Energy saving tips for your green business

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Finding ways to conserve energy will not only move your green tourism business in a more sustainable direction, but will also save you money immediately. Energy bills (from lighting, heating and cooling buildings/facilities) are usually some of the most significant costs for businesses. Creating energy conservation policies for your business and investing in energy-saving infrastructure can reduce operating costs and show consumers your commitment to environmental values.

Here are some energy-saving tips for your green business:

Lighting 

  • Take advantage of natural lighting as much as possible and turn off lamps during the day.
  • Use compact fluorescent lights (CFLs) instead of incandescent or halogen lights. CFLs use 75% less electricity and last 10 times longer than incandescent.
  • Install motion-sensor switches in spaces used infrequently like supply rooms and stairwells.
  • Upgrade to LED lights for outside lighting instead of incandescent lights for enhanced energy efficiency. Same for holiday lighting.
  • Set all outdoor lighting on timers and adjust according to daylight hours.

Heating 
Heating is the biggest source of energy use in the winter time.

  • To keep your facility acclimatized, make sure to caulk around windows, doorframes, sills and joints. Also add weather stripping between movable and fixed sections of doors.
  • Install a programmable thermostat for your water heater. This will save you 2% on your heating bill every 1oC the temperature is lowered.
  • Invest in a solar pool heater. This can save more energy and money in the long term.

Cooling
Before the summer heat begins, think about how you are cooling the building to keep your guests comfortable.

  • Upgrade/maintain air conditioners to ensure units operate efficiently and conserve electricity.
  • Remind guests to turn off air conditioning units when leaving their room, and to close windows and doors when the air conditioning units are on.
  • Consider installing electric fans to supplement or replace air conditioning. In comparison to air conditioning, fans use very little electricity.
  • Other no- or low-cost strategies include strategic landscaping to have trees and shrubs to shade the building, and having drapes to efficiently block direct sunlight.

Equipment
Phantom power can continually draw energy from anything plugged in, especially if it has a light or sensor, wasting energy and costing you unnecessary money.

  • Power off computers each night, make it part of the company culture to shut everything down.
  • Put all electronics on power bars that are easy to access (at desk height) and can easily be shut off each day. Make sure anything that does need to be left on is on a different circuit.
  • Change all the settings of printers, computers and other electronics to go into hibernation mode when not in use. They will draw a significantly less amount of electricity.

These energy saving tips can be part of your green action plan,, which will strategically help you meet your energy saving goals. Regardless, have a look at your bills and compare them to the year before. Once you implement some of these changes, check your bills again to see how much difference it made. Sometimes doing the small things can stop you from moving up a “tier” depending on how you get billed for energy, and avoid a rate increase due to increased consumption.

Our assessors can give helpful and specific advise to your business to help you save money and reduce energy use. Contact us today to learn more.

You may also want to read: 5 Free Ways to Improve Sustainability in Business

The original concept, development and writing by Marr Consulting Services www.marrcc.com, has been modified by GreenStep Solutions in accordance with the copyright. Copyright 2008 Tourism Industry Association of Canada, Canada Tourism Commission and Parks Canada. May be reproduced and/or modified, further developed, enhanced and/or improved as any user sees fit, so long as that user includes this Copyright Notice, together with the Marr Consulting Services Credit Notice and logo contained herein, on any reproduced, modified, further developed, enhanced and/or improved version.

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