CHOOSING ENERGY SAVING PRODUCTS THAT ARE WORTH THE INVESTMENT
There are many different energy saving tips for your commercial building. However, some of them are only effective in theory. There are a lot of energy saving products and tips out there that take more time and money than they are worth. They seem like a good idea on the surface, but when you dig in, they really aren’t worth much in the end. Some energy-saving investments that are often believed to be worth the money but don’t actually pay off include new windows and space heaters. People have long thought these were great tools for saving energy, but new science is proving those beliefs wrong. So, what are some truly energy efficient products that will pay off?
Commercial buildings have long utilized programmable thermostats, which allow you to set the temperature based on the day of the week and the time of day. However, these thermostats are generally based on a gut feeling rather than data. New Smart Thermostats study when exactly you need the building to reach a certain temperature and what time they need to be activated/deactivated to achieve those temperatures. Rather than just taking a guess, these thermostats learn over time and get it down to a pretty accurate science before long. In addition to better data, Smart Thermostats can even connect to the internet for weather forecasts, allowing them to understand that changes in the weather change how they should operate.
LED Light Bulbs
Replacing old light bulbs with LED technology was all the rage 5-6 years ago. It became such a talking point that many people began to doubt the authenticity of the claims. However, the hype was real and well-founded. LED light bulbs consume less energy, and last about 10 times as long as traditional bulbs. They cost more upfront, which is why many people thought it was just a well-designed marketing campaign. LEDs are one of the energy saving products that really do pay for themselves through energy savings and a long lifespan. In addition to the savings, LED bulbs burn cooler, which makes them safer to operate.
Smart Power Strips/Charging Stations
When devices are plugged into the wall, they pull energy and use electricity even when they are off and not charging. They aren’t gaining anything from this electricity, it just gets wasted. Smart power strips are capable of reducing the amount of wasted energy pulled from the wall. Roughly 8-10% of the electricity a device pulls is wasted when the device is off and not charging. By using smart power strips, you can cut this to 2% or less.
In addition to reducing energy waste, power strips also allow you to block several devices from pulling any energy at all. If you plug 6 devices that you don’t need at night or on weekends into a power strip, you can turn off the entire power strip when you leave the office and reduce energy waste to 0%. That can add up to serious savings if utilized in multiple offices for an entire year.
Finally, get dedicated charging stations. These devices operate in much the same way as power strips, but they are designed to be used with phones. These devices can detect when a phone is finished charging and automatically turn themselves off, or they can be programmed to turn off after a certain period of time. Once the charging station turns off, it completely eliminates phantom power being wasted by the device plugged into the wall.
A Reflective Roof
We would be doing you a disservice to write about energy saving products and not cover a reflective roof that we provide to our customers. Reflective roofs can lower rooftop temperatures by as much as 40 degrees, which greatly reduces the amount of heat being transferred into your building, causing you to run your AC more. Keeping your rooftop cooler keeps your building cooler, which saves you money by running your AC less. Reflective roofs can save you up to 30% on your energy expenses in the summer. They are very affordable, and in many states you can receive energy credits and tax breaks, making them even more affordable. Reflective roofs pay themselves off very quickly based on their energy savings alone.
Developing an Environmentally Friendly Plan
Perhaps more important for energy savings than any of these devices is a plan. Developing a plan that all of your employees are aware of and committed to will save money. Encourage your employees to turn off the lights when they leave their office. Encourage them to shut the door all the way or set their computer on the proper energy saving settings. A good plan implemented correctly can be more effective than all the energy saving products money can buy.
Determining which energy saving products are the most effective and provide the most bang for the buck can be difficult. There is a lot of misinformation out there that can be hard to decipher. Follow this guide for a few good energy saving products. Don’t be afraid to research individual products yourself before implementing them.