Energy Saving Tips & Tools


Convert older style linear T12 fluorescents (“fat” lamps) and magnetic ballasts to the newer style T8 fluorescents (“skinny” lamps) and electronic ballasts. T8 lamps produce more light per watt of energy than T12s and can reduce energy use by 40%.

Install occupancy sensors to automatically turn off lighting when no one is present, and back on when they return. Use sensors in rooms with high traffic (break rooms, restrooms, etc.) to reduce lighting costs of up to 40%. But don't install the sensor behind a coat rack, door or book case. It must be able to "see" the motion occupant approaching an unlit area to turn on the light before, or as they enter.


Heating, Ventilation & Air Conditioning

Perform regular maintenance tune-ups on cooling equipment. Regularly clean condenser coils, change belts and filters and fix duct leaks. Also check for proper economizer operation and adequate refrigerant levels. Maintenance activities can save up to 30% of fan and up to 10% of space conditioning energy use.


A programmable thermostat can optimize HVAC operation "24/7" based on your needs. For example, instead of heating or cooling all night so you can enter a comfortable building in the morning, this "smart thermostat" can turn on the HVAC one hour before you arrive, based on your daily/hourly needs. The cost per thermostat can be $25 to $200, and it could cut your HVAC costs up to 25%. Add a locking cover to prevent tampering with thermostat settings.


Install a high efficiency packaged heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) system. These can use up to 40% less energy than systems that just meet minimum standards. Look for 13 SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio) and, on larger units, 11 EER (Energy Efficiency Ratio) or above. Specify ENERGY STAR qualified high-efficiency air conditioning equipment when your system needs to be replaced, and save 25% to 35% on your investment annually.


Office Equipment / Electronic

Print with ink jet printers instead of laser printers. Ink jet printers cost less to maintain and use 90% less energy than laser printers. Always replace office equipment with ENERGY STAR qualified equivalents.



Check door seals on the refrigerator. A broken seal is the same as leaving the door open. Replace the seal if it is torn or partially missing. To test it, close the door on a single sheet of paper and try to pull it out. If it slides out easily, it needs to be replaced to prevent cold air from leaking out, or consider buying a new unit.


Compressed Air

Assure the compressed air system does not run when plant is not in use (i.e., overnight or on the weekends). Use smaller air compressors dedicated to serve minimal after-hour needs. These actions can save up to 20% of a system's electricity usage.