REDUCING BUSINESS ENERGY COSTS
RENEWABLE ENERGY • LINKS
REDUCING BUSINESS ENERGY COSTS
Businesses across the U.S. are doing their part to improve their energy efficiency. Many are working with the EPA’s ENEGY STAR program to ensure that their buildings use 40 percent less energy than the average building. They are educating their employees about the value of saving energy at home and at work. Here are some quick tips to helping reduce your business’ energy costs:
- Install programmable thermostats for better control of heating and air conditioning and save roughly one-fifth on your heating / cooling costs.
- Seal off unused areas and reduce or eliminate heating and cooling in these spaces. Storage rooms, warehouses, and unoccupied areas are potential ‘energy vampires’.
- Reduce your heating load. Keep exterior doors closed. Also, pull curtains, shades, and blinds at night to retain heat and open on clear days to take advantage of heat from the sun.
- Perform routine and regular maintenance on mechanical equipment and your building. Inspect and patch leaks, clean or replace air filters, check fan belts, lubricate motors, pumps and fans, clean condenser coils, and make sure refrigeration seals are airtight. Well maintained equipment runs much more efficiently, reducing energy costs and extending the life of the equipment.
- Lower the temperature on your water heater. 120 degrees is recommended for most common uses. A 10 degree reduction can save up to 5 percent on water heating costs. Food service/sales businesses and medical facilities should consult local code requirements as a higher temperature may be required.
- If you have a boiler system that doubles as your water heater, consider installing a separate water heater. You can then shut down the larger boiler system during the summer months.
- Turn off lights in unoccupied spaces. Better yet, install motion sensors in conference rooms, closets, restrooms, and break rooms. Motion sensors can reduce lighting costs up to 40 percent in areas where lights are generally left burning all the time.
- Consider buying efficient replacement bulbs. Incandescent bulbs can be replaced with compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs). CFLs burn cooler, use up to two-thirds less energy, and last about ten times longer than incandescent bulbs.
- Replace fluorescent and incandescent lights in exit signs with LED fixtures, which use 80–95 percent less energy and last 10–20 times longer. While LED exit signs may cost around $100 more than incandescent signs, a typical exit sign will last about 10 years, and the energy saved and reduced maintenance costs will pay back your investment in less than three years.
- Turn off or program 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. Setting PCs, monitors and copiers to sleep mode when not in use can help cut energy costs by up to 50 percent.
- Invest in energy-efficient equipment. Choose ENERGY STAR® products when upgrading or replacing equipment. These products meet federal standards for energy efficiency and are often available at the same cost as other models. ENERGY STAR products can cut related annual energy expenses by 30 percent.
- Practice responsible energy accounting. Track monthly energy costs to identify potential problems or ways to improve efficiency.
A range of state-sponsored programs are available to businesses looking for new avenues to reduce energy costs. Among those you may wish to check first are:
Industrial Energy Efficiency Program
WasteCap Resource Conservation Network
NH Business Resource Center
For specific utility-administered programs see the listings below:
Energy Efficiency Programs
New Hampshire businesses can take advantage of statewide energy efficiency products and services. These programs are dedicated to advancing the efficient use of energy while caring for the environment and promoting economic development. Information on electric utility programs is available at nhsaves.com. To contact your natural gas utility, visit Northern Utilities, KeySpan, or gasnetworks.com.
Below are descriptions of energy efficiency programs available to natural gas utility customers:
KeySpan Natural Gas Commercial Energy Efficiency Program
The Commercial Energy Efficiency Program provides support services and incentives to encourage commercial customers to install energy efficient natural gas related features. All firm commercial and firm transportation rate customers can participate. Program services include Energy Audit and Engineering Services, Prescriptive Rebates, and Custom Incentives.
Northern Utilities Natural Gas Commercial, Industrial and Multifamily Energy Efficiency Programs
More than ever, businesses are looking for cost and energy savings as well as added comfort. The Northern Utilities Partners in Energy program for commercial, industrial and multifamily customers makes it all possible. Northern Utilities’ Partners in Energy Program, will arrange to provide a free or reduced-cost energy assessment of your C&I or multifamily property. At the conclusion of the energy assessment, you will receive a written report listing energy-saving opportunities. The report will also detail the projected financial benefits of each identified opportunity. Plus, we’ll relieve you of the headaches of installing energy-saving upgrades. We’ll assist you in identifying an independent installation contractor to do all the necessary work for the products you want. All workmanship and materials installed under the program are warranted for one year by the contractor. And best of all, we’ll share the costs with you.
Below are descriptions of energy efficiency programs available to electric utility customers:
National Grid Electric Energy Efficiency Programs (formerly Granite State Electric)
Our energy efficiency programs can help improve the energy efficiency at your existing or new facility by lowering your operation and maintenance costs. Programs include: Large Business Programs, Small Business Program, and Training & Education.
New Hampshire Electric Co-op Products and Services
New Hampshire Electric Co-op offers a variety of energy saving and energy efficiency programs for large and small businesses. Included are: Large Business Energy Solutions, Small Business Energy Solutions, New Businesses and Construction, PAYS, Area Lighting Solutions, and more.
Public Service of New Hampshire Business Efficiency Programs
PSNH can assist your business with energy efficiency measures such as: New Equipment & Construction, Large Business Retrofit, Small Business Retrofit, Renewable Rate, Schools, and more.
Unitil Commercial & Industrial Customer Information
In today’s business climate getting the best value for your energy dollar has never been more important. That’s why Unitil is making it easier for you to improve your business’s energy strategy by providing you with the tools and information you need to make sound energy decisions. Unitil offers information on Energy Efficiency Programs as well as Optimizing Your Energy Strategy. Unitil also offers Education and Training Opportunities to help businesses learn more about promoting energy efficiency.
Energy efficiency and energy conservation can be the most cost-effective and least-polluting means of reducing our demand for energy. However, energy demand cannot be eliminated completely. Thus, renewable energy can be a valuable complement to energy efficiency and conservation. Among the potential benefits of renewable energy are:
- More secure availability because:
- it can be produced close to point of use;
- it has multiple sources, such as hydro, solar, wind, biomass, geothermal.
- Efficiency gains due to less energy consumed in transmission or transport.
- More energy dollars are retained in local or regional economy, not exported.
- Renewable energy installations can create additional local jobs.
- Reduced pollution compared with fossil fuel sources.
- Can be greenhouse gas-neutral.
- Lifetime cost can be lower than for non-renewable energy sources.
- “Wastes” such as manure, sewer gas, landfill gas, landscape trimmings, can become energy resources.
For information on renewable energy, go to the Renewable Energy Information page of the Resource Library on the OEP website.
The following links are provided to assist New Hampshire businesses in saving energy and money by reducing energy use and increasing energy efficiency.
Energy Savings and Efficiency Programs – New Hampshire
National Grid - For Your Business (formerly Granite State Electric)
New Hampshire Electric Co-op - Energy Saving Programs
PSNH - Business Customer Information
Unitil - Commercial and Industrial Information
KeySpan – Energy Saving Programs
Northern Utilities – For Your Business
WasteCap Resource Conservation Network
Granite State Clean Cities
Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy – Consumer’s Guide for Your Business
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Alliance to Save Energy
Clean Cities Program
Geothermal Heat Pump Consortium
CEE Consortium for Energy Efficiency, Inc.
Fuel Price Information
OEP Fuel Prices
Oil Heat Council of New Hampshire
National Association of State Energy Officials
The U.S. Dept. of Energy’s Energy Information Administration
Renewable Energy Access
Center for Renewable Energy and Sustainable Technology (CREST)
National Renewable Energy Laboratory
Northeast Sustainable Energy Association
Pellet Fuels Institute
Schools Going Solar
Sustainable Buildings Industry Council
US Dept. of Energy’s Million Solar Roofs Initiative
NH Energy Facts
Information designed to help foster an understanding of New Hampshire’s use of energy and the economic and environmental implications of that demand. By providing statistical insight into how much and what types of energy we use for different purposes in New Hampshire, New Hampshire Energy Facts gives policy makers, state agencies and businesses in New Hampshire the baseline information they need to make well-informed decisions about issues affecting energy production and use.