Do you have the feeling that your company’s energy bills are often surprisingly high? Now that energy, electricity especially, is becoming more and more expensive, saving energy is a top priority for many companies. But not all companies are saving as much energy as they could. SMEs as well as large enterprises are not always aware of why they consume so much energy. So, what about you? Do you know what the biggest energy wasters in your company are?
In office environments, about 25 to 50 percent of electricity used goes to lighting. In industrial environments, these numbers can climb to 70 percent and in some cases even to 90 percent. As you probably already know, replacing traditional light bulbs with LED lighting is essential to save electricity. But did you know that a lick of paint can make a world of difference as well? Spaces with light colours on the walls require much less artificial lighting as they reflect more daylight.
2. An outdated heating system
Replacing a traditional heating system with a condensing boiler saves companies 15 to 20 percent on heating costs. On average, a condensing boiler pays for itself in 8 years. Many eco-conscious companies also opt for a heat pump, which uses neither gas nor fuel oil, and recuperates heat which would otherwise be wasted.
- If your business has very high ceilings, ceiling fans are definitely worth considering. Pushing warm air – which naturally rises – back down, ceiling fans will cut your heating costs by about 15 percent.
- Large spaces like warehouses or shopping centres where doors are continually opened and closed require special heating systems. Many businesses opt for radiant heating combined with natural gas in this case, which easily saves them up to 15 percent without loss of comfort.
3. Standby power
On average, consumers use 10 percent more electricity than needed because they put electrical appliances – which could actually be turned off – in standby mode. In many households, laptops and televisions continue to consume energy at night. If you are not yet aware of which electrical devices in your company are put into standby mode outside office hours, it surely pays to find out.
4. A lack of insulation
A poorly insulated roof causes 25 to 30 percent of heat loss. Poorly insulated walls result in about 17 percent of heat loss. Additionally, next to a well-insulated roof and walls, double or even triple high-efficiency glazing is a must and will save you 12 percent of energy on average. It is also advisable to insulate water pipes in unheated areas.
5. Air conditioning
Air conditioning is a necessary evil in every company, but that doesn’t mean you can’t make your company’s air conditioning system more energy efficient. For example, a server room can be cooled using outside air if you invest in a heat exchanger. If you have screens, sun protection film, shutters, ... blocking the sun, your office space will warm up less quickly as well.
How efficient is your energy management?
Sensitizing employees and ensuring your building meets today’s energy standards is, of course, crucial to save as much energy as possible. But so is mapping your business’ energy consumption. To gain more insight into their energy usage, many companies implement an energy management system (EMS) which tells them whether their efforts to save energy are paying off, and where there’s still room for improvement. Or as Kelvin himself once said: "To measure is to know".
By the way, did you know fifthplay’s energy management system enables you to remotely control systems and appliances? fifthplay EMS also informs you in the event of water leaks, unnecessary standby power consumption, … so you can immediately nip potential energy wasters in the bud.
To measure is to know. Take control of your company's energy usage today!