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Energy saving tips

You can make small changes around your business to save energy and water and reduce your energy bill:

Heating and cooling

  • Find and seal air leaks. Install weatherstripping, caulking and gaskets around doors, windows and electrical outlets to reduce air leakage and save energy.
  • Take advantage of the sun’s energy. In the winter, save energy by opening your shades in the morning on the sunny side of your building and closing them late in the day to prevent heat loss. In the summer, close your windows and shades during the day to block the sun’s rays.
  • Schedule regular maintenance for your heating and cooling equipment. They will last longer and run more efficiently.
  • Clean or replace air filters regularly as clogged filters make your equipment work harder and run longer.
  • Clean coils, air ducts, and heat exchangers to allow air to circulate freely.
  • Keep furniture away from radiators and make sure windows are closed when the room is being heated or air conditioned.
  • Don’t change the thermostat temperature. Speak with your building manager if there is a problem with the temperature.
  • Setback the thermostat by 2 to 3 degrees Celsius during non-business hours or in unoccupied spaces.

Water heating

  • Install low-flow control devices on faucets, showerheads and toilets throughout your business to help reduce water waste and water heating costs.
  • Consider automatic sensor-controlled faucets. Automatic sensor-controlled faucets manage water consumption and limit waste.
  • Schedule regular leak detection services for all water-using devices. A slow leak can waste about 50,000 litres of water per year.
  • Setback the hot water tank thermostat. Water heating can account for more than 20% of a commercial building’s energy use. For normal hot water usage, hot water should be 54°C.

Lighting and occupancy sensors

  • Use natural light. Open window shades to illuminate your business.
  • Replace incandescent exit signs with LED equivalents.
  • Turn off the lights when you leave a room. This is especially important in rooms that are empty for long periods of the day such as kitchens, copy rooms, or bathrooms.
  • Install LED bulbs and fixtures in your building. They use up to 80% less electricity than incandescent lighting.
  • Install occupancy sensors to automatically turn off lights and reduce or replace excessive, inefficient, or outdated lighting within your building.
  • In the summer, adjust time-of-day schedules for outdoor lights to limit hours of operation in the evening.

Office equipment & data centres

  • Unplug appliances and electronics that aren’t being used or in unoccupied spaces.
  • Enable energy saving features on office equipment. Energy saving mode typically use 70% less energy than full power mode.
  • Use smart power bars. Unlike regular power bars, smart power bars work to reduce your power usage by shutting down devices that go into standby mode.
  • Consider installing network energy management software to reduce unnecessary computer energy use during non-business hours.

When using computers:

  • Turn off computers, monitors, printers, and copiers in workspaces during non-business hours.
  • Switch to a laptop. Laptop computers typically use up to 80% less energy than a desktop computer.
  • Try not to use screen savers. Screen savers use the same amount of power as an active screen. Instead, use your computer’s power management feature to turn off the monitor after a certain period of inactivity.

Food service equipment

  • Schedule regular maintenance checks to keep your costs down and avoid unexpected repairs. Be sure to inspect the mechanical and electrical equipment, filters, refrigerant charge, economizer, cabinet panels and compressor/motor.
  • Routinely clean appliances to eliminate food build-up. Dirty appliances may result in inefficient heat transfer, uneven cooking, and potential breakdowns. Follow the maintenance recommended in your owner’s manual.

When using refrigerators and freezers:

  • Load your refrigerator or freezer properly. These units need space to allow adequate air circulation for proper functioning. Overloaded units disrupt air-flow patterns leading to product spoilage, while under-loaded units waste energy.
  • Optimize the location of refrigeration equipment by locating in cool surroundings, avoiding direct sunlight. A 2.5 cm gap on the sides and 10 cm gap at the back are recommended to allow the condenser and fan to have access to a steady flow of air.
  • Load product when cool. Don’t let refrigerated items warm-up during delivery and/or restocking.
  • Replace interior incandescent lighting and install LED lighting to reduce energy costs and avoid heat build-up.
  • Install motion sensors to turn off lights in unoccupied refrigerated areas.
  • Keep doors closed as much as possible. Repeated temperature fluctuations will damage food quality and waste energy.
  • Find and seal air leaks. Adjust door latches and repair or replace gaskets regularly.
  • Ensure night covers are closed at night after re-stocking.
  • Raise operating temperatures to optimum levels and maintain consistent temperatures. The ideal temperature is 3°C for refrigerators and −18°C for freezers.
  • Verify operation and efficiency of defrost timers and moisture sensors to ensure optimal performance.
  • Defrost freezers when ice build-up occurs.
  • Optimal refrigeration efficiency is achieved with ambient air relative humidity levels between 40 to 55%.

Fleet management

  • Install parking lot controllers. Parking lot controllers can reduce your outdoor electricity costs by up to 50%, and ensure trouble free car starts for tenants, staff and guests.
  • Encourage bike-to-work days to reduce your carbon footprint.



When upgrading equipment, look for products with the ENERGY STAR logo on product packaging. ENERGY STAR certified products meet strict technical specifications for energy performance. Improve your business’s financial performance by reducing energy waste and energy costs, while protecting the environment.

Not sure where to start? Sign up for ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager to manage the energy and water use of any building.