3 Ways to Improve Your ENERGY STAR Score

Nick Arehart  |  March 16, 2018   |  Energy & Sustainability  

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Ah, summer: the sun, the surf, the soaring energy bills!

It’s well-established that energy rates rise in the summer. For many, staying cool is no simple task, and mass energy demand for AC sends rates through the roof.

Your business’s ENERGY STAR score can help you keep tabs on organizational energy habits. EPA’s Portfolio Manager® platform helps you compare your building’s reported utility data to structures of similar size and location, and lets you know how your energy management measures up – a score above 75 qualifies your building for ENERGY STAR certification.

Whether you have the building to yourself and you’re ready to retrofit, or you’re a tenant looking to save a few bucks on your monthly energy spend, we’ve put together some tips to get your business moving in the right direction this summer.

1. Make Your Office Work for You

Electricity usage dominates the utility bill landscape, and offices are hungry for power. Always-on computer monitors, AC units, and incandescent bulbs are some of the worst offenders. Organizations big and small can optimize office energy use by:

  • Installing energy-efficient bulbs and infrared movement and daylight sensors, to ensure you’re getting low-cost lighting when and where you need it, without wasting energy lighting empty rooms
  • Investing in ENERGY STAR-certified office computers, and keeping them on their most energy-efficient settings
  • Programming your office’s thermostat to run only during business hours, and regularly changing your air filter to ensure it’s running efficiently

2. Consider Refurbishing

Some renovations and retrofits to your building are smart investments in your long-term energy usage profile, provided you’re in a position to make them.

For starters, consider updating your building’s boilers. The Department of Energy estimates that, compared to older boilers, every FEMP-designated, energy-efficient commercial boiler saves about $28,000 in lifetime energy costs. Next, make sure you’re not gaining or losing unnecessary heat from the outdoors. Updating and improving your building’s insulation helps naturally regulate your building’s temperature; so do heat-reflecting window films and better blinds.

Water matters, too: your building uses energy to heat water, and your provider uses energy to deliver water to you, all contributing to your building’s overall energy footprint and utility costs. Keep water use low by installing flow restrictors for faucets, and by replacing toilets and urinals with water-conserving models. Replacing outdated, inefficient toilets with new models provides an impressive long-term ROI.

3. Take Charge of Your Utility Data

Smart energy management starts with understanding your business’ energy usage data. EPA’s Portfolio Manager requires a substantial amount of detailed data. Traditionally, that’s meant hunting down and analyzing utility bills from each of your utility providers – not an easy task even for small businesses, and nigh impossible for large organizations with multiple locations across the globe.

Here at Urjanet, we say: it can be easier. Our automated utility data platform aggregates and analyzes your utility data and delivers it to you in the format best for your business, to help you understand your utility spend and see where you can save.

Ready to take the guesswork out of your energy management? Contact us today.

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About Nick Arehart

Nick Arehart is a marketing intern at Urjanet who specializes in financial services and sustainability. He's passionate about content that informs and inspires. When he isn't writing for us, he's finishing up his chemistry degree at Emory University.