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Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Businesses can celebrate Energy Awareness Month with practical tips to save energy & money

From a news release issued by Focus on Energy:

Boost the bottom line while strategically managing energy use

Madison, Wis. (October 6, 2010)—In honor of Energy Awareness Month this October, businesses around the country are taking steps to reduce energy use by making cost-effective building improvements and getting staff involved to find smart solutions.

With cold weather on its way now is a great time for organizations to make sure they are well positioned to keep energy costs in check and save money this season, and year round. In fact, Focus on Energy, Wisconsin's statewide program for energy efficiency and renewable energy, has already helped Wisconsin businesses save more than $212 million in annual energy costs since 2001.

If organizations are unsure how to get started, Focus offers these free and low-cost best practices to help businesses get ahead this season.

1. Start an energy management team. One cost-effective way to keep tabs on energy costs is to establish an energy team within the organization. Visit focusonenergy.com/energyteam for a free toolkit to help create a team and start implementing high-ROI, low-risk projects.
2. Install (and use!) a programmable thermostat. Businesses can save 1 percent on heating costs for each degree they lower the thermostat. Instead of adjusting the thermostat manually, make sure to install a system that will automatically manage the building’s temperature. Already have a system in place? Program it to achieve maximum savings, and don’t forget to adjust it with the shift from Daylight Saving Time, if necessary.
3. Weatherization can yield big savings. Weather-strip and caulk cracks in walls, jams, and floors. Check for worn-out weather-stripping and replace it.
4. Measure the facility for proper attic insulation. Consider upgrading with spray-foam or batt insulation. Additional insulation can be blown into walls, and there are options for insulating flat roofs, crawl spaces, and floors.
5. Maintain heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning equipment regularly. Facilities can reduce the energy use of heating and cooling systems by up to 6 percent simply by having them serviced regularly and changing air filters monthly. Don’t forget to keep the space around the system clean and clear to prevent debris from being pulled into the burners and filters.
6. Purchase energy-efficient equipment and lighting. When it comes time to replace equipment, look for the ENERGY STAR® label—an assurance of quality and energy efficiency. For lighting, install compact fluorescent bulbs for task lighting and high-performance T8 or pulse-start metal-halide systems for larger or high-bay applications. Lighting-control systems such as occupancy sensors and daylight sensors can help save even more.
7. Talk to the experts at Focus on Energy. We’re a one-stop resource for free technical expertise and financial incentives. Call us today at 800.762.7077 or visit focusonenergy.com.

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