What is Energy Efficiency?
Energy efficiency refers to the use of a lesser amount of energy for certain tasks while maintaining the same productivity and output. To improve this, companies can adopt certain practices and technologies that reduce energy intake for different processes while maintaining the same results.
Enhancing energy efficiency can also mean changing behaviors and habits within the company. This could involve switching to HVAC systems that consume less power, changing the ways people operate machines, and building an overall culture that revolves around energy-efficient practices.
Why Implement Energy-Efficient Strategies?
Implementing energy efficiency offers economic, social, and environmental benefits to an organization. To start, focusing on energy efficiency brings the costs of running a business down. This is because you’ll be spending less on power, which can shift your profit margins and boost income.
On top of that, modern markets highly encourage environmentally friendly practices. If organizations show that they prioritize energy efficiency, this reflects well on the overall reputation. This is especially true when trying to reach mass markets with your products or services.
Lastly, energy-efficient practices reduce a company’s carbon footprint. Many countries rely on unsustainable methods to produce energy. So, the less energy organizations use in their operations, the less impact they have on the environment. This is why energy efficiency is very important for modern companies.
Energy-Efficient Practices and Technologies
There are many ways to increase energy efficiency in your company. Different industries require different tools, so every company has a unique approach to energy efficiency. But to give you a place to start, here are some basic energy-efficient practices and technologies you can adopt within your organization.
Changing the Lightbulbs
This may seem very simple, but it can go a long way in terms of energy efficiency. Switching to LED bulbs in your organization can drastically reduce your power intake. On top of that, modern LED bulbs are very bright and available in many different colors, making it easy to choose the perfect fit for the workspace.
Modifying HVAC Systems
Just like with lightbulbs, HVAC systems have become much more efficient in recent years. Heating and cooling the workplace can cost a lot for businesses. But if you upgrade to modern HVAC systems, you’ll find yourself controlling the workplace climate much easier while using less power.
Remodelling the Workspace Around Energy Efficiency
Another way to improve energy efficiency is to remodel the workplace. For example, you can add more windows or move things around to bring in more natural light, reducing the amount of artificial light needed. You can also put better insulation in the walls to reduce the need for cooling and heating.
There are many ways to remodel your space to increase energy efficiency, giving you endless options.
Sustainable Power Sources
One major switch companies can make to boost energy efficiency is changing their power source. Sustainable power has grown a lot in recent years, and nowadays, organizations can buy solar panels and similar technology to power certain aspects of their business. That way, you rely less on fossil fuels and other unsustainable energy sources.
5 Things Households and Businesses Can Do To Reduce Energy Costs and Remain Energy Efficient
Despite the rising demand and costs of energy, consumers can find ways to minimize energy consumption and, ultimately, the impact of rising energy prices. Here are 5 tips on how to reduce energy costs and ensure high efficiency for energy-powered devices:
- Make sure that appliances are in good working order – HVAC, water heaters, and refrigerators are among the top energy consumers in homes and businesses. Having well-maintained appliances or keeping them in good working order means that the energy that these appliances consume is being used efficiently.
- Unplug electronics when not in use – It may seem trivial but electronics that are plugged even though they are not turned on still consume energy. Consider using power strips with switches to ensure that plugged electronics do not consume energy when they’re not in use.
- Turn off the lights when they’re not in use and utilize natural lighting – In addition to the use of more energy-efficient LED light bulbs, turn off the lights when they’re not in use. Also, consider opening those blinds to let natural light in on bright sunny days.
- Invest in renewable/sustainable energy – Solar and wind energy are renewable sources of energy that, given the opportunity, you may want to consider for the long term. Solar panels may seem costly at first but they pay for themselves over time for your household or business.
- Look into aligning with energy-saving schemes –Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme (ESOS) and ISO 50001 are just two of existing frameworks or schemes that your business can use in order to become more energy-efficient and in compliance with regulations and industry standards. You can also conduct energy audits in order to be more aware of how your organization is consuming energy.
Energy Efficiency Standards and Directives
Various energy efficiency standards are in place to help organizations reduce their energy usage. Here are some of the most prominent ones that are implemented in different locations:
U.S Department of Energy (DOE)
The DOE has numerous standards for different appliances in place. This ensures that the appliances and equipment are energy-efficient before they hit the market. Those that have undergone testing under these standards include plumbing, lighting, and industrial appliances.
The European Commission has established an energy efficiency directive in an effort to become a carbon-neutral continent by 2050. The directive includes various efforts to reduce consumption rates around the continent, which applies to many organizations.
Challenges in Implementing Energy Efficiency
The biggest barrier to implementing energy efficiency for organizations and personal households is financial. While shifting to energy-efficient appliances and practices can save money over time, they come with a high initial cost. This initial cost is too high for some businesses, which delays them from implementing energy-efficient practices.
On top of that, managing and maintaining a company’s energy efficiency culture is a major effort. It takes a whole team to implement energy efficiency, and many organizations don’t have the manpower or resources for it.
That said, energy efficiency remains a key issue that is crucial in achieving sustainability in the future.
FAQs about Energy Efficiency
Some examples of energy efficiency include adopting energy-efficient LED light bulbs, remodeling the workplace to let in more natural light, and shifting to modern and low-energy appliances and tools.
Currently, wind is classified as the safest and cleanest energy source. That said, it takes a major investment to shift to wind energy, which is why it can take some time before we start to adopt the technology.
While it isn’t required, energy efficiency can offer various benefits to an organization. On top of that, there are some areas with specific goals around energy efficiency that companies have to work to meet or else face consequences.
To practice energy efficiency, the entire organization needs to put in the work. Sometimes, this requires a major shift in the culture and practices. However, in the long run, this will result in more productivity and sustainability.