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The biggest risk-takers in America's economy are its small business leaders. These leaders are the key to a robust economy and a strong nation. From inventors working in their basements to Fortune 500 companies, American commerce must be nurtured at all levels. And as energy prices continue to rise, pursuing alternative energy technologies is not merely a moral good — it is a good business strategy.
-US Department of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy

 

Office buildings consume the most energy of any commercial building type.

 

Office equipment now accounts for almost 16% of an office building's energy use.

Heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) and lighting consume an enormous amount of the operating budget.

 

Save Money and Boost Productivity

Creating an energy efficient work environment can provide you with 30-50 percent savings on your energy costs and boost morale and productivity with comfort and health benefits such as:

bulletNatural light
bulletA reduction in toxic chemicals
bulletBetter temperature control
bulletEnhanced ventilation
bulletImproved indoor air quality

The proven advantages to the business include:

bulletLess absenteeism
bulletIncreased productivity
bulletLonger tenant life (for building owners)
bulletReduced energy bill

In existing buildings, renovations that replace older systems with more efficient technology can yield savings of up to 30%, with the same positive impact on building comfort. A quick way to realize savings of 10% or more—at little or no cost—is to effectively operate and maintain existing systems. Energy-smart behavior, such as turning off lights when leaving a room, helps reduce energy use. Automated controls like occupancy sensors and programmable thermostats ensure reduced energy use in unoccupied offices or infrequently used areas like conference rooms.

Energy Ideas for Businesses

  1. Encourage employees to turn off the lights when leaving a room or the office for the day

  2. Install occupancy sensors in rooms that are used infrequently such as conference rooms.

  3. Install energy management systems

  4. Install programmable thermostats to ensure reduced energy use

  5. Increase your use of day lighting

  6. Replace inefficient lighting fixtures

  7. Choose Energy Star office equipment such as computers, printers and copiers

Solar Energy Alternatives

Photovoltaic: Roof panels are used to converts the suns energy into electricity.

Solar Water Heating: This system absorbs the suns energy into through solar collectors that face the sun. The collectors heat the water through either an active or passive process. In active solar water-heating systems, a pumping mechanism moves heated water through the home. In passive solar water-heating systems, the water moves by natural convection. Solar water-heating systems work in tandem with conventional gas or electric water-heating systems.

Solar Air Heating: Using the collectors from solar water heating you can heat the air in your home through a passive or active system

Solar Lighting: Hybrid solar lighting optimizes sunlight in its natural form and specifically targets the energy consumed by electric lights—the largest consumer of electricity in commercial buildings. Electric lighting accounts for more than a third of all electricity consumed for commercial use in the United States.

Business Solar Tax Credit and Fuel Cell Tax Credit

Extends a 30-percent business credit, established in the Energy Policy Act of 2005, for the purchase of fuel cell power plants, solar energy property, and fiber-optic property used to illuminate the inside of a structure.  Credits may be taken against the alternative minimum tax.   Expires after December 31, 2016 from the solar energy industry association.

 

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