Making energy -efficient changes in the home is important, but changes outside of the home can be just as vital. According to Transmission and Distribution World, both homes and commercial buildings use three-quarters of America's electric power.
Energy Star statistics indicate that buildings used for shopping malls, teaching and playing cost $200 billion annually in electricity and natural gas costs. These areas also emit close to half of the total greenhouse gas emissions in the U.S.
What changes can building owners make to increase energy efficiency and decrease costs and overall emissions?
- Examine the building system or normal maintenance routines: When was the building constructed? If the building is on the older side, be sure more efficient practices can be put in place with ease. Some of these changes may include sealing leaks or cracks, changing windows out or adding to insulation.
- Improve the lighting: Lighting consumes between 25-30 percent of energy in commercial buildings. By improving lighting, energy costs can be reduced and comfort increased. Often, Energy Star light bulbs can last longer than other types, giving off more light when necessary and reducing light as needed. Consider using automatic controls or dimming lights at certain times to decrease overall use.
- Take a look at the HVAC system: Heating and cooling systems are known to be one of the biggest energy users in buildings. Changing out older models for more energy-efficient ones can make all the difference in terms of comfort and money savings.
These are only some of the main energy-efficient changes that can be made. More energy-efficient tips can be found here.