Posts Tagged ‘energy lost in buildings’

Energy Wasting – What to look out for in Occupancy Behaviour

A large percentage of energy can be saved by a change of habit. Office buildings use vast quantities of energy unnecessarily, often when no one is in the room. There four main things to look out for when performing a walk round to asses where energy is wasted through occupant behaviour. Involve staff in your walk round as much as possible. They most probably know far more about your building that you do! Dont forget to print of the checklist, found here.

  1. Lights on when not needed
    Lights are often required to be on first thing in the morning when it’s a dark, however they can be left on all day. Taking a walk around at midday/early afternoon will allow you to see if lights are on when not needed.
  2. Equipment left on
    A walk around during lunchtime will give you a picture of whether staff’s computers are left on. Although it might not be necessary to shut down computers, computer monitors should be turned off. Most monitors have an automatic standby mode. Printers and photocopiers should also be in an energy saving mode and should be turned off and night.
  3. Ventilation fans
    Ventilation fans in unoccupied areas should be switched off. This will save fan energy and the need to heat/cool the room. Ensure these are switched off at night.
  4. Heating and cooling
    Heating on during the summer? Air con in the winter?. These may be required but ensure that the thermostat is set to an appropriate temperature. 21-23°C (69-73°F) is often quoted to be the ‘thermal comfort’ temperature.

After your walk round and your checklist is complete, a report should be prepared. This report should detail any problem areas and which actions are required. The results should then be reported to staff and management. A plan of action for each individual or team is a useful way to promote your ideas.

This report should be followed up with regular walk rounds to assess progress. Setting a 3 or 6 monthly assessment is useful and will give you an excellent opportunity to analyse a quarterly electricity bill. The bill should hopefully be going down!

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