The Biggest Ways Businesses Waste Energy

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Businesses tend to use a lot more energy than households. However, not all of this extra energy is necessary. In fact, some businesses waste huge amounts of energy every year on things like hearing and lighting.

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This can result in unnecessarily high energy bills

Below are just some of the common ways in which businesses waste energy, and how businesses can start saving money.

Inefficient heating

Many older commercial buildings still use old heating systems. These can guzzle huge amounts of energy compared to modern heating systems. Replacing these heating systems could be an effective way to bring down energy costs – even if it does mean investing in the installation of a new system.

Old HVAC systems are a common culprit. Not only do these systems consume huge amounts of energy, but they often provide poor air quality if they have not been carefully maintained. A good way to tell if your HVAC system needs updating is to look at the date on the nameplate – anything over 25 years could be overdue for a replacement.

It’s also worth making sure that your heating system is appropriate for the building it has been installed in. Some buildings like churches can have heating systems installed in them that are inadequate for the size of the building. To make sure you have the right heating system installed, it could be worth working with a church heating supplier to inspect your current system. A more efficient system may be able to heat up the space more quickly while using less energy.

Poor insulation

Some older commercial buildings can also have poor insulation. This could include single pane windows and lack of attic insulation. This lack of insulation could be resulting in energy being lost through your windows and roof. 

If you rent the building, it is up to the owner to update any insulation. It could be worth suggesting some upgrades if you feel the insulation you’ve currently got isn’t appropriate – especially if your business is located somewhere that gets very cold winters.

Sheet insulation for attics and window insulating film are temporary insulation methods that you may be able to look into if the property owner is not willing to make any permanent modifications. These may not be as effective as permanent insulation, but are likely to still make a difference to your energy bills by trapping heat in longer. 

Old lightbulbs

Most modern commercial buildings have switched from CFL lighting to LED lighting – and for good reason. LEDs use a lot less energy than CFLs, while also providing added brightness. This makes them a far better option. 

It’s worth checking that you’re not still using CFL lighting or even older bulbs around your premises. A professional energy audit could be the best way of determining what types of bulbs are in use. These are carried out by professional inspectors who can survey the entire property.

Installing LEDs could be a simple and cost-effective way to bring down your energy costs. You can buy LED bulbs in all kinds of different shapes online – including in the shape of old vintage Edison bulbs (popular in restaurants and cafes that want to provide some vintage charm).

Lighting/heating empty rooms

A lot of businesses also waste energy by lighting up or heating up unused spaces. This could include having an office bathroom light constantly left on, or heating up rooms used by staff who aren’t in the office. 

Many commercial buildings install motion sensing lighting to ensure that lighting automatically turns off in rooms that are not used. Motion sensing lighting can also be worth using for outdoor lighting.

As for heating, consider turning off vents or radiators in rooms that are not being used when you have the heating turned up. Some smart HVAC systems allow you to remotely control the temperature of different rooms from an app. Using such technology, you can make sure no excess energy is being sent to heat unused rooms. 

Leaving unused appliances/machines plugged in

Computers, printers and other equipment that are left plugged in when not in use can also waste energy. While the wasted energy consumption per machine is often very little, a whole room of machines left plugged in on standby can cause the wasted energy to add up.

Unless you need to leave machines turned on overnight, always unplug them when you leave the office. This is particularly important over a weekend or holiday break when no-one is using these machines for several days.