Here are ERM Business Energy’s top tips to help your organisation power down and save energy these holidays.
Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day all fall on weekdays this year, so plan ahead to stop the automated parts of buildings, like HVAC and lighting, from switching on as though it’s business as usual.
If you can’t turn them off completely, consider adjusting to an energy saving mode, so they run more efficiently while you’re away. This can be as simple as turning up the temperature set points on HVAC systems.
If only a few people are working over the holidays, there’s no need to power up your entire facility. Consider closing areas or buildings not needed and reducing the number of lifts or escalators in operation if you have them.
Encouraging people to work together in the same part of the building is an easy energy saving solution too, as you’ll only need to power the zones in use.
Sometimes it’s best to walk around buildings or facilities to see what’s capable of being turned off or adjusted to energy saving modes while they are empty or at lower capacity.
While opportunities to save will depend on your organisation, don’t just look for the obvious power-hungry culprits. Consider other items like empty fridges, hot water systems and water coolers in unused areas. Together they can add up to make a real difference. Just remember to return them to normal mode after the holidays.
While facilities and production managers are well placed to champion energy efficiency programs, they shouldn’t work alone. Experience shows organisations that succeed in achieving real energy efficiencies are those that get everyone involved. Having a workplace energy efficiency team that develops the plan, carries it out, engages with staff and reviews the data and outcomes can make all the difference. The more your organisation understands about energy consumption and what drives demand, the better position you’ll be in to drive efficiencies.
Engage your staff now, and then again just before Christmas, as they can play a big role in reducing your business’ plug loads over the break. Remind them to turn off unused equipment at the walls to avoid standby loads. Then communicate the results when work resumes in 2018, as giving feedback on energy consumption to users has been shown to generate around 10 to 15 per cent in savings.
Conserving energy over the holiday period is great, but it’s only one piece of the energy efficiency puzzle. If your organisation is serious about reducing your energy consumption, realising cost savings and driving a sustainable focus, it’s worth engaging the experts and having an energy management plan.
At ERM Business Energy, we take a holistic view of energy management and know the best results come from understanding your demand and then deploying a combination of tailored, integrated and data driven solutions for your organisation.
 Environment Change Institute, Oxford University, ‘The Effectiveness of Feedback on Energy Consumption’ 2006.