entering the building for heating, cooling and lighting purposes
- Demand-control ventilation system
- Low-power modes on computers, fax machines, printers, and copiers while not in use