If you haven’t already, set up an account in ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager to start benchmarking your building. Benchmarking will help you identify underperforming buildings to target for cost-effective measures and help you verify reductions from energy-saving efforts.
Conduct a Treasure Hunt
The first step to saving energy in your building is to start by looking. During an Energy Treasure Hunt, teams walk around a facility looking for quick ways to save energy. Those quick fixes can add up to big savings. Hundreds of organizations have used Energy Treasure Hunts to reduce their facilities’ energy use by 15 percent or more.
Ways to Save
Start saving with no- and low-cost approaches, and then use savings to pay for more extensive upgrades:
- Upgrade your lighting. If your building relies on inefficient lighting, such as incandescent, halogen, HID, or T12 fluorescent, you’re missing out on significant savings. Updating your lighting can be a great first step when it comes to making your building an efficient one.
- Operations & maintenance best practices. Efficient building operation reduces operating costs, maintains comfort, and extends equipment lifetime, all without significant capital investment.
- Checklists of energy-saving measures. These checklists include energy-saving measures that can be implemented at no or low cost, or with rapid payback.
- Energy-efficient products. Purchasing efficient products reduces energy costs without compromising quality. Learn more about ENERGY STAR certified products, estimate potential savings, and specify them in your purchasing policies and contracts.
- Energy-saving competitions. Competitions can be a great way to motivate your team to find new efficiencies, engage occupants in your efforts, and multiply savings across your portfolio – all while helping the environment.
- Building upgrades. Maximize your financial and energy savings by taking a staged approached to building upgrades that accounts for energy flows among systems.
- Water, waste, and renewable energy. Check out EPA resources to expand your sustainability work to reduce water use, manage waste and materials, or purchase or install renewable energy.
Find Expert Help
EPA’s network of service and product providers (SPPs) have partnered with ENERGY STAR to offer you expert help with energy management when you need it. Many also offer innovative financing options and can help you identify, prioritize, and implement energy projects that not only cut costs and offset emissions, but can make your building more comfortable, too.
Evaluate the Economics of Energy Efficiency Projects
Making the business case for energy efficiency-related capital expense requires economic analysis. EPA provides several tools to help evaluate the economics of an energy efficiency project.
Finance Energy-Efficiency Projects
Don’t have cash on hand to pay for upgrades? Energy-efficiency projects are relatively low-risk investments, and there are many opportunities to finance energy-efficiency projects. In addition to traditional sources of funding, many utilities, governments, and nonprofit organizations offer financial support through grants, rebates, and loans. Well-designed efficiency projects are almost always fundable. With some dedicated research, a diligent organization may find special deals that save a significant amount of money. Remember there is a cost for not undertaking an efficiency investment.
Comprehensive Energy Management
Based on the successful practices of ENERGY STAR partners, EPA created guidelines that can help your organization plan and implement a comprehensive energy management program that delivers deep, sustained energy savings.
Energy efficiency can slash US energy use and greenhouse gas emissions by about 50% by 2050, getting us halfway to our national climate goals.1