5 Ways to Improve Your Commercial Electricity Usage
With the rise of electric vehicles, energy efficiency is once again at the forefront of everyone’s minds. That prompts the question: how can Facilities Managers keep a handle on the electricity usage in commercial buildings?
| MONITOR USAGE
The first thing to always do is monitor electricity usage. Each commercial facility will have several electrical meters placed throughout the property. You don’t have to wait for the utility meter reader to come by and check it. If your facility services company offers professional electrical services, they should be able to keep an eye on it for you and let you know if anything looks out of place. When a spike in power consumption occurs, they’ll be the first to let you know so you can get ahead of it. The solution may be as simple as turning off a machine when it’s not in use.
| LED LIGHTING
This is a trendy topic lately. Many commercial Facilities Managers are asking about pricing to convert their lighting over to LED. While this can be a costly upgrade, it will certainly save money in the long run. Not only do LED lights use far less power than traditional bulbs, they also last much longer so they won’t need to be replaced nearly as often.
If a full swap-over just isn’t in the cards for your budget, your facility services company can work with you to come up with an upgrade plan. Some buildings are upgraded in stages across a few months while others simply wait until an old light fails and then upgrade it right then and there. Whatever the right solution is, as long as you’re working with a C-10 licensed commercial electrician you’ll be on your way to a more efficient lighting system.
One of the best ways to make sure nothing gets left on when not in use is to use timer switches. These can be installed in place of a normal flip-switch and are usually equipped with a wind-up timer. As you turn the dial to the desired amount of time, the power comes on. When it reaches zero again, the power goes back off. They’re simple little devices, but they can save you thousands in areas where multiple people need access to turn on the power and you can’t be there to make sure it gets turned off at the end of the day. They also come in smart, scheduled varieties or even Wi-fi-connected switches, allowing you direct control when you aren’t there in person.
| MOTION SENSORS
An alternative to timers for lighting systems would be motion sensors. These have popped up in office spaces over the years, but would work well in warehouse as well as several other types of commercial facilities. They work as the name suggests: when they detect motion, they switch the power on. After a pre-set amount of time without any motion detected, the power goes back off. The downside to these is they can be triggered by motion that isn’t intended to turn on the power such as birds or traffic passing by. So make sure they’re placed in an area with the least likelihood to catch anything other than the intended motion.
| SMART THERMOSTATS
HVAC units are one of the biggest power consumers in any commercial facility. They’re necessary and a welcome relief from the heat generated by a building, but the electrical bill can make any reconsider how much heat they can tolerate. Fortunately, smart thermostats have come a long way in recent years. With a simple upgrade, you can add a controller to your HVAC system that will start to learn the needs of your building, set a smart schedule for efficiency, and even adjust the temperature based on the weather forecast.
AAA Facility Services is a C-10 licensed commercial electrician with experience in boosting energy efficiency. Contact us today to learn how you can improve your building’s electricity consumption.