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Cutting Energy Costs: Small Changes Make a Big Difference

Power - Gannett Fleming
Author: Tony Zamberlan, PE, Vice President, Power Services
Most businesses are looking to reduce energy costs. Conducting an energy audit helps identify specific ways your business can realize meaningful and measurable energy savings, leading to lower operating expenses and sustainability goal success. Typically, the first steps suggested by an audit are simple—measures any company can implement. Going a little further can increase savings and reduce costs even more.

First Steps

Converting to LED can cut your lighting system’s energy consumption by as much as two-thirds. Most businesses that switch to LED will see a return on investment in two to three years. Installing a lighting management system that senses occupancy or turns lights on and off according to a set schedule will also slash consumption. Too many businesses waste energy by keeping lights on all the time, even when no one is working.

Replacing older HVAC motors with high-efficiency motors and eliminating leaks within air-compression systems are two surefire energy-savers. Using a variable frequency drive (VFD) on fan and pump motors eliminates the need for dampers or valves that reduce output even as the motor operates at full speed.

Going Further

An evaluation of your building’s insulation goes hand in hand with upgrading HVAC components. Infrared scanning quickly identifies degraded insulation that requires immediate replacement. 

An energy monitoring system and careful examination of energy contracts are vital components of a comprehensive energy-reduction strategy. A monitoring system tracks energy usage so you can see exactly where energy is going and how it’s being used. It also provides a baseline for evaluating the effectiveness of energy-saving measures. Without a monitoring system in place, businesses trying to cut energy costs are flying blind.
Reviewing the often-complicated rate data included in utility bills lets you pinpoint changes that could dramatically reduce your payments. If your electricity provider sets different rates based on time of use, shifting the hours of certain activities might help you to take advantage of lower rates. Determining the specific rate at each metering point might show that reducing the number of metering points will generate substantial savings.

It Works

Small changes can make a big difference. Gannett Fleming achieved more than $500,000 in utility savings over eight years by making many of these improvements at our corporate headquarters. We are happy to help you identify ways you can make an impact on your bottom line and on the environment.

Similar Blogs: Corporate, Power, Sustainability