Curbing wasteful energy consumption can help a company reduce costs while building a reputation as an environmentally-minded corporate leader.In April, Apple moved a step closer to achieving its goal of carbon neutrality by announcing that all of its retail stores, data centers, and corporate offices are now equipped to run on exclusively clean energy.
As if its status as the country’s first trillion-dollar public company isn’t evidence enough, Apple’s energy policy illustrates the dual benefit of corporate energy efficiency, namely, it’s good for the environment and good for a company’s bottom line. Granted, certain energy-efficient infrastructure upgrades require significant investment, but as the adage goes, you have to spend money to make money.
The Cost of Energy Inefficiency
Commercial buildings account for around a fifth of the country’s annual energy consumption, with their tenants collectively paying more than $130 billion in energy bills each year. In many cases, reducing these costs is less a matter belt-tightening than improving the efficiency with which energy is used.
The average commercial building wastes 30 % of the energy it consumes, and many companies can reduce their annual energy bills by up to 10 percent through more attentive energy management alone. For instance, research has demonstrated that “commercial buildings that regularly benchmark their energy performance in [the] EPA’s Portfolio Manager™ tool [can] cut their energy bills by seven percent over three years.” For a 500,000 square foot office building, that amounts to a cumulative cost savings of $120,000.
A clear — and sufficiently publicized — commitment to efficient energy use can have positive knock-on effects, as well. An employer’s reputation for being environmentally-minded is a strong selling point for around 80% of American workers, so much so that half of the workforce claims it would forgo higher pay to work for a company with a formal policy on issues like energy efficiency.
How to Get Started
Of course, not every company has the requisite time and resources to sit down and craft a strategic plan for improving the efficiency of its energy consumption. From keeping customers happy to managing payroll to recruiting new talent, small and medium business owners have a lot on their plate, and many simply don’t have the bandwidth to tackle an Apple-esque overhaul of their energy policy.
Fortunately, there are a variety of more modest steps companies of any size can take to reduce their energy costs. For instance, LED lighting, programmable thermostats, and occupancy-sensing light switches ensure that a company only uses the energy it needs to support its day-to-day operations. In fact, the simple act of turning off lights when they’re not in use — or when natural light is sufficient — can reduce a company’s electricity costs by up to 40%!
From a more high-tech angle, companies can dramatically reduce their energy consumption by streamlining their IT activities.
“Large amounts of unnecessary data clog a [company’s] network and force it to work harder than it needs to in order to deliver consistent performance,” explains Turn-key Technologies President and CEO Craig Badrick. “By compressing and deduplicating data...and offloading unused server storage, an IT team can ensure that it isn’t gobbling up electricity to manage redundant or useless information.”
What’s more, a growing number of state and local authorities are incentivizing companies to improve their energy efficiency by providing access to grants, low-interest loans, and rebate programs — all of which can help defray the costs of “going green.” While federal energy policy remains up in the (oh-so-swampy) air, local authorities in many states are increasingly interested in holding companies accountable for inefficient energy use. As such, corporate stakeholders would be wise to act now while making improvements is incentivized, not legally mandated.
A Commitment to Energy-Efficient Compressed Air
At Mattei, our rotor stator unit (rsu) is designed to remain balanced under load as pressure is equalized along the length of the rotor, guaranteeing near-perfect sealing that results in 90 percent mechanical efficiency. This minimizes the energy needed to (re)compress air flowing toward the intake, helping companies reduce the energy consumption of all their compressed air-related activities.
Ultimately, whether you’re a mom-and-pop automotive shop or an international manufacturer, energy-efficient operations represent a genuine win-win. Good press and lower costs are two things that every business is after, and with a well-considered strategy, they’re well within any company’s reach.