Energy Tips for Offices

For Employers

Lighting

  • Consider replacing incandescent lighting fixtures with ENERGY STAR compact fluorescent light bulbs. These bulbs last 10x’s longer and use ¼ of the electricity of incandescent lights.
  • Investigate retrofitting existing T12 fixtures to be able to use T8 or T5 tubes.
  • Look for opportunities for using natural lighting in office areas with exterior windows.

HVAC

  • Ensure HVAC units are properly maintained throughout the year. Clean coils annually. Ensure filters are changed or cleaned on a regular basis.
  • Utilize the economizer setting on HVAC units whenever possible.
  • Establish temperature set points. During the summer, office temperatures should be set between 78 -80 degrees fahrenheit. During the winter, office temperatures should be set between 65 degrees - 68 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Install a programmable HVAC controller that will allow you to adjust space temperature based on occupancy. The controller can be used to raise or lower temperatures as appropriate when areas are unoccupied (weekends, evenings). Find more information on ENERGY STAR programmable thermostats.

Windows/Doors

  • Check your home for drafts. Drafts can be caused by air leaking in from the outside through doors, windows, etc. By sealing and insulating any air leaks, your office can be made more energy efficient and more comfortable. Find more information about insulating and sealing your office at the Air Seal and Insulate ENERGY STAR website.
  • If drafting is severe around your windows, consider upgrading to new energy efficient windows. If new windows are not cost effective, consider purchasing a window insulation kit from your local hardware store.

Electricity

  • Do not allow personal fans/heaters/refrigerators/microwaves to be brought in to work. Each of these devices consumes additional electricity. Ask employees to leverage the common office devices instead.
  • Purchase Energy Star computers, copiers, fax machines, etc. whenever possible. Find more information about ENERGY STAR office equipment.

For Employees

Lighting

  • Turn off lights when lights are not needed. Look for lights being left on overnight or in infrequently used areas like conference rooms and storage closets.
  • Look for opportunities to use natural lighting from windows to light your office .

Electricity

  • Do not bring in personal fans/heaters/refrigerators/microwaves to work. Each of these devices consumes additional electricity. Leverage the common office devices instead.
  • Turn off or leverage “sleep” modes on computers and copiers.

For Commercial and Industrial

Combustion Systems

  • Check to ensure that combustion burners are running at the correct air to fuel ratio. If you are not familiar with this process, your equipment manufacturer or a local combustion expert can help tune your burners to the optimal air to fuel ratio as well as provide training on how to periodically check your burners for proper operation moving forward.
  • Ensure heat transfer surfaces (heat exchangers, burners, etc) are kept clean. Any buildup of material on heat transfer surfaces can hinder energy transfer and make the equipment less efficient.
  • Properly maintain the insulation on combustion equipment. This works to minimize heat loss to the environment. Any heat lost to the environment lowers the efficiency of your equipment.

Steam Generation Systems

  • Check your boiler chemistry on a regular basis. Optimal water treatment will minimize boiler blowdown, saving natural gas and water.
  • Repair any existing steam leaks. Steam leaks represent lost energy.
  • Maximize condensate recovery. The more condensate is recovered, the greater the efficiency of the steam system.
  • Implement an effective steam trap maintenance program. On a regular basis, each steam trap should be inspected to ensure it is operating properly. All failed steam traps should be replaced or repaired.

Compressed Air

  • Audit your facility for compressed air leaks on a regular basis. Leaks should be repaired when identified, if possible. An ultrasonic indicator can also be purchased to help find small air leaks in noisy environments. Review Compressed Air Energy Tips from the U.S. Department of Energy.

Lighting

  • Look for opportunities to leverage more efficient lighting. Consider replacing existing metal halide fixtures with more energy efficient fluorescent fixtures. Investigate whether daylighting can be used in your facility to reduce electrical consumption.

For More Information