Business and government executives from across the U.S. recently swapped ideas on energy efficiency, Forbes reports.
Some of the ideas shared were: create a baseline to measure patterns in energy use; lobby corporate leadership to focus on efficiency; and tap into young people’s awareness of energy concerns as a means to attract talent.
Forbes wrote up a list of 10 money-saving efficiencies that the group came up with:
1. Lighting Improvements
Compact Fluorescent lamps, which lasts up to 15,000 hours longer than the standard bulb, can save up to 75 percent in energy costs.
2. Reducing Vehicle Idling
By not letting vehicles idle, UPS saves about $190 per driver per year. And with more than 90,000 drivers under its wings, that about $ 17.1 million in savings.
3. Building Orientation
Buildings facing north-south instead of east-west can reduce energy consumption by as much as 20 percent. “E” or “H” shaped offices maximizes sunlight and window area, reducing light costs. While long, thin buildings maximize natural ventilation.
4. Green Roofing
Reduce cooling costs by planting green roofs to soak up sunlight during the day. Light-colored roofs can also reduce cooling expenses by about 40 percent because it reflects light.
5. Water Recycling
Industrial cooling to irrigation can be taken care of with reused or treated water.
6. Maximizing Thermal Efficiency
Save as much as 40 percent on thermal heating costs by maximizing the efficiencies of the entire production line instead of individual components. Operate furnaces and boilers at or close to design capacity. Restricting loose air used for combustion will lead to heat savings.
Use bikes as a form of transportation. This will reduce traffic and carbon emissions. In 2007 Paris made more than 20,000 bicycles available to subscribers, similar pilot programs are also planned in the U.S.
8. Energy Auditing
Have your building audited for wasteful energy to determine what efficiency improvements are needed. Reducing drafts alone can save around 30 percent in energy costs per year.
9. Driving the Speed Limit
Drive slow, fast driving wastes gas. Keeping tires properly inflated could also improve gas mileage by about 3 percent. Keeping the car light by emptying out unwanted items from the truck can also improve the car’s efficiency.
Lobby congressmen to renew policies such as the federal tax credits for residential energy efficiency improvements, which expired at the end of 2007.