Looking for ways to save on your SDG&E bill at your office? Here are some helpful business energy-saving tips leaving you with more budget for other expenses or to improve occupant comfort.
Raise your thermostat a few degrees. Did you know office building HVAC systems consume up to 40 percent of energy bills? Turn temperatures up during unoccupied hours using smart programmable thermostats. You can also set back temperatures a few degrees without occupants noticing. Running ceiling fans with your A/C allows you to raise the thermostat 4 degrees without any change in comfort.
Use daylighting controls. These systems use sensors to adjust lighting levels in response to available daylight and can reduce your lighting energy use up to 80 percent. If you have areas where natural daylight is prevalent, consider installing daylighting controls. If you already have daylighting controls installed, check them to make sure they are properly calibrated and working as expected.
Pre-cool in the evening. If your business has a building automation system, consider cooling the building at night with outside air. This lowers the temperature of the building which helps reduce your cooling needs during the day between 5 and 20 percent. It can also result in improved occupant comfort by improving air quality.
Clean the condenser coils. When the condenser coils in your air-conditioning equipment become dirty, the ability to effectively transfer heat lessens. Check your condenser coils for natural or artificial debris that has accumulated to make sure they’re working as efficiently as possible. Thoroughly wash the coils twice a year for preventive maintenance.
Change the filters. Particularly during warmer months, filters should be changed regularly to make sure the air-conditioner fan isn’t using more energy to push air through clogged filters. If your building is located next to a highway, construction site or other location where the air isn’t as clean, consider changing filters as often as several times a month.
Check the economizer. Many air-conditioning systems use a dampered vent, called an economizer, that draws in cool outside air to reduce the need for mechanically cooled air. Regularly check that the linkage that opens and shuts the damper is working properly to prevent large energy waste.
Use fans. Fans can help your business maintain a comfortable temperature. Moving air can make higher temperatures and humidity feel more comfortable and reduce the need for air conditioning. When the temperature outside feels more comfortable than inside, use a box fan in the window or a whole facility fan in the attic to pull in the comfortable air.
Ward off “vampire” equipment. Monitors and computers are two culprits that continue to draw power even when they are switched off. Prevent “phantom” loads by using a smart power strip to cut power.
Enroll in SDG&E business programs. If you’re a small or medium business and an SDG&E customer, you may qualify for customized business solutions that can help you reduce your energy costs and save money. Find out more at com/mybusiness.