Simple Spring Tune-ups

At the start of the new year, many of us set resolutions for things we would like to improve.  For some, trimming our waist is a recurring item on our list.  How do we do that for our buildings?  Experts agree that we start by taking a look at what we are consuming.

Trimming the waste at our business is also a resolution we should consider.  That doesn’t mean laying off people either.  For many businesses, utility expenses are rising and many have no idea why.  Here are a couple easy ways to trim your wasteline and make more profit for your company.

1.) Get a fitness coach

Take a close look at how your company operates. Are the lights always on?  Is the heat always on in the winter and air conditioning always on in the summer?  Are employees constantly changing the temperature?  Are there space heaters running under some desks while the air conditioner is blowing everywhere else?

Making simple changes to turn off lights when not being used or reducing the use of furnaces or air conditioners during peak times will hardly be noticed by your employees and will save big when your utility bill is opened next month.  Keeping your office temperature one degree down in the winter and one degree up during summer can reduce the power it utilizes by 10%.

Beyond the obvious tips, what other equipment or spaces are using the most energy?  A free fitness check from 3fficient can review your utility bills and help you know where additional savings can be found.  A simple and affordable management solution is now available to help you know exactly where your energy is being utilized.  Just like hiring a security company to watch business when you aren’t around, 3fficient’s Fácil service constantly monitors your energy utilization and will warn you when energy is being wasted so that you can make adjustments right away or automate the process.

2.) Stop throwing money out the windows

When you look at your windows are they covered with blinds while the lights are on?  Feel the glass.  Is it cold or hot?  Regular glass allows 70% of heat or cold to pass through.  Tinting or blinds darkens the room and require interior lights to be used.  Wait.  Doesn’t that defeat the whole purpose of even having windows?  Why close the blinds and turn on the lights?  Regular tinting might block the glaring light but does little to block the heat or cold air.

First, check the framing and insulation around the windows to ensure it is tight and is not allowing air to pass. If the windows are sealed ok, it may still feel drafty near the windows.  That’s often just thermal convection caused by the cold windows.  If your windows are in good shape, but require blinds or heavy tinting, 3fficient has a remarkable new clear window insulation that blocks over 95% of infrared heat transfer while allowing in 96% of the natural visible light and blocking 100% of the harmful UV rays.  So, use the outside light, it’s free!  Your spaces will be more comfortable, a/c and lighting loads will drop considerably and you’ll trim the fat off your utility bills without breaking a sweat.


Fortune telling… Predict failure before it happens

Do things ever break when it’s a good time?  I’ve never had my car break down when I had no where in particular to go.  The projector never stops working until the client is getting ready to arrive for a presentation.  If only we had a crystal ball, we’d all use it to take care of office issues BEFORE they occur.

Crystal balls might be the devices of legends but we now have more data available than ever before that, when analyzed proactively, tell us that doom is on the horizon.  Here’s how you can tell the future by understanding how your company is using electricity.

You can’t understand what you don’t measure.

You don’t need to be an electrician to understand the basics of how your office is powered.  The utility company provides power to your building, it connects to a circuit breaker that then connects the many different locations within your company.  You see a statement each month that shows how much total energy you are using.  Simple enough.  But which devices or locations in your building are using the most, or too much, energy?

Now there’s a simple device you can plug into your circuit breaker that measure how much each circuit is utilizing.  The E2 Submeter provides up to the minute voltage and current measurement enabling highly accurate power and energy monitoring all the way down to the device level.

Ok, so now you know where your energy is being used.  Now what?

The next step is monitoring and analyzing all the information gathered. Fácil by 3fficient, is a cloud based service that receives the data provided from the E2 Submeter.  Baselines and trends are established and alerts are available whenever energy is utilized that exceeds what is normally used.  Equipment that is not operating properly tends to draw more power before it stops completely.   By detecting these subtle shifts in energy usage, you can understand which devices in your location are getting ready to fail.  Fixing equipment before it breaks will often be cheaper than replacing it completely.  Plus, avoiding the hassle of equipment failure will keep your business running smoothly.  And, by avoiding excessive energy usage, your utility bill will remain predictable and low.

This sounds expensive, right?  It isn’t.  In fact, the energy bill savings alone should far exceed the monthly subscription cost.  Then there’s other cost savings from preventing equipment failures, continuous commissioning and ongoing energy savings recommendations.  Still not sure?   Get a free QuickLook energy assessment to see how your building performance compares to others and see what can be done to improve performance.  You may not be a wizard and there may be no such thing as a crystal ball, but with Fácil, you’ll see the future…and right now, it’s looking pretty green.