Ways to Save

Every year, much of the energy Florida consumes is wasted through inefficient equipment, transmission, heat loss, and inefficient technology — costing Florida families and businesses money, and leading to increased carbon pollution.

Energy efficiency is one of the easiest and most cost-effective ways to combat climate change, clean the air we breathe, improve the competitiveness of our businesses, and reduce energy costs for consumers.

The components of a building envelope directly affect overall cooling and heating performance and you can significantly reduce energy consumption by implementing measures that target these areas.

In Florida, according to the U.S. Department of Energy, nearly 45 percent of a building’s energy consumption goes toward fulfilling HVAC requirements. Unfortunately, a significant portion of this energy is wasted due to heat gain from air infiltration and inadequate insulation. By sealing air leaks and improving your building’s insulation levels, you can minimize the amount of energy used to condition your building.

There are a number of opportunities for air to leak into and out of a building, including door and window frames, recessed lights, electrical outlets and switches, sill plates, plumbing and utility access, dropped ceilings, water and furnace flues, and ductwork. Sealing these areas effectively can result in significant energy savings.

Click to learn more about a building envelope.

FPUA recommends the following tips to quickly and most effectively help you conserve energy, trim costs and gain control over the energy usage in your business:

  1. Occupancy sensors help control lighting in spaces that are often left unoccupied such as conference rooms or restrooms. Installing occupancy sensors could reduce your total lighting costs by 15%.
  2. Replacement of traditional incandescent light bulb for a Compact Fluorescent Lamp (CFL) or Light Emitting Diodes (LED) and save $30 or more in electricity with each replacement over its lifetime. CFLs and LEDs use 75 percent less energy and last up to 10 times longer.
  3. Replace incandescent bulbs in exit signs with light-emitting diodes (LEDs), and save about 80 percent on signage operating cost. If LEDs are not compatible with your current sign, a new sign is inexpensive and could pay for itself within a year. Rebates are available from FPUA.
  4. Consider using "smart" power strips to reduce the power consumed by task lighting, computer accessories, fans, space heaters, and other miscellaneous plug loads in cubicles and offices. Many electronic products continue to draw power from the wall even when they are powered off. Since it's not always practical to unplug these items whenever you leave your desk, "smart" power strips can effectively do so for you. Save up to 30 percent by using smart power strips to regulate energy use on equipment such as computers, copiers and printers.
  5. Consider enabling the sleep mode on office computers to achieve savings up to $20 per year for each computer.
  6. Use up to 30 percent less energy when you switch to a fluorescent lighting system that operates with energy-efficient electronic ballasts rather than magnetic ones.
  7. Cut lighting energy use by as much as 70 percent using timers or setting up a scheduling system to control lights on a predictable schedule.
  8. When it’s time to replace printers, refrigerators and other office equipment, choose products that have the ENERGY STAR® label.
  9. Programmable thermostats can be helpful for business customers by reducing air conditioning during unoccupied hours.
  10. A single-paned window has an R-value (measure of the ability to prevent heat flow) of 1, making it little more than a hole in the wall. Fortunately, in recent years, double-paned windows, along with other energy efficient features, have become more standard. Older facilities can likely benefit from improvements to windows.
  11. Window film and solar screens can help increase energy efficiency, saving up to 15 percent on cooling costs by reducing the amount of heat coming in from the sun. It can also help protect interior furnishings and equipment from harmful ultraviolet rays. Window Film rebates are available while funds exist.
  12. High-efficiency AC heat pumps can save 40 percent on cooling and heating costs depending on the size and efficiency of the unit, and incentives are available to help offset the installation cost.
  13. Demand Control Ventilation (DCV) helps maintain an appropriate temperature based on the occupancy of the room and can save up to 20 percent on heating and cooling costs. DCV can be installed on existing HVAC systems.
  14. Adding insulation will help you save up to 15 percent on HVAC costs, and incentives are available for upgrades. If the insulation in your building is less than R-12, you may be eligible for this rebate program while funds exist.

You understand that energy management is a top priority in the success and sustainability of your business. Therefore it’s important to seek out new ways to reduce energy in your daily usage, whether it’s by optimizing current energy use or embedding energy awareness in your company’s culture. Use the links below to learn about energy and energy conservation for your business, because energy savings matter. 

Window Film - $.45p/sqft up to $200 max

Installing solar window film on pre-existing businesses can help reflect the heat during hot summer days. Your cooling unit will become more efficient. Shading Coefficient (SC) of film or screen must be 0.5 or less.

Commercial LED Exit Signs- $25 each up to $150 max

New exit signs must meet UL-924 requirements, all applicable fire codes, use 5 watts or less and have a minimum product life of 10 years and must be listed as an Energy Star® certified product. Only new LED exit signs that replace incandescent or fluorescent exit signs qualify. Licensed electrical contractor required for install; business locations only.

Natural Gas

Replace Natural Gas Appliance (Gas to Gas)

  • Tank Water Heater: $500.00
  • Tankless Water Heater: $550.00
  • Clothes Dryer: $450.00
  • Range: $400.00
  • Furnace: $600.00
  • Fryer: $550.00

Switch (Electric to Gas)

  • Tank Water Heater: $550.00
  • Tankless Water Heater: $675.00
  • Clothes Dryer: $500.00
  • Range: $450.00
  • Furnace: $725.00
  • Fryer: $600.00

Note: “Replace” means Natural Gas is already used for that appliance and you are replacing it with a Natural Gas appliance. “Switch To” means you have an Electric appliance, or no appliance, and you change out to a Natural Gas appliance. Proof of installation and/or permits or required.

To help you develop a plan for conserving water in your business, here is a checklist, found at Grainger.com to get you started:

Increase Employee Awareness

  • Put up signs encouraging water conservation in kitchens, locker rooms, and restrooms.
  • Assign an employee to determine and monitor the quantity and purpose of water use and to identify water waste.
  • Offer incentives to employees whose suggestions to save water also save money and brainstorm other methods to conserve water.
  • Inform your chemical suppliers or service contractors (cooling tower, laundry, dishwasher, landscaping) that water efficiency is a priority.

 

Adopt Water-Saving Maintenance and Equipment

  • Set attainable goals for water use reduction. Read water meters weekly to monitor the success of your water conservation efforts and let employees know how they’re doing.
  • Use water-efficient plumbing fixtures, appliances, and other equipment. (Use the WaterSense® approved products to be assured that the products meet water efficiency standards. See information at the end of this article)
  • Use a broom, rather than a hose, to clear sidewalks, driveways, loading docks, and parking lots.
  • Check your water supply system for leaks. Repair dripping faucets and toilets that run continuously or leak.
  • Keep equipment calibrated and operating properly.

 

Adjust Equipment to Use Less Water

  • Discontinue use of continuous flows and reduce other intermittent discharges of water.
  • Install water saving devices to decrease consumption, such as toilet dams, flappers, flow reduction valves, faucet aerators, and cooling system devices.
  • Use water recycling systems for chillers and cooling towers.
  • Consider installing energy- and water-efficient air conditioning equipment.
  • Identify discharges that may be re-used, and implement re-use practices. Some discharges with potential for re-use are:
    • Bottle and can soak and rinse water
    • Cooler flush water, filter backwash
    • Pasteurizer and sterilizer water
    • Final rinses in wash cycles, tank cleaning, keg washers, fermenters
    • Refrigeration equipment defrost
    • Equipment cleaning
    • Floor and gutter wash

 

Design and Maintain Landscapes for Efficiency

Landscape irrigation practices in the US consume large quantities of potable water. Outdoor uses, primarily landscaping, account for 30% of the 26 billion gallons of water consumed daily in the US.

  • Hire a landscape manager or service experienced in water-efficient landscaping concepts.
  • A hearty rain can eliminate the need for watering – install a rain sensor that shuts down automatic irrigation systems when it rains. Make monthly (or even better – weekly!) adjustments to your irrigation controller to account for weather changes.
  • Consider using an automatic sprinkler control system that allows you to program and control your water output directly from your computer via a wireless link. The system automatically connects to weather satellites to adjust the sprinkler schedule to rain and other climate patterns in your area and lets you view how much water you’re saving in real-time on your computer. Weather-based irrigation controllers can save nearly 24 billion gallons per year across the United States—approximately equal to more than 7,000 hoses constantly running for a full year!
  • Water your lawn in the early morning or in the evening, when temperatures are cooler and water isn’t lost to evaporation. However, watering in the evening can promote fungus or other lawn diseases.
  • Consider using low-volume irrigation, such as a drip irrigation system. It is a good alternative for flowerbeds and shrubs that applies water directly to the roots, which significantly reduces evaporation. This can be an effective strategy for earning LEED credits for reduced water use.
  • Limit or exclude water demanding turf areas to where they are actually necessary, such as picnic areas, playgrounds and sports fields. Use low water turfs and native or regionally adapted plants in other areas.
  • Design watering systems with dual lines to irrigate turf separately from trees, shrubs and perennials, which require less water.
  • Investigate the availability of reclaimed water for irrigation and other approved uses.

 

WaterSense® A Guide to Water Efficient Products

WaterSense® is a voluntary public-private partnership program sponsored by the EPA. WaterSense® is the symbol for water-efficient products, services and practices. By setting performance and water use specifications, WaterSense® helps consumers and businesses identify products that meet EPA criteria for efficiency and performance. WaterSense®-labeled products are approximately 20% more water-efficient than conventional models in the same category. Generally, WaterSense®-labeled products perform their intended function as well as or better than their less efficient counterparts. For more information, go to www.epa.gov/watersense