-Business runs on electricity. It’s needed to keep the doors open, produce merchandise, deliver goods and services, and keep customers supplied and content. Energy industry experts claim that California businesses pay some of the highest electricity rates in the nation, making energy use a bottom-line cost savings target. One of the most effective ways to save money on electrical use is to know where the most common electricity loads are in a business, and then take energy-efficient measures to reduce those loads without compromising the quality of goods and services. The Electricraft, Inc. team has prepared this report to help business owners see where their operations are using the most electricity and to provide some recommendations to help reduce the energy bill without degrading production and service.
Common electricity loads
The most common electricity loads come from lighting, plug loads, and heating, cooling, and ventilation. In some cases, certain manufacturing and specialized equipment are also heavy energy users. An inspection and evaluation of equipment in these circumstances may also lead to more efficient energy use.
- Lighting: Illumination accounts for a significant chunk of energy consumption in commercial buildings. It’s not just the ubiquity of lighting in these spaces; it’s also the sheer quantity of bulbs needed to brighten up vast areas. Unlike homes, where we often develop habits of switching off lights, commercial spaces may keep their lights on for security reasons or operational requirements.
- Plug Loads: In our tech-savvy world, we’re plugging in more electronics than ever before. Think of computers, monitors, printers, servers, and even the coffee machine in your office kitchen. The proliferation of these devices adds to the building’s energy consumption. Healthcare facilities, with their intensive monitoring tools and medical devices, are also high on the plug-load scale.
- HVAC Cooling: Maintaining a comfortable climate for work requires air conditioning in many parts of the world. With global temperatures on the rise, the demand for cooling systems is only increasing. HVAC systems, including air conditioning, can account for up to a staggering 45% of a building’s energy consumption. Commercial buildings need powerful systems to effectively regulate the temperature of large areas.
- HVAC Heating: Heating is just as critical as cooling in commercial buildings. Boilers, heat pumps, and gas water heaters are commonly used heating systems. The challenge here is that the heating requirements fluctuate throughout the day based on occupancy, making standardized heating practices highly inefficient.
- HVAC Ventilation: Proper ventilation is vital in shared indoor spaces. However, the energy needed to ensure efficient ventilation is often underestimated. While it might not be as visible as lighting or HVAC systems, ventilation systems can be energy-intensive. Mechanical ventilation, including fans and air circulation systems, is necessary in some cases. Bringing in fresh air from the exterior and maintaining indoor temperatures requires significant energy inputs.
Increasing energy efficiency
The electrical contractors from San Luis Obispo’s Electricraft advise that the first step to increasing energy efficiency is a thorough inspection of electrical systems. Electrical inspections for commercial buildings involve:
- Verifying that circuit breakers, isolators, and residual current devices (RCDs) functioning correctly and are properly labeled.
- Determine that all of the protective conductors are working properly.
- Measure the polarity of the main circuit box and components.
- Make necessary repairs and recommend upgrades.
- Assess energy consumption patterns to identify areas where energy is being used inefficiently and make upgrade recommendations.
- If needed, recommend energy-efficient lighting, switching to LED to consume less energy.
- Assess the functionality of HVAC systems and recommend upgrades if necessary.
- If necessary recommend replacing inefficient office equipment with newer equipment that is designed to use less power.
- Recommend and install smart building technologies and energy management systems that optimize energy use.
Renewable energy, such as solar, is also a consideration for reducing energy costs. Electricraft, Inc. also installs commercial, residential, and public works solar systems that can dramatically reduce the company’s energy bill.
Electricraft, Inc. and the company’s San Luis Obispo electrical contractors have working on small business and commercial electrical projects since the company was founded in 1984. The Electricraft team designs, installs, and maintains large electrical systems, no job is too small.
Depend on Electricraft for:
- Green energy electrical projects that meet California Title 24 requirements.
- Rewire and upgrade electrical systems for electrical signage, more office space, office equipment, or manufacturing equipment. Electricraft has installed commercial electrical systems to operate registers, computers, tools and appliances, equipment, computer rooms, Uninterruptable Power Supplies (UPS), bakery, restaurant and all other specialty equipment
- Troubleshoot and repair electrical problems. Electricraft’s San Luis Obispo commercial electricians are trained in the latest infrared technology to quickly and precisely diagnose failures or potential failures anywhere in an electrical system.
- Design, install, and maintain electrical systems indoors and outdoors for single-family homes, rentals, and commercial buildings, including stores, offices, manufacturing and industrial buildings, medical offices, clinics and hospitals, and commercial and apartment complexes.
- Design, install, and maintain underground electrical systems that support large residential tracts, and business and industrial complexes.
- Design, install, and maintain electrical systems for public works projects including schools, museums, libraries, government buildings, data centers, stadiums and amphitheaters, parking lots, and public parks, and public infrastructure projects such as street lights, traffic lights, and water treatment plants.
- Install Datacom Fiber-Optic and Copper cabling.
- Create, read, and understand complex electrical system schematics and accurately work to technical specifications to build efficient electrical systems to support commerce, manufacturing, and industry.
- Be familiar with local codes and regulations and work closely with code inspectors to deliver the final working electrical system.