Envirotech Blog

Best practices to save energy in business

May 29, 2020 9:00:00 AM / by Roberta Beltrão

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Energy can be one of the main expenses for a business. Therefore, saving it is also a meter of saving money. Understanding your energy use and taking steps to become more energy efficient can benefit your business in a range of ways. Saving energy will help your business cut carbon emissions, reduce costs and enhance your image. There are many ways a business can improve energy use efficiency.  

To save energy there are different levels of investments, some of them pay their selves quite fast. The first step to save energy involve the change of habits.  

  • Switch off lights when you don't need them. 
  • Use a power meter to conduct an energy assessment. Many local Councils have home energy kits available to help you pinpoint high energy consuming appliances and provide you with information on how much each appliance costs to run. By better understanding your energy consumption you can learn to make simple changes, potentially saving several hundred dollars a year and tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions. 
  • Switch off electrical appliances when not in use. Standby power accounts for about 4 per cent of the average homes energy use, so turn it off at the power point to save energy and money! 
  • Turn down your thermostat and throw on a jumper. Turning it down by just 1°C can save you up to 10 per cent on your heating bill. 
  • Select the right temperature. Stick to 25 °C in summer and 18°C in winter. Every one degree cooler in summer adds around 10% to the amount of electricity the aircon uses – which can quickly add up! 
  • Isolate areas, big areas are harder to regulate the temperature. If you have the air conditioner or the heater on keep doors closed. 

A second step to save energy is by investing on energy efficient appliances. This action involves an initial investment; however, these appliances might contribute to a significant energy saving. Many times, the difference on the energy consumption is so great that the new appliance pays itself quickly. You can consult the energy rating labels to decide the best appliance for your business. Another option is using the Energy Rating Calculator before acquiring any new appliance (http://www.energyrating.gov.au/calculator).  

This especially strong for lamps, choosing the right illumination system for your business cam make a good difference. Energy efficient light lamps give you the most light or lumens for the amount of electricity used. Use the lowest wattage you can to provide an adequate level of light for the space.  

Halogen globes 

If you have halogen downlights, consider replacing them with alternative lighting or LED downlights. An average halogen downlight uses between 35 and 50 watts (W) and has a transformer that uses about 10W. If you have 10 downlights in a room, you could be using 450-600W per hour to light a single room. 

As a precaution, most downlights need clearance in the ceiling from any ceiling insulation to prevent the risk of fire as they generate a lot of heat. 

Low-voltage downlights are a type of incandescent light best suited to task lighting ie illuminating specific areas such as bench tops or desks. 

Low voltage does not mean low energy use. Using multiple downlights to light a room is very inefficient, as each downlight and transformer combination can be the equivalent of a 60W incandescent light bulb. 

 

Compact fluorescent and LED downlights 

Halogen downlights can often be replaced with their equivalent lamps that use fluorescent or LED technology. These new styles of lamps may be more expensive but their cost is offset by longevity and lower energy consumption. 

Compact fluorescent lights come in different styles and sizes. Check that the light bulb you intend to install will fit into the light fitting. 

 

Compact fluorescent globes 

Compact fluorescent lamp (CFL) globes are an energy-efficient option and are usually designed to fit into conventional bayonet or screw fitting sockets as a replacement for inefficient incandescent bulbs. 

CFLs are five times more efficient and have longer lifetimes than incandescent light bulbs. They come in a range of shapes and can replace incandescent lamps in heritage lights and downlights. 

 

Linear and circular fluorescent globes 

Linear and circular fluorescent globes produce very high quality light and can last 10 to 20 times as long as an equivalent incandescent globe, and give off a lot less heat. Because of these factors, they are commonly used in commercial and industrial areas. 

 

LED globes 

LED lights are usually designed to fit into conventional bayonet or screw fitting sockets as a replacement for inefficient incandescent bulbs. 

LED lights have long lifespans and use about 85% less energy than halogen globes. As they are relatively new technology, they can be expensive to purchase.

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Roberta Beltrão

Written by Roberta Beltrão

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