It doesn’t matter how big or small your business is, finding ways to reduce your energy consumption and save on costs should always be a top priority. So, here’s 7 ways you can go about doing just that!
1. Get an energy audit
An energy audit can help determine your energy usage and offer guidance on how your business can save energy and therefore reduce costs. Speak to your local electrician to determine where savings can be made in conjunction with Panda`s 100% green energy. Did you know that by signing up with Panda, our renewable energy sources mean no electricity tax for your business, and a better, greener future for us all. Now that’s a simple and immediate saving!
2. Turn off lights
Did you know lighting can be responsible for up to 40% of a building’s energy use? In many offices, lights are left on all day (and sometimes night!) in areas like canteens, meeting rooms, toilets, and stairways. So, what can we do?
- Install sensor lights and timers. These can help keep lights on when needed and off when they’re not.
- Switch to LED bulbs. This will help you use significantly less electricity while still supplying the same level of light. Also, since LEDs radiate less heat, your air conditioning system won’t have to work as hard during the warmer months.
3. Office equipment
- When purchasing new equipment, be sure to check the energy efficiency rating. Equipment rated ‘A’ will use less energy and therefore cost less to run.
- Ask all employees to shut down their computers when they finish work. Turning off and unplugging as many devices as possible at the end of the day, prevents “Phantom energy”. Phantom energy is the energy that is used by equipment that is plugged in but not in use, such as computers, tv screens, projectors, kettles. There are many items that can consume significant energy, even in standby mode.
4. Switch to electric vehicles
Did you know that the running costs of an electric vehicle can be as little as 20% of the cost of a similar size diesel engine? If your business has vehicles, you should consider switching to electric vehicles. Also, if you have a Day and Night meter, recharging vehicles on the night-rate electricity tariff, will ensure significant savings. Did you know Panda introducedIrelands first ever fully ‘Electric Bin Truck’? Our zero emission refuse collection vehicle (eRCV) is the first of its kind for a municipal waste and recycling operator in Ireland.
5. Generate energy
- Commercial solar panels. Ireland’s climate is much more favourable to solar than many people realise. There are many benefits to having solar panels installed for your business such as reduced electricity costs (as you generate free electricity), reduced carbon taxes and the grants available make it easy to generate long terms savings and quick pay back. Did you know Panda have installed solar panels on the roof of our ‘Irish Packaging Recycling’ sorting centre in Ballymount Dublin? These solar panels power Irelands largest household recycling facility and also charge our electric vehicles.
- Combined heat and power. Installing waste heat recovery systems allow you to capture excess heat from process heating and reuse it for cogeneration. There are many benefits to this which include reduction in energy costs, reduction in CO2 emissions, generation of valuable fuel resources and lower carbon tax. This form of cogeneration can be costly, so it’s important to consider the scale of your facility to determine its value.
6. The hybrid approach
If it’s possible for your business and your employees, ask them to work from home on designated days. Using VPN technology allows employees to securely connect to your business’s network. With fewer employees in the office, less lighting and cooling/heating would be required, thereby reducing energy costs. Not to forget, your employees will also be reducing their carbon footprint by not driving or getting public transport into work. Win win!
For the most effective energy saving success, Panda recommends getting everybody in your business involved!
- Make sure you have senior management on board
- Ask for suggestions through emails or suggestion boxes from all employees. People tend to respond and engage better when they are involved in the decision making.
- Measure progress and send updates to your employees so they can see the results for themselves.
- Reward great ideas and achievements.