Saving Energy has become a top priority for businesses and offers substancial opportunities to lower operating costs. In many cases, the up front spend is very low. There are many no or low cost strategies that can take 10-30% of your energy bill. Check out our recommendations to learn how you can save.
Track your Energy use
Set up a free account with SDG&E to start tracking your energy use. You can’t improve what you don’t measure! Sign up for My Account at SDG&E.
Join the Small Business ENERGY STAR Network
Make the pledge to buy ENERGY STAR equipment and upgrade the energy efficiency of my facilities whenever financially viable. Join the Small Business Energy Star Pledge.
Create an energy strategy for your business
Once you know how much energy you are using and how much $$$ you are spending, set your efficiency goals. The EcoDistrict team will have a simple Small Business Benchmarking program to help you do just that in Spring 2014.
Educate yourself & your team
Learn the basis of energy upgrades to better manage the process at your business. You can download a Energy Star step by step guidebook.
Make the most of what San Diego has to offer: free workshops, webinars and classes. Check the following resources and learn what’s available:
- Find SDG&E free seminars
- The California Center of Sustainable Energy is a wealth of information for local businesses and homeowners.
- North Park EcoDistrict team will be bringing educational events to North Park.
Think beyond energy
Did you know that about 19% of energy is being used to move and heat water? Lowering the thermostat on your water heater saves energy. 120° is sufficient for many common uses. Learn more about water heater efficiency
Install signs that remind staff and visitors to turn off lights when they aren’t needed.
Save energy by reducing overall lighting
Reduce lighting where possible and take advantage of natural daylight.
Do a walk through looking for unnecessary lighting- rooms that are infrequently used are a common excess. Turning lights off or dimming them during the day makes a big difference.
Install occupancy sensors.These inexpensive devices can reduce lighting costs up to 40% by turning off lights in unoccupied areas.
Install light level sensors. These simple devices turn your lights on and off depending on how bright the room is. Like occupancy sensors, those devices can be purchased at most ‘big box’ stores or via specialized vendors.
Install efficient lighting equipment
Not sure if your efficient lighting pays off? Calculate your potential savings with this simple calculator from the EPA here.
Switch your fluorescent bulbs to T5 or T8 type with electronic ballasts.
Install LED Exit signs. This can reduce costs of these signs by up to 95%.
Replace incandescent bulbs with CFLs, which can last up to ten times longer. CFLs provide the same amount of light as standard incandescent bulbs, but use up to 75% less energy. They are available in a variety of sizes and ‘colors’ at retail stores.
Get an Energy Assessmen
Contact SDG&Es to schedule a free energy assesment of your business Click here to connect with SDG&E.
Excersize efficient HVAC operations
Install programmable thermostat. Set your thermostat to best fit your needs, aim for 76F maximum cooling and 68F maximum heating.
Heat gain makes your HVAC work harder.Look for opportunities to keep your interiors cooler. When possible install window curtains and window film.
Hot machines have to work harder to provide cool air. If your HVAC units are outside, make sure they are shaded. If they are in the attic, make sure the attic is insulated.
Use your HVAC system only when needed. During off hours switch to opening windows and small fans.
Maintain your equipment
Energy Star offers tips on how to heat and cool your business efficiently. Click here to learn how to heat and cool efficiently.
Seal your heating and cooling ducts to cut down on leakage.
Follow a routine maintenance schedule to help your air-conditioning equipment run efficiently and last longer. Maintenance should be done by a HVAC Professional. Energy Star provides a helpful Maintenance Checklist.
Consider installing ENERGY STAR qualified heating and cooling equipment when it’s time to replace. Each time a replacement is needed, you have an opportunity to strive for more efficiency.
Before you invest in any new equipment make sure that your building is properly insulated and weatherized. Assessing these type of opportunities is a challenging task, you may want to contact a professional consultant to do it.
Rebates and Incentives
SDG&E offeres rebates and incentives for business energy efficiency. See available rebates here.
On-Bill Financing offers eligible customers zero-percent financing for qualifying energy-efficient business improvements.
Local Food Service Demo Kitchen!
Visit SDG&Es Food Service Demostration Kitchen. It is a ‘one stop shop’ for all energy related questions that a chef, restaurant operator or a hotel owner might have.
Energy Star Guide for Restaurants
Check out the ENERGY STAR® Guide for Restaurants.
Visit Food Service Technology Center web site. This amazing resource is a great place to educate yourself on being a green food establishment.
Sustainable Food Service offers resources on energy efficiency, food waste, cleaning green…you name it. It’s a great guide for consciencious restaurants.
Energy Star has created a list of energy savings opportunties related to Food Service Equipment (i.e. for cooking and refrigeration) from easy-to-implement strategies to strategies that produce even bigger savings.
Purchase Energy Star-Labeled Equipment
When upgrading or adding new equipment, look for the ENERGY STAR® symbol, which indicates the equipment meets federal standards for energy efficiency. Remember to properly dispose your old equipment.
Consider EPA Checklist as your guideline to efficient office operations. You can create your own checklist and goals.
Use Task Lights
Install task lights at the working stations to cut down on the need for lighting large spaces.
Be as digital as possible. Use digital files instead of printing! Email is much more energy efficient than your printer.
Turn it Off
Power down equipment. Turn off or set office equipment to power down when not in use. Turning off one computer and monitor nightly and on weekends can save up to $80 a year. Collectively, it all adds up!