Energy is a hot topic. From the price of gas to investing in renewable resources, energy is always a top consideration. Are you just routinely paying your energy bills without putting much thought into why they might be so high? Learning that there may be ways to reduce the amount of energy that your business uses on a daily basis can be a good way to reduce those rising energy bills while doing your part for the green movement.
Commercial Energy Audit
A commercial energy audit might be just what you need to get started on lowering the amount of energy your business uses. A typical audit will help you identify what you are wasting energy on and things that can help you save energy without shelling out money. An energy audit can also offer you retrofit recommendations that can help your energy efficiency. Often they are are low-cost and short-term. This helps create action plans for energy efficiency investments. You will be able to address code and comfort issues, and receive measurements to help you improve lighting and comfort standards in your building. You may have an energy audit that covers your entire building, or one that has a specific target. For example, perhaps you are more interested in the energy impacts of your manufacturing area, but not as worried about the office space.
An energy audit is a great diagnostic tool at your fingertips. If you are working to improve your energy usage, as well as code and comfort issues, your employees will be happy. Their safety, health and comfort are all taken into consideration when these codes are created, and knowing that their company is looking out for them, helps to create loyalty. This can make employees want to work better and harder for their employer. Overall, it is a winning situation for businesses.
Energy Star Portfolio Manager
The Energy Star Portfolio Manager is a key tool to use for any energy audit. It is an online tool that will allow you to track your energy usage for the long-term. This tool tracks energy, water consumption, and even greenhouse gas emissions. It is rather simple in that you create a baseline with your current energy bills and some specifics about your building. Then, over time, you can start seeing trends and patterns in your usage as you enter more data points from your future bills. Consider the reasons for the Energy Star Portfolio Manager.
Get to Know the Numbers
When this is used in conjunction with an energy audit, you will get specific feedback on your energy usage at every stage. It will create a baseline and track the changes in your energy consumption as each improvement (that was identified in the energy audit) is made. The proof is right in front of you. The numbers will show what is working well and what is not.
Create Ways to Reduce Energy Use
You can create energy reduction targets, and then test different ways to reach the benchmark you have set. You may wonder how you can come up with energy reduction targets, and the easy answer is that this tool can help you. Based on the type of building you are monitoring, you can receive an Energy Star score that you can compare to similar buildings around the country. A high enough score could turn into an Energy Star Certification for your building.
Track Energy Consumption
You will be able to continue tracking your energy consumption, and may discover potential problems before they become big issues. If your energy bills go up because your equipment is not running correctly or your employees are not following protocol, seeing this spike may help you identify it now rather than when something bad happens – like when your equipment breaks.
Identify Necessary Building Upgrades to Save Energy
Tracking your energy consumption can also have the benefit of identifying if you need to invest in building upgrades. If you aren’t going to save enough energy on future bills with procedure changes alone, it may be more cost-effective to perform building upgrades now.
Positive Public Relations
Some areas cities have already taken a step forward to create mandatory benchmarking laws for energy usage. The Energy Star Portfolio Manager is the tool of choice in these areas that already require benchmarking. Getting on the bandwagon now before it is required can be a good public relations step along with improving your working knowledge of your energy usage.
Consumers are very interested in working with companies that have a similar vision, and many consumers are conscious about how humans are impacting the world with their carbon footprint. Going green will not only help you with your company’s brand and image but will save some green in your wallet with lowered energy bills. Invest in your company by looking into ways you can utilize the Energy Star Portfolio Manager.
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