Energy > Energy Efficiency

An energy audit will identify opportunities for cost savings through efficiency improvements. In the absence of an audit, consider implementing the suggestions in the sections below.

The federal government’s Energy Star program offers many technical resources to help your organization reduce its energy use:

Energy Star Building Manual
Energy Star Building Manual: Lighting
Energy Star Building Manual: Financing
Energy Star Building Manual: Air Distribution Systems
Energy Star Building Manual: Heating and Cooling
Energy Star Building Manual: Investment Analysis
Energy Star Building Manual: Financing

For a list of energy efficiency incentives and rebates in your state, visit the Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Efficiency

Calculate savings from energy efficient products

Tips for reducing energy use

There are many things that your organization can do to increase the efficiency of its energy use. The tips below are a useful start.

  • Buy Energy Star-rated appliances, electronics, lighting, and HVAC systems. For product categories that are not rated by Energy Star, consult the Federal Energy Management Program’s procurement guide.
  • Seal leaks in the building envelope
  • Increase insulation, especially along windows and above ceilings
  • Lower the temperature on your thermostats
  • In the heating season, keep shades on sun-facing windows open during the day and closed at night. In the cooling season, keep shades on sun-facing windows closed during the day
  • Install programmable thermostats
  • Lower the thermostat on your water heaters
  • Properly insulate hot water storage tanks
  • Replace single-pane windows with double-pane Energy Star-rated windows
  • Replace incandescent light bulbs with more efficient compact fluorescents

For more on reducing your facility’s energy use, consult with your energy suppliers and local Public Utilities Commission, and visit the pages below:

Federal Energy Management Program
U.S. Department of Energy – Energy Saving Tips
Energy Star
American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy
Tax Incentives Assistance Project
U.S. Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Office

Reducing energy use saves money

Reducing your organization’s energy consumption is smart business.

Through the installation of energy efficient LED lighting and electronically-commutated motors (ECMs) on refrigeration systems at stores and warehouses, Stop & Shop has saved $4 million in cost savings and utility rebates between 2008 and 2011. With the assistance of Bluestone Energy Services, these upgrades have saved over 46 million kWh in four years, with an average payback period of two years.

Between 1990 and 2008, IBM avoided 5,000,000 MWh of energy, yielding savings of over $340 million in direct energy expenses through energy conservation initiatives. IBM’s energy strategy now aims for even more reductions through efficiency and conservation, targeting a total reduction of 1.1 million MWh between 2009 and 2012. As of 2011, IBM has already made progress towards this goal, reducing electricity use by 523,000 MWh and saving an additional $50 million.

Between 2000 and 2006, with the assistance of Avista Advantage (now Ecova), an energy consulting company, Food Lion reduced energy consumption in its stores by 25%, even though its total number of stores increased. Through a variety of upgrades to lighting, HVAC, and refrigeration systems, the company has saved $105 million. Case Study

Sports Case Studies

Through numerous energy efficiency improvements, the Seattle Mariners reduced Safeco Field’s use of natural gas by 66 percent and electricity consumption by 30 percent in 2009 compared to 2006. The Mariners saved over $1 million in utility costs for electricity, natural gas, water and sewer discharges in just over three years One of their cost-saving initiatives was to replace their old incandescent bulb scoreboard and cooling system with a new LED scoreboard. Replacing the scoreboard not only lowered electricity consumption by over 90 percent from 1.2 million kWh to 130,000 kWh, but also reduced energy costs by $50,000 per year, not including an anticipated rebate for the project of about $150,000 from the local utility. The Mariners are also investing in HVAC changes, lighting retrofits, and plumbing changes, including the recent installation of waterless urinals. These projects are estimated to save an additional $500,000 annually. Read more about the Mariners’ greening efforts.

Through improved operating systems, lighting controls, occupancy sensors, and CFL retrofits, the energy use at the St Louis CardinalsBusch Stadium has been reduced by nearly 24% since the facility opened in 2006. Their annual energy cost has been reduced by 15.2%, saving just over $300,000.

Environmental Benefits

Electric power plants are the country’s largest industrial source of the pollutants that cause global warming, acid rain, and mercury poisoning in lakes and rivers. By conducting an energy audit, your organization can identify ways to reduce its consumption of fossil fuels and contribution to emissions of greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide and methane, as well as other pollutants such as sulfur dioxide (causes acid rain), nitrous oxide (creates ground level ozone and causes respiratory disease), mercury (poisons streams and lakes and causes neurological damage), and fine particulate matter (causes respiratory disease).

Additional Resources

Commercial Office Building Best Practices
New York City – Manual for Quality, Energy Efficient Lighting
Environmental Benefits and Cost Savings Calculator for Purchasers
Energy Star Savings Calculators
Energy Star Building Manual
Energy Star Building Manual: Lighting
Energy Star Building Manual: Financing
Energy Star Building Manual: Air Distribution Systems
Energy Star Building Manual: Heating and Cooling
Energy Star Building Manual: Investment Analysis
Energy Star Building Manual: Financing
EPA – Greenhouse Gas Emissions Calculator
EPA – Greenhouse Gas Emissions
Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Efficiency