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11 Ways To Reduce Energy Consumption In Commercial Buildings

According to the FSB (Federation of Small Businesses), “The Out in the Cold report finds that the overwhelming majority (96%) of small firms flag concerns about rising energy bills. Concern is spread broadly across the economy, with 71 per cent of small firms across all sectors reporting they are very or extremely concerned.”

See the report here – FSB-Out-In-The-Cold

So naturally there has been a huge shift in the way that businesses use energy. First, we all have to play our part in reducing the amount of energy that we use, but rising energy prices are now forcing many commercial property owners to take action sooner than they might have.

It makes sense for several reasons to reduce energy consumption, and whilst this could be down to helping the planet, it also saves money. When it comes to saving energy, it can help to know how to reduce energy consumption in commercial properties.

With this in mind, here’s eleven things your business can do to cost costs and consumption.

1. Ensure all equipment is working correctly

It might not seem right but if you have a problem with your electrical equipment, it could mean that you are using more energy than you need to. When systems are not working efficiently it means that they have to work harder and that can lead to an increase in energy.

Things such as heating systems or manufacturing machinery can all become less energy efficient when there is an issue, even if the issue is small. Therefore, it makes perfect sense to carry out a thorough check on all equipment and ensure that all machinery and equipment is fully optimised.

2. Introduce smart systems to monitor fresh air in buildings

Keeping your commercial property well-ventilated with fresh air is of paramount importance for the health and well-being of your staff. It has also been shown to greatly increase productivity. Many businesses do this through HVAC units and by opening windows, but if left unmonitored this can lead to a vast amount of wasted energy.

Introducing Smart Systems, such as solutions provided by Envelo, who assists in controlling such issues. Using data-driven decisions our systems monitor air quality and can send alerts via our platform to staff to open windows when required. If you have a HVAC system that is costing you money, Envelo can automatically control them so they only come into use when necessary to reduce energy consumption.

3. Set the correct heating temperature

You can make a real difference when you set the correct temperature on your heating systems. Even a reduction of one or two degrees will ensure that properties are still adequately heated but it will make a significant difference to the amount of energy that you use.

You can do this by using thermostats that regulate and monitor the temperatures so that your heating only turns on once the temperature drops to a certain point, but will also turn off once the temperature is reached. This is considered to be one of the biggest things you can do to reduce energy consumption.

4. Improve insulation

When you introduce the right insulation and lagging on pipework, you can reduce the amount of power required to heat buildings. As insulation will help to retain heat, it will help to maintain a more constant temperature which means that the heating might be required less, or when it is used, it will be used for shorter periods. Insulation in walls and ceilings can make a real difference and could help to save a lot of energy over a year.

5. Use LED lighting

Where lighting is installed, it makes sense to change all bulbs to low-energy LED bulbs. These are designed to use less energy and they give off less heat which means less energy wasted. They still provide an excellent level of light and can last a lot longer than traditional bulbs which means that the savings you make will mean that the bulb will pay for itself. These lightbulbs are a great way of significantly reducing the energy that you use and require to light up a commercial property, especially where public lighting is required.

6. Improve doors and windows

A lot of energy is wasted and lost through doors and windows. Whether it’s the type of glass or the sealing around windows or doors, it can all make a big difference to the amount of energy you use. You can weatherstrip your doors and windows by using seals that create a barrier between the indoors and outdoors.

7. Install smart thermostats

Smart thermostats are hugely popular around the home but they can prove to be highly effective when it comes to commercial properties. They will give you greater control over how and when your heating system is used, and what works best for how the property is utilised. If the property is used during daylight hours then it will enable you to control the temperature in line with the temperature. At night, it might choose to increase the temperature slightly but with greater control, you will be able to save energy.

8. Install sensor lights

It is all too easy for lights to be turned on and then left on until someone else switches them off. This could be a matter of hours or in some instances, days. If you install motion sensors, it will enable lights to turn on when someone approaches them and they will then turn off after a certain time. This helps to keep light usage to a minimum and it means that they are only used when they are needed.

9. Encourage building users to turn off equipment

Whether it is lighting, photocopiers, or computers, it is all too easy to leave equipment running. You should encourage all users to turn off their equipment after use because even leaving them on standby will mean that they use a lot of energy. A photocopier that is left turned on overnight and at weekends can cost as much as £42 a year, but it will also emit a large amount of Co2, of which levels should be monitored.

10. Improve natural lighting

You don’t always have to turn to artificial lighting when you need light. If you can enhance the amount of natural light that you have then this will make a big difference. With things such as skylights and solar windows, it is possible to maximise lighting and reduce your reliance on artificial lighting.

11. Consider after-hours use

You can find out whether tenants are using their space after hours and how they are using it. This might allow you to determine when certain parts of the building can be completely shut down, allowing you to isolate certain areas. This will then make it possible for you to reduce the amount of energy you use.
So, many things can be done to reduce energy consumption in commercial buildings and the good news is that a lot of the changes you make are relatively easy and cost-effective, all of which could save you money
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