Business Energy Tips
At NIPSCO, we want to help you manage energy use for your business, office, school, commercial or industrial facilities in a way that helps your bottom line as much as possible. Here are simple tips that can result in savings for you and your business.
- Turn off lights when not in use.
- Remove or disconnect unnecessary light fixtures.
- Replace incandescent light bulbs with compact fluorescent light bulbs.
- Replace or retrofit non-energy efficient light fixtures.
- Install "occupant sensors" to automatically turn lights off and on.
- Take advantage of "day lighting".
- Lower light levels where appropriate such as around computer monitors.
- Install LED (light-emitting diode) exit signs.
- Install timers or photocells on outside lights.
- Do not over light areas.
- Use hot water wisely. Set water temperature only as hot as needed. (Check your local codes for specifications for your business.)
- Insulate hot water holding tanks and hot and cold water pipes.
- Always buy the most efficient model possible.
- Use less. Install faucet aerators and efficient showerheads.
- Find and fix leaks.
- When landscaping, practice xeriscaping by using plants native to your climate that require minimal watering and possess better pest resistance.
- Perform routine maintenance, such as vacuuming, to remove dust.
- Turn off the lights in walk-in refrigerators.
- Add strip curtains to refrigerated spaces without doors.
- Defrost regularly.
- Retrofit or replace old refrigerators and freezers.
- Turn off office equipment/machines when not in use, wherever possible. (Myth: Equipment lasts longer if it is never turned off.)
- Unplug appliances/equipment or use power strips to eliminate “Phantom Loads” the phenomena of devices drawing power even when switched off.
- Maintain your equipment to ensure efficient performance.
- Use energy efficient computers and office equipment.
- Make sure your motors and motor systems are running at optimum efficiency.
- Buy Energy Star Qualified Products: Locate a Store; Find Special Offers.
Heating and Cooling (HVAC) Systems
- Make sure your HVAC system is operating efficiently.
- Inspect and clean or replace air filters on a regular basis.
- Repair leaks in system components such as pipes, steam traps or couplings.
- Adjust the thermostat during unoccupied times or install a programmable thermostat.
- Reduce air conditioning hours.
- Make sure radiators, air intake vents, etc., are not obstructed so that air can flow freely.
- Use the Energy Star Building Checklist to cut down on winter heating costs.
- Use the Energy Star Building Checklist to cut down on summer cooling costs.
- Control direct sun through windows depending on season and climate.
Motor Management: Opportunities for Energy and Cost Savings
- In 2004, the Department of Energy ranked “energy efficient motors and rewind practices" ninth of the top 20 energy savings opportunities for the industrial sector.
- Electric motors make up the largest end use of electricity in the United States, accounting for approximately 60 - 70 percent electricity consumption in industrial applications. Energy expenditures can be 10 percent or more of total operating costs.
- Electricity used by industrial motor-driven systems accounts for 25 percent of total electricity sales in the United States – representing the largest single category of electricity use in the country.
- Studies show that optimizing industrial motor systems through the implementation of mature, proven, cost-effective energy-saving techniques can reduce U.S. industrial energy costs up to $5.8 billion per year.
- Industrial customers benefit from improved control of production processes, reduction in waste materials and improved environmental compliance.
- Savings are obtainable through cost-effective measures using mature efficiency technologies and practices.
- The resulting energy savings could reduce carbon emissions by 15-26 million metric tons per year or the equivalent of keeping 3 million cars off the road.
- Note: Used with permission. Copyright 2010 Consortium for Energy Efficiency.
Additional Energy Efficiency Resources:
Motor Decisions Matter
U. S. Department of Energy – Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy
Energy Star - Business
Energy Star - Small Business
Energy Star - Action Workbook for Small Business
Energy Star - Industry Specific Resources
U.S. Department of Energy
U.S. Department of Energy - Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy
U.S. Energy Information Administration
Edison Electric Institute