Today is Earth Day, and LONG is happy to celebrate a holiday that aligns with our passion for energy conservation. Energy efficiency is vital to protecting the environment; after all, the building sector makes up the largest percentage of energy consumption in the United States by far – 40%! So, what building changes can you make that benefit the planet, your budget and your occupant’s comfort?
Occupancy controls offer an easy source of energy management – automatically turning building systems, such as lighting and HVAC, on when a space is in use and off when it is not. Likewise, lighting controls can sense the amount of natural light in a room and use that data to dim or brighten artificial lighting and control blinds and shades to harness that natural light and reduce energy consumption. Energy Star estimates that by ensuring lights are turned off when not needed, building owners can reduce their lighting expenses anywhere from 10% to 40%. These key features also ensure that your building maintains an optimal environment for occupants – keeping them happy and productive.
But these types of controls are not limited to the interior of your building. Scheduling features can be set to minimize energy consumption during a building’s off-hours, such as nights, weekends, and holidays. This is especially useful with consumption-heavy systems like lighting in outdoor access areas, parking lots, and signage. Scheduling sunrise and set times to control these areas can ensure your building’s exterior remains safe, as well as earth friendly.
Sometimes it’s hard to know where to begin, or what your options are – especially with an aging system. There are a variety of ways to implement energy saving measures with the help of the LONG Building Automation team. Our commitment to open systems means our customers can enjoy the option to replace, update, migrate and integrate their existing building system with new technology as it fits their budget and timeline. Our team can also help establish if a customer is eligible for financial assistance, such as the PACE program, which allows for energy efficient new installations or building upgrades to be fully financed and paid over time with energy savings. (more on the PACE program soon!)
But, it’s days like today that remind us that being earth-friendly doesn’t stop at the workplace. There are many ways you can save the earth and money right at home. Since spring has sprung, this is the perfect time to research bee-friendly plants that are native to your area and plant them in your yard. Bees are experiencing a substantial decline in population, which can significantly impact our ability to grow crops. They’re among the most important pollinators for the planet! Speaking of crops – try planting your own fruits, vegetables, and herbs. The carbon footprint that goes into getting these fresh items from the farm to your table adds up – transportation, packaging, retailing, etc. Bonus: collect rainwater to use for maintaining your new garden!
Inside your home, taking a quick audit of your appliances and fixtures can have a big impact. Leaky faucets and toilets that run constantly can cause a hefty rise in your water usage. Switch your lightbulbs to longer lasting LEDs or CFLs and save upwards of 70% off the energy it takes to run older, incandescent bulbs. Another item that’s a nuisance to everyone, not just mother earth, is junk mail. Junk mail is more than unwelcome, it’s wasteful. Here are some ways that you can opt out of offers from companies that frequently stuff your mailbox.
The opportunities for helping both the earth and your wallet are seemingly endless, and LONG wants to help your facility meet its energy efficiency potential. Our knowledgeable team can guide you through the discovery process and create a customized, long-term plan to help you upgrade your system, reduce energy consumption, improve efficiency, and save money in the process. Let’s work together on an energy efficient solution that benefits you, your occupants and our planet.
From all of us where at LONG, HAPPY EARTH DAY 2017!
Joslyn is the digital marketing coordinator for LONG. She loves to hike and play volleyball when the weather is warm and spends her free time reading, watching movies, and playing video and board games.