Savings Tips for Every Business
How does your business use energy?
Your business probably uses some combination of lighting, heating, and refrigeration. Click on the sector your business falls under for more information on rebates and quick tips to help you save.
Check out these articles about saving energy at work.
Tips for Saving Energy and Money
Wondering what you can do to make your heating more efficient? Want to learn about saving energy on your lighting costs? Click one of the options below to learn more about ways to take charge of your bottom line.
Save with the Sun
Keep blinds open on nice days so the sun can light and warm your business.
Many business spaces are over lit. Not only is this inefficient, but it makes for an uncomfortable work space. Removal of lamps or fixtures can provide higher employee comfort and productivity. You can contact a lighting designer to ensure lighting levels meet the Workers Compensation Board standards.
Control exterior lighting by installing timers or photocells. These ensure the outside lighting isn’t accidently left on during the day.
Use occupancy sensors to turn on your lights only when needed. Indoor motion sensors are great in areas that are used intermittently throughout the day, such as washrooms, meeting rooms and kitchens. Outdoor motion sensors placed around the exterior of your business add convenience and increased security. You can save up to 40% on lighting energy costs when you install occupancy sensors and get a takeCHARGE rebate.
takeCHARGE offers rebates on a variety of energy efficient lighting:
A lighting upgrade can save on more than just your electrical costs. Energy efficient lamps and bulbs last longer, saving on replacement lights and maintenance costs. No more fork lift rentals!
Upgrading to energy efficient lighting, like LED, can save you over 35% on lighting energy costs.
Encourage employees to turn off lights when not in use and when leaving the office.
Heat Recovery systems typically capture waste heat in exhaust ventilation and put it into the buildings fresh air stream. This reduces the cost of heating incoming fresh air. An HVAC expert can assess the potential savings of these systems for your facility.
Insulate, Seal and Save
Address any building envelope issues:
- Roof Insulation
- Wall Insulation
- Gaps around doors, windows and entry point into the facility
Heat up with a Heat Pump
Cold climate or low temperature air source heat pump (ASHP) systems are more efficient than conventional electric baseboards and are a great choice for larger buildings. These systems can achieve savings up to 50% compared to electric baseboards.
Install a Mini-split heat pump – These units are great for small offices and are economical to install. A mini-split heat pump can save you over 40% on your heating costs. They also offer the option of air conditioning to improve the comfort of employees and customers.
Demand Controlled Ventilation can allow ventilation to be matched with occupancy and thereby prevent over-ventilating and higher space heating costs.
Building Automation Systems – Provide central and computerized control of your building heating, ventilation and air conditioning system and make temperature and ventilation scheduling easy.
Programmable thermostats – You can save 10% or more in heating costs when you install and use programmable thermostats, and get a takeCHARGE rebate. Calculate your rebate.
If your business shuts down for an extended period of time, like over Christmas, ensure your hot water heater is turned off while you’re away.
Insulate hot water pipes. Reduce heat loss by wrapping the first three feet of piping to and from your hot water tank.
Do a temperature check – Have a qualified person check the temperature of your hot water heater tank. Most manufacturers recommend setting it between 49-60°C (140°F). Any higher can be wasteful and may produce water that is too hot at the tap.
Choose ENERGY STAR®
When replacing equipment such as dishwashers or clothes washers, purchase ENERGY STAR qualified units and save 25% energy use over a standard model.
Use “Free Heat”
Consider using a heat recovery water heater to take advantage of “free heat”. Businesses that utilize refrigeration equipment and air conditioning may save costs by recovering the waste heat from their cooling equipment. Heat recovery water heaters use this type of waste heat to pre-heat incoming water to the tank.
Energy efficient pre-rinse spray valves can save up to 25% of your spray valve energy use.
Check your faucets and repair any that leak. Leaking faucets can waste both water and electricity.
Install low flow faucet aerators – Save up to 30% on your energy use.
Install high performance shower heads – Use up to 40% less energy and get a $15 rebate for each unit you install.
Use heat recovery from the refrigeration system for space and water heating. Refrigeration systems generate large quantities of heat that can be harnessed to provide water and space heating.
Replace open coolers and freezers with doored units. Closed units will reduce energy use by 60% or more. The addition of doors means less cold air escapes into the store, resulting in less electricity use for refrigeration and space heating. Like most energy efficiency upgrades, the benefits go beyond energy savings. The doors also help reduce food spoilage and create a more comfortable shopping environment for customers.
Motors & Controls
Upgrade refrigeration to floating head pressure controls to reduce energy needs. The control system takes advantage of lower outside temperatures to reduce the refrigeration energy.
Install variable speed compressors. A compressor driven by a variable speed drive, better matches the refrigeration load and only works as hard as it needs to, thereby reducing energy requirements.
Replace evaporator fan motors with ECM motors with a free upgrade from takeCHARGE. ECMs are typically installed on evaporator fans in grocery store coolers, freezers and cold storage areas. ECMs can reduce energy use by over 50%.
Switch lights off after business hours.
Replace existing lamps with LED – Making the switch can save you up to 40% on lighting costs.
Get a free ECM motor upgrade. Electrically commutated motors (ECMs) are typically installed on evaporator fans in grocery store coolers, freezers and cold storage areas. They are an energy efficient option to alternating current (AC) shaded-pole and permanent-split capacitor motors.
Keep your motors in the best working condition:
- Perform regular cleaning and maintenance on your motors.
- Tighten belts and pulleys to prevent slippage.
- Lubricate motors and drives regularly to reduce friction.
- Replace worn bearings.
Put your motors to sleep – Set continuous use motors, such as those found in elevators and escalators, to shut down or “sleep” after a certain period of inactivity or during hours when your building is unoccupied.
Voltage – Make sure the voltage applied to the motor is as close to the design limits as possible. (The limit can be found on the motor’s nameplate). Increasing the voltage at the motor outside of its design limits can lead to a decrease in the power factor and higher electrical costs.
Switch to efficient belts – Consider switching the V-belts to synchronous belts on motors in your facility. Synchronous belts offer increased reliability and are about 3% more efficient than V-belts. Due to their design, synchronous belts are less prone to slippage, improving their efficiency and do not require re-tensioning after installation.
Vary the run speed – Use adjustable speed drives in situations where you may not need full power from the motor at all times. Variable speed drive (VSD) motors can use over 35% less energy compared to motors running at a constant speed. VSDs also allow for a ‘smooth startup’, ultimately extending the life of the motor.
Ensure your motors are not oversized for their loads, using more power than needed. Keep in mind that motors are most efficient between 75 and 100% of their full load rating.
When it’s time to replace your motors opt for premium-efficiency motors which can be up to 8% more efficient when compared to standard motors.
Energy Efficiency Really Pays Off
Unsure about investing in energy efficiency? Some upgrades will help you save a lot of energy and money every month, so they’re really worth the investment. takeCHARGE rebates help offset the initial cost. Over 700 businesses in the province are already taking advantage of this great program. You could be saving too.
Have a Question?
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