The green energy industry is absolutely soaring at the moment. The reason? Both people and businesses alike have begun to truly understand their impact on the environment around them, which has led to a concerted effort to reduce energy use. Not to mention that reducing a building’s energy use, whether it’s in a home or a business, can help to drastically reduce energy costs over the long run. As you can imagine, this has led to more alternative energy business opportunities for entrepreneurs who are not only looking for potentially lucrative endeavors but for a way that they can help provide other businesses with green energy sources.
The following are just a few types green energy improvements that many businesses are making in order to help reduce their environmental footprint while also substantially reducing their overhead costs.
- Performing an Energy Audit
A professional energy audit is basically an energy efficiency analysis of a building. An auditor will perform several tests in order to identify areas of the building that are losing energy, thereby allowing the building owners to focus their investments on improvements that will help the most. Energy audits are a good way to determine whether new windows and doors are needed or whether insulation needs to be upgraded.
- Improving the Lighting System
The lighting system is often a huge drag on energy costs, especially in commercial buildings. One of the easiest ways to cut down on the energy costs of a lighting system is by upgrading older light bulbs to more efficient models, such as LED bulbs. While LED bulbs are traditionally more expensive than typical incandescent bulbs, they use roughly 75 percent less energy and can last 25 times longer than incandescent bulbs.
- Installing a Solar Energy System
Solar energy systems were outlandishly expensive when they were first introduced, but that is no longer true. Not only are they much more affordable than ever, businesses can offset the initial costs with the use of tax credits and other financial incentives. Not only will businesses lower their energy costs more than any other improvement they can invest in, but any excess energy collected by their system can be sold back to the power company, thereby even putting money in their pockets.
- Installing an Building Automation System
Automating the entire building can have an enormous effect on the energy use of a building. A building automation system offers a number of green energy benefits, including the following:
- Easy access – The building’s lighting system, HVAC system and more can all be controlled remotely. This means that building managers can check the temperature and lighting of the building from their mobile phones instead of having to walk to where the system is located.
- Easy control – A building automation system not only allows managers to control the lighting and heating of the building from a remote device, they can have that control from room to room, thereby reducing wasted energy.
- Pre-programming – Different systems can be programmed to turn on and off at certain times as well as to automatically adjust to various settings to reduce wasted energy.
- Analytics – A building automation system will track peak usage times and other metrics to help managers and owners figure out where their building is losing the most energy, allowing them to invest in the most effective energy improvements.
- Upgrading Appliances and Equipment
An easy way to begin reducing energy costs is by upgrading various appliances and equipment piecemeal. Older appliances, such as stoves, refrigerators and more, often become less efficient over time. Replacing them may cost a bit of money, but doing so will make a building much more energy efficient—especially since newer models are more likely to be way more efficient. The same goes for HVAC equipment, from the air conditioning unit to the furnace.
Businesses that want to make a particularly big impact on their energy costs will look for appliances and HVAC units that are approved by Energy Star, which is basically a seal of approval from the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) distinguishing that unit or appliance as exceeding their energy efficiency standards.
These are some of the green energy improvements that many businesses are investing in. More and more companies are investing large amounts of money into energy saving systems knowing that they will recoup those costs over the long term—and in some cases with the help of financial incentives and tax credits. As a result, this has led to a booming green energy industry.