Easy No- and Low-Cost Ways for Businesses to Save on Summer Energy Bills
It is the first official week of summer and a good time to implement energy- and money-saving habits that can bolster the bottom line and help businesses run more energy efficiently. No matter the type of business or facility, these simple ideas can limit unnecessary energy use and help to reduce costs:
Tips to save on lighting costs
Lighting is one of the largest energy expenses for a business.
Turn off lights in unoccupied areas.
Install occupancy sensors that automatically turn lights on and off.
Take advantage of natural lighting. Turn off or dim lighting when adequate sunlight is available to illuminate interior spaces.
Keep lamps and fixtures clean. Accumulation of dust, grease and other dirt can reduce light output by as much as 30 percent. It is recommended that businesses clean light fixtures every two or three years and replace yellowed or hazy lenses and diffusers.
Use only necessary safety and security lighting. At night and in unoccupied areas, the only lights left on should be for safety or security. Consider using instant-on lighting controlled by a motion sensor. Ensure that outdoor lighting is off during the day.
Lighting rebates: SRP has rebates for lighting retrofits. Some customers may even qualify for a no-cost lighting audit. Be sure to apply before ordering or installing lighting equipment. To learn more visit, savewithsrpbiz.com.
HVAC energy saving tips
Heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) also accounts for a big portion of a company's energy bill. There are many ways to improve HVAC efficiency and save:
Save 2 to 3 percent on the energy bill for every degree the temperature is raised in the summer.
Change the temperature gradually: one degree every week or so to give employees time to adjust.
Install locking covers on thermostats to help maintain desired temperature settings.
Check thermostats for accuracy. An inaccurate thermostat wastes money. For example, if a thermostat is off by four degrees, setting it at 82 degrees means the true temperature is 78 degrees.
Look into an HVAC rebates for business. SRP has rebates for HVAC equipment at savewithsrpbiz.com.
Insulation and building enclosure tips
Seal doors and windows: Doors and windows that don't close completely let conditioned air escape and let in hot outside air.
Repair doors and windows that do not shut properly. A double-hung window may be missing the lock that keeps it closed. Outside doors that don't close completely may need to be refitted or rehung, or fixed with a simple adjustment to the striker plate or plane.
Adjust automatic door closers. Closers may shut the door slowly or not completely. Often a simple adjustment can be made with a screwdriver.
Use the correct type of caulking or weather stripping to seal cracks around doors and windows, between the foundation and wall, and in other openings for electrical or communication lines. To detect gaps, run your hand around door and window frames to feel for air passing through, and look for daylight around them.
Replace broken glass. Broken or missing panes let air enter and escape.
Windows are a major source of heat gain. Heat gain makes an air conditioner run longer, which translates into higher energy costs. Try these simple tips:
Close window treatments during summer months.
Install shade screens and awnings on east-, west- and south-facing windows.
Add reflective solar films to windows. Look for a solar heat gain coefficient of 0.35 or less.
SRP offers rebates on window film and shade screens. Learn more at savewithsrpbiz.com.
Without proper insulation, business owners may be paying more than they should for air conditioning or heating. The correct amount of insulation is critical in a hot desert climate.
Look under the roof and feel the walls: If a business is on the top floor and there is a suspended ceiling, push up a ceiling panel and look for insulation. If there's an attic, check there instead. If a building has a flat roof, the insulation may be outside and hard to detect. If the walls feel warm on a hot day or cold on a cold day, insulation may be needed.
Office energy-efficiency tips
Turn off machines rather than letting them idle. To conserve energy and reduce internal heat gain, turn off office equipment during non-business hours. During work hours, use the "sleep" mode and shut off nonessential equipment, such as fax machines, coffee makers and, if possible printers too.
Use a smart power strip. A smart power strip can sense when monitors, printers and other equipment are in use and turn them off automatically when they are inactive for extended periods.
When buying new office equipment, look for ENERGY STAR items.
Save on water-saving upgrades
Many cities and towns throughout the Greater Phoenix area offer rebates on water-saving products such as high-efficiency toilets and showerheads, xeriscaping (low-water-use landscape) and irrigation controllers. These products can help save both water and money. To learn more, visit srpnet.com/water/conservation.
SRP business rebates
SRP has rebates for businesses of all sizes on energy efficient equipment from LED lighting to HVAC equipment and more. Visit savewithsrpbiz.com to learn more.
Businesses can also use the free Business Energy Manager to get a personalized energy report in minutes with low-cost ways to save, and a list of qualifying rebates.
If a business needs assistance making payments, SRP's Strategic Energy Manager (SEM) can set up a joint conversation with an SRP Commercial Credit Analyst to find solutions. For more information business customers can contact their dedicated SEM listed on the bill or call (602) 236-8833 between 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. or (602) 236-8888 after 5:00 p.m.