5 Ways for Commercial Buildings to Save Money on Electricity This Summer
With rising inflation, costs are going up everywhere–and the cost of electricity is no exception. Where NYC already pays some of the highest prices for electricity in the nation, the average cost of electricity in this area is up about 13 percent over this time last year. Business owners and commercial building managers are feeling the brunt of these costs as they must keep things cool for their customers, clients, and tenants.
However, by making a few small changes, business owners can keep their buildings cool and comfortable while also reducing the amount of money they spend on energy each month. Here are five ways to get started.
Set the base temperature 1-2 degrees higher.
The Department of Energy estimates you can save 1 percent on your energy bill per 1 degree of thermostat change. No one’s going to notice if the temperature is a mere two degrees higher. In reality, it may even be as much as 3 percent per degree in some places. So if you’re keeping the thermostat at 73 degrees inside your building, and your electric bill is $20,000/month, raising the temperature to 75 degrees should save you at least $400/month, and possibly as much as $1200/month. That’s a substantial savings.
Program the thermostat for a higher temperature at night or when the building is unoccupied.
Let’s face it: there’s no sense in cooling a building when no one is using it. So if it’s feasible, try programming your thermostat for 7-10 degrees higher when everyone goes home for the day. The Department of Energy believes you can shave as much as 10 percent off your electrical bill by raising the thermostat this way for 8 hours in a 24-hour period. If it’s not feasible to do this for the whole building, try it for specific zones or rooms that are unoccupied–or better yet, just turn the A/C off for rooms that aren’t in use.
BONUS TIP: For additional savings, consider investing in “smart thermostats” for your building. Smart thermostats can be automated to adjust the temperature according to busy times of the day–and the more advanced versions even use AI technology to “learn” traffic patterns in your building and adjust lighting and A/C to accommodate those patterns. You’ll be amazed at how much money you can save in the long run with this technology.
Make Use of Ceiling Fans.
Ceiling fans are a great way to keep cool without cranking up the A/C. They use much less energy than air conditioners and can make a room feel 4-6 degrees cooler. By keeping your ceiling fans active in your commercial building, you may also be able to turn the thermostat a little higher without compromising people’s comfort. Just be sure the fans get turned off when rooms become unoccupied.
Use LED Lights Instead of Incandescent Lights.
LED lights use 75 percent less electricity than incandescent bulbs and last much longer–about 25 times as long, in fact. So if you’re still using old-fashioned incandescent bulbs in your commercial building, it’s time for an upgrade. Not only will you save money on your electric bill each month, but you’ll also save money in the long run by not having to replace your bulbs nearly as often–not to mention that LED bulbs give off less heat so the room itself is easier to cool.
Get an Energy Audit.
If you’re not sure where your building is wasting energy, it may be time to get an energy audit. Many utility companies offer free or reduced-cost audits for commercial customers, and these audits can help you pinpoint areas in your building where energy is being wasted. After the audit, you’ll have a list of recommendations for improving your building’s energy efficiency. Many of these improvements will result in immediate savings on your electric bill.
By following these five tips, you can keep your commercial building cool and comfortable all summer long while also saving money on your monthly electricity bill. Just a few simple changes can make a big difference in your bottom line. For quality work on commercial electrical installation in the Tri-State area, including energy efficiency solutions, LED lighting installations, and smart thermostat technology, contact Apollo Electric today for a quote.