Guide for Energy Efficiency in Commercial Buildings

Energy efficiency tends to be more intense in commercial buildings. Whether it’s a factory, office, or warehouse, any business can benefit from making their premises more energy efficient. Energy efficiency reduces overhead costs while cutting pollution and carbon emissions. These are some practical ways to get started.

The Typical Commercial Site

For the typical office building, lighting, heating, and cooling make up around 65 per cent of total energy usage, along with powering office equipment. The rest of the energy usage can be attributed to ventilation, cooking, refrigeration, and water heating. Professional electrical services and energy assessors can perform checks to ensure that there’s no faulty wiring and make suggestions for energy usage improvement.

Conserving Energy in the Office

Conserving energy in the office often comes down to empowering staff by providing guidelines and recommendations for optimal energy usage habits.

  • Standby for office equipment should be discouraged where possible. Leaving computers, printers, and copiers on standby consumes additional energy.
  • Cleaning out ventilation ducts ensures the ventilation system operates effectively. Using natural ventilation, such as open windows, can complement electric ventilation.
  • Temperature control.Make sure the office is well insulated and sealed. Double check your thermostat and try out lower temperature settings in winter. Just a couple of degrees can make a lot of difference to your electricity bill. For cooling in the warmer months, try ceiling fans rather than relying on energy intensive air conditioning.
  • Choose energy rated appliances to cut electricity costs.
  • Always use energy efficient light bulbs and develop a policy of switching off when not in use.

Energy Efficiency for Factories

Large commercial spaces are particularly energy intensive. While energy saving practices will differ from factory to factor, these practical strategies can assist with saving energy.

  • Natural lighting.Make use of natural daylight where possible. Use skylights and plenty of windows to allow natural light to enter.
  • Selective lighting. Light non-critical layers selectively. Don’t over-light areas with little traffic or use. Use timers, key-lock switches, or occupancy sensor lightings
  • Equipment policy. Major manufacturers, such as car makers and computer manufacturers have made millions of dollars of savings by updating and reviewing equipment use. Reviewing factory equipment and machinery usage policy can significantly reduce energy usage on the factory floor.
  • While solar is not viable for all locations, in Australia, solar can be a great alternative energy source for factories and commercial sites. Some professional electrician services also provide solar installation services.

Warehouses and Other Industrial Spaces

Similar lighting policies can be applied to warehouses and other industrial spaces. However, as warehouses tend to have intensive and less intensive zones, it’s a good idea to use timed lighting or motion sensor lighting to reduce the need for manual switching on and off by staff.

Alternatively, automatic dimming lighting can be used in areas with skylights or plenty of natural lighting. These lighting devices automatically sense natural light and adjust lighting intensity.

Narrow aisles can be most efficiently lit with special lighting fixtures designed for narrow spaces. These can support better energy efficiency by eliminating the need for higher wattage lighting.

Some organisations use digital control and remote monitoring to control energy usage in their warehouses. Reviewing routing and shelving processes can further increase efficiency and reduce the use of vehicle fuel.

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