With warming temperatures, comes increased use of building air-conditioners. "Mechanical equipment works the hardest during the summer," says chief building engineer, Scott Slavens, CFM. The increased load on the electrical systems means an increase in operating expenses. However, there are things building owners and users can do to simultaneously decrease expenses and "be green."
A few simple steps to offset some of the increased usage cost include turning off lights when they are not in use - like when you're out for lunch - and raising thermostat temperatures a few degrees.
For the building owner who wants to make a greater move to sustainability, it is easy to change lighting from florescent to incandescent bulbs, or switching to a lower wattage. According to Slavens, 32 watts is typical for florescent lighting in an office building. If lighting is reduced to a 25-watt bulb, seven watts of electricity are saved. With the typical electricity cost per watt of $0.28, a seven-watt savings per bulb in an office building that may have 500 lamps adds up to a substantial savings of almost $1,000.
Motion sensors and timers are also good ways to save energy. Building owners are also encouraged to explore rebates and incentives available through energy providers.
"One of the easiest ways to ‘be green' and to decrease operating expenses is to take care of the ‘low hanging fruit,' which is lighting," says Slavens.
To learn more about how Zimmer has helped clients with lighting upgrades, click here.