Energy efficiency means delivering the same service with less energy. With energy costs on the rise, this is good for the environment and the financial success of your business. Many businesses are taking steps to conserve energy, with some taking even greater steps to reduce their environmental impact by producing or purchasing renewable energy and buying carbon offsets.
There are many opportunities to conserve energy in your place of business, and the list below represents just a few of them. Be sure to explore the resources provided for technical assistance and funding that may be available to your business.
- Replace light bulbs with more efficient ones, and if possible consider replacing lighting fixtures.
- Place your lights on motion detectors or install timers on lights and electric equipment to keep them on only when needed.
- Turn off office equipment and lights at night and on weekends and take advantage of natural daylight when possible. Avoid “overlighting.”
- Disconnect unnecessary equipment completely. Unplug cell phone chargers when not in use.
- Buy a programmable thermostat or turn up or turn back the thermostat during unoccupied times.
- Use Energy Star appliances.
- Install blinds or shades – or tint windows – to keep out the sun and lower air-conditioning costs in the summer.
- Insulate hot water holding tanks and hot and cold pipes and add insulation to your facility if needed.
- Maintain your HVAC system properly.
- Caulk and weather-strip windows and doors.
- If you lease your building and cannot directly make facilities improvements, check out the EPA guide to “Green Opportunities for Leased Buildings.”
- Track electricity, fuel and natural gas usage and share with your employees.
- Purchase or produce renewable power.
- Consider purchasing “green tags” or Carbon Credits to offset the carbon dioxide emissions associated with all or part of your business’ energy or fuel use.
Local Resources and Organizations
DTE Energy “Your Energy Savings” website provides numerous ways to conserve energy and capture financial incentives for making eco-friendly changes. See: http://yourenergysavings.com/landing.html
A similar website for customers of Consumers Energy can be found at: http://www.consumersenergy.com/eeprograms/Landing.aspx?ID=750
Oakland County’s website Destination Oakland.com provides energy conservation tips and resources.
The Midwest Energy Efficiency Alliance (MEEA) is a collaborative network advancing energy efficiency in the Midwest to support sustainable economic development and environmental preservation. Best practices and case studies
Other Resources and Organizations
Earth911.com for Business – Guide for Energy Conservation at Work
This guide for business provides clear and easy-to-follow tips for energy conservation at work and understanding the issues and options surrounding renewable energy – including purchase, production, and purchasing offsets or “green tags.”
National Association of Energy Service Companies
The National Association of Energy Service Companies (NAESCO) promotes efficiency as the first priority in a portfolio of economic and environmentally sustainable energy resources. It has a searchable data base of energy service providers.
US Green Building Council (USGBC)
The U.S. Green Building Council is a national non-profit organization which developed the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification standard and is dedicated to making green buildings available to everyone within a generation. Its website is an excellent resource for businesses interested in better understanding and exploring green building.
EPA Clean Energy Website
EPA’s gateway website into Clean Energy issues, this site includes information and resources on energy efficiency, clean energy supply options, and renewable energy sources. Links are provided toEPA Clean Energy programs, resources, and tools such as Power Profiler and a Clean Energy Resources database.
Energy Star for Businesses
Energy Star provides free, unbiased information and resources for business to reduce energy use. Includes Energy Star tips for employees, executives and building managers, an Energy Star at Work tool, and advice on how to start a workplace Green Team.
EnergyStar Guide for Small Businesses: Putting Energy into Profits
A comprehensive energy-conservation guide for small business
EPA info on Compact Florescent (CFL) bulbs
Includes general information on CFL Bulbs, as well as tools to choose the right light, search products, and product specifications
US Department of Energy (DOE)
DOE Energy Efficient Building Practices for Commercial Buildings
This site offers Commercial buildings best practice guidelines developed by the Department of Energy on the planning and financing of new construction or renovation projects, the design and construction phase, and operations and maintenance. Information is also provided on opportunities for on-site energy production such as photovoltaic systems, geothermal, and other forms of renewable energy.
DOE Green Opportunities for Leased Buildings
This important guide details greening actions that can be taken by business that lease, rather than own, their space.
Renewable Energy: Purchasing Green Power
US Department of Energy Green Power Network
The Green Power Network (GPN) provides news and information on green power markets and related activities. The site provides up-to-date information on green power providers, product offerings, consumer protection issues, and policies affecting green power markets. It also includes a reference library of relevant papers, articles and reports.
Offset your Carbon Emissions: Purchasing Carbon Offsets
Some popular sites to purchase Carbon Offsets:
You can also browse and choose from more options at:
Ecobusiness carbon catalogue