Happy Earth Day!

Happy Earth Day! April 22, 2014
Happy Earth Day! April 22, 2014

In honor of Earth Day, I’m reposting the Top 10 Low or No Cost Energy Saving Strategies that we originally posted in our newsletter in 2010. How many have you implemented in your building?


Top 10 Low-Cost & No-Cost Energy Efficiency Tactics for Buildings

Adapted from Building Operators & Managers Association (BOMA) Energy Efficiency Program (BEEP) Program for HVAC.


  1. Reduce After Hours Usage of HVAC & Lighting

After hours usage is sometimes unavoidable, but blatant “on” equipment and lighting during unoccupied times is never by design. Talk to the tenants to learn if they are actually using their space during the lease-required operating hours, measure actual schedules using data logging equipment and adjust building operating hours to reflect actual tenant usage.

  1. Optimize Start-Up Time and Equipment Sequencing

Optimize the start time by turning on your equipment as late as possible in the morning to reach the desired set point when tenants enter the building. Sequence the equipment in the building over a half-hour or so to lower the peak demand.

  1. Coast the Last Hour of Operations

Understanding your building’s occupancy schedule as in #1 may allow you to turn off heating and cooling equipment during the last hour of occupancy. Be sure to maintain ventilation rates within code as you optimize the staging of systems off. The time may be different on Fridays, for example, if people leave early for the weekend than it is earlier in the week.

  1. Outside Air Temperature Lockout

To avoid the painful cost of simultaneous heating and cooling, institute an outside air temperature lockout that does not allow the heating system to operate above a certain outside air temperature. The same idea can be applied to the cooling system, close to the edge of the ideal free cooling times for your economizer.

  1. CW/HW Supply Resets

Reset the chilled water supply (CW) and hot water supply (HW) based on outside air and supply air temperature to use the minimum amount of energy to satisfy the set points. Like many of these measures, some amount of trial and error may be needed for your specific building.

  1. Supply Air Resets

To avoid unnecessary cooling and reheat issues, use a strategy of resetting the supply air temperature to the maximum temperature needed to cool the space to the set point desired.

  1. Economizer Tune Ups

Be sure your economizer controls are tuned and operating correctly to take advantage of the maximum amount of free cooling possible.

  1. Lighting Occupancy Sensors

The installation and use of occupancy sensors for reducing operating hours for individual zones or offices can have a meaningful impact on energy use. A salesperson’s office which is only occupied for an hour every morning prior to making calls does not need lights on all afternoon.

  1. Daylight Controls on the Perimeter

In a building with great perimeter light from large windows, adding daylight controls to specific light fixtures can reduce their use dramatically in the same way occupancy sensors can.

  1. Tune Up Equipment

Regularly inspect all equipment and controls to ensure they are functioning as designed. Double-check EMS programming to make sure that operations are optimized. Example: one firm corrected an EMS software programming error from “And” to “Or” and saved $3,700 annually.



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