Energy is often the first thing people think of when they consider greening their business. Energy affords some of the easiest and least expensive ways to cut costs, improve efficiency and reduce environmental impact. Most businesses can reduce their energy costs by 25% or more by following simple steps that often pay for themselves in a relatively short time.
The most common recommendations involve replacing materials and equipment, such as lights and furnaces, with more efficient products. However, significant energy savings can often be realized simply through increased awareness and easy behavioral changes like remembering to close windows and turn off lights.
Information and recommendations for saving energy are grouped into several categories:
Lighting traditionally comprises 20% to 50% of small business electricity use. Efficient new lighting technologies can often provide higher quality light for your workspace with fewer fixtures, all while reducing consumption and ultimately, saving you money.
Lighting is often the most cost-effective place to start because it’s easy to install and usually less expensive than other investments, leading to rapid payback times.
For an in-depth overview of commercial lighting, download this pdf from EPA's ENERGY STAR website.
Heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems often consume the largest portion of energy at a small business. Simple steps to maintain equipment and reduce waste can really pay off, until it’s time to replace the system.
Check out EPA's Heat & Cool Efficiently page.
Consisting of walls, floors, ceiling, roof, windows and doors, the building envelope is what separates you from winter cold and summer heat. Effective steps to save energy by properly maintaining the building envelope can range in cost from zero (closing windows and doors) to thousands of dollars (upgrading windows, doors and insulation).
For a more detailed checklist, read this article at Buildings.com.
For information on green products and technologies for the building envelope, visit Build It Green.org.
For comprehensive information, visit the Department of Energy's Building Technologies website.
As energy costs continue to rise, more and more businesses are asking about solar, wind, and geothermal power and other renewable sources of energy. Buying or generating power from renewable sources reduces pollution, conserves resources, and helps reduce the nation’s dependence on fossil fuels.
Most business owners are concerned about the expense of installing an alternative energy system. Many systems still have long payback time horizons, but equipment prices are falling and financial incentives are growing. The federal government offers tax incentives to businesses for installing certain alternative energy systems, and many states, including Pennsylvania, offer loans, grants, and tax credits as well.
Read various success stories about EMAP clients making smart Energy decisions to reduce consumption and save money.
Many of our clients are interested in renewable energy for their business, particularly Solar energy. Visit our Renewable Energy section for more infiormation.