In an office environment, especially for large companies, the daily comforts of the office tend to be managed by a select few. Whether it’s temperature or lighting, the office worker usually has no involvement in the settings.
This can lead to scenarios where the workers are uncomfortable. It occurs especially in co-ed offices, where women who often dress in seasonally appropriate clothing are at odds with the air conditioner while men, in business suits, sweat it out, despite the chilly air.
Energy Efficient Buildings: Comfort or Efficiency?
In buildings that are LEED certified and highly efficient in energy use, workers still tend to complain about their environment being uncomfortable. Energy efficiency often means turning down the AC and heavily regulating lighting.
So, is it better to manage a building for comfort or for efficiency? It may surprise you to learn that the answer is both.
There are two methods we can use to curb climate change: switch to renewable energy and improve energy efficiency. Renewable energy has been pretty steadily growing in the past decade, but it’s only half of the battle to get carbon emissions down. The other half is increasing energy efficiency, and it’s a more cost effective method for the short term.
Much of the reasoning behind the technologies we have today is cost. They may be inefficient, but they are cheap to produce. The incandescent lightbulb is one such option. The goal for Thomas Edison was to mass produce a cheap, long lasting bulb. At the time it was invented, they did last quite a while, considering the other alternatives were gas lamps or even less efficient arc lamps. Today, we have compact fluorescent lamps and LED bulbs, both of which cost more than incandescent bulbs, but also
The winter season is often met with higher energy use due to the need for extra heat, and in some areas of the country, it also means fewer customers. What this means for your bottom line is that saving energy is a definite way to reduce your overhead costs and save your business some money during the cold weather.
In general, the best ways to reduce energy use in your business is to turn off any unused lights, turn off all possible equipment and lights after hours, use any large equipment during off-peak hours (before 4 pm and after 7 pm), and use Energy Star certified equipment when available. Beyond that, there are a few sectors of your business where you can maximize energy savings.
With programmable thermostats, you can cut back on wasted heat during the winter. If your business has a lot of
Walmart is one of the most powerful retail giants in the United States, and they are well known for it. They sell just about every commodity you could possibly want or need, and are pushing themselves into new markets. Recently, the retailer decided to double its alcohol sales by 2016 and 500 reps from the alcohol industry met at the Sam’s Club auditorium in Bentonville, AR. They held a convention centered around adult beverages and Walmart is taking them up on the offer to sell. Now, they’re looking to channel the same type of marketing focus into the renewable energy sector.
Walmart already dominates the solar power scene commercially as many of its stores rely on solar energy to help power them. In fact, Walmart utilizes solar power more than 38 US states. Their solar capacity is nearly double that of Costco, the runner up for commercial solar power generation.
Homeowners know that by cutting their energy use, they can save themselves a bundle of cash. Reducing the amount of time a heater or air conditioner runs, unplugging unused electronics, and investing in solar water heaters can all add up to a lot of savings. Global management consulting firm McKinsey & Co. estimated that cutting wasted energy in businesses could potentially save about $2.9 trillion; that savings comes just from being smarter about how energy is used in the workplace, like scheduling when thermostats will operate heating and cooling systems, recycling, driving more efficiently, and reducing packaging costs.
In the 1970s, environmental protection laws went into effect to regulate the waste produced by businesses. The business world reacted with cries of increasing costs and an economic downturn that would perpetuate the already declining economy at the time. Jonathan T. Scott of the Center for Industrial Productivity and
Managing your electricity needs and conserving energy are massively important when running a business. By understanding the load factor of your business, you can more accurately calculate your monthly energy expenses, find ways to conserve additional energy, and cut back on those expenses. The load factor describes a period of time when energy was used versus how much energy would have been used at peak demand.
For example, if your company’s peak demand anywhere in the span of a month is 100 kilowatt (kW), you would multiply that by the number of days in your billing period, then by the number of hours in a day. Therefore: 100kW x 30 days x 24 hours = 72,000 kilowatt hours (kWh). Now, you would take your total consumed electricity for the month, let’s say it’s 36,000 kWh, and divide that by the 72,000 kWh. This gives you a total