What are the best avenues to conserve energy for small office buildings?

Buildings consume almost 40% of all electricity generated worldwide. Of this, office buildings comprise a significant portion of the consumption.

The average commercial building (be it a large or small office building) wastes almost 30% of energy – wastage that could be avoided.

In fact, it’s often possible to reduce energy use by 10% with little or no cost through easy wins, such as adjusting temperature set points and switching off lights when no one’s around.

Beyond these, what are the other simple methods by which small offices and small commercial buildings can conserve significant energy, without compromising on the comforts? The qualifying word here is “simple”.

Some of the smartest methods are:

  • Passive lighting – By either keeping windows open, or opening the blinds if you have glass windows, you can get enough sunlight during day time. This implies you need have your lights on for a good part of the day.
  • Optimized use of air-conditioning – Air conditioners are the energy guzzlers in most homes and offices. Following simple habits while using an air conditioner can provide significant energy savings.
  • LED lighting

Passive lighting might not be possible for every office, but for those rooms that can get lots of sunlight, make sure you use the light from the sun, at least during certain months of the year.

Air conditioners are the real power guzzlers in most offices. By setting the air conditioner temperature more optimally ( 25 deg C is good enough comfort for humans during summer, it need not be as low as 18 deg C!), you can reduce the AC energy consumption by up to 20%. As ACs contribute to as much as 50% of our energy consumption, just keeping the AC temperature optimally could conserve energy to the extent of 20%.

Using LED lights for all office purposes might take a while, but it has been found that replacing up to 50% of lighting requirements with LEDs is quite feasible for most office environments today. As LEDs can reduce lighting energy consumption by up to 75%, this can be an effective power conservation technique for offices.

Just implementing the above three simple and practical tweaks could result in energy savings of up to 25% for many office buildings. Not a bad result for a few tweaks!

To cut down on air conditioning costs in our office, we have been testing a simple tech developed by a scientist known to us. A simple plug and play device, it essentially switches off the AC’s compressor whenevefr the temperature has reached a certain low. This device alone has resulted in a 20% reduction in power use for our office’s air conditioner, without any compromise on cooling comfort!

What are the best avenues to conserve energy for small office buildings? - Cleantech Guide

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