5 Ways To Reduce Energy Waste In Business Premises
The Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory produces an annual Sankey diagram to highlights how the energy produced in the United States is currently used. Funded by the Department of Energy and UC Berkeley, the research facility stops at nothing to expose the reality of energy consumption and energy waste in the U.S.
The diagram showcases the different energy sources currently in use, from solar energy to petroleum and coal. The first thing that attracts the eye is the predominance of fossil fuels and limited energy sources, such as coal and natural gas. But, what is more alarming, is the revelation that commercial and industrial sectors are not using all the energy they produce. Indeed, the commercial sector uses only 65% of the energy produced, which means it wastes 35%. The industrial sector wastes over half of the energy produced, with only 49% of end-use efficiency. So, how can businesses reduce energy waste effectively?
#1. Run an energy audit
There is no secret formula. If you are going to tackle wastes, you need to know where they occur. An energy consumption audit at the company’s level can help identify important issues. For instance, businesses can significantly reduce energy loss when ensuring their premises do not encourage heat loss in winter (freshness loss in summer). Roofing repairs, for instance, could help keep your energy consumption under control. Similarly, inefficient appliances could generate added heat in summer, driving HVAC systems to increase cooling features. An energy-efficient device could significantly improve your consumption.
#2. Organize the space
Large, misused places can waste a lot of energy in terms of lighting, heating, and security systems. Businesses that consider down-sizing as an energy-efficient strategy can reduce unnecessary waste. However, the process requires organization and planning to make the most of the available space. For instance, if you are downsizing your warehouse, you want to work with warehouse systems and organization experts, such as Camara, to ensure you can keep your goods accessible, safe, and easy to find.
#3. Cut small power use
Small power usage refers to ad-hoc use of appliances throughout the working day. Business kitchens with a kettle, for example, are familiar with accidental energy waste when employees boil more water than they need. Other appliances such as photocopiers and scanners are not in frequent use in the office. Yet, they are always turned on instead of being switched off.
#4. Outsource heavy tech
For an office-based business, legacy technology such as in-house servers can drain energy consumption. It’s worth measuring the pros and cons of maintaining the legacy tech in-house or outsourcing it to a specialist. Alternatively, in the manufacturing industry, it can make sense to get rid of machinery that is maintained switched on even though it is only occasionally utilized.
#5. Reward positive changes
Positive changes start with the team. A policing strategy is likely to generate fear and resentment. On the other hand, rewarding positive changes can encourage employees to be more attentive to their consumption. Reducing waste needs to come from an empowering approach rather than through punishments.
There is no saying how much energy businesses could save with a strategic plan. However, one thing is for sure: We can’t carry on wasting energy. For the sake of the planet, it’s time for businesses to tackle the energy problem at the source.