By Mike Lawshe
Businesses that are open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, have to keep the lights on around the clock. They also have to maintain a comfortable temperature for customers. Those two things along means they’re constantly pulling energy from the grid. Fortunately, energy efficiency is becoming easier and business owners have a number of ways they can reduce their energy use, which can also benefit the bottom line. Operators can save money with these five tips:
- Invest in energy-efficient lighting. Lighting is one of the easiest way to cut costs and save energy. LED lighting is a good choice for canopies at the fuel island, but it may not be the best choice inside the store. Consider the mood you’re trying to create, then consider the various lighting options on the market.
- Make use of natural light. In new construction, operators can take advantage of natural light be installing solar tubes or skylights.
- Landscape with a purpose. Trees can provide natural cooling and drop temperatures three to six degrees in warm climates and cut wind speeds by 50 percent in colder climates.
- Utilize an energy management system. The system is basically a smart box that handles lighting, refrigeration, HVAC, etc., and takes it out of the employees hands. The systems prevent energy spikes, which can save money.
- Minimize water use. Savings will vary depending on the cost of water in the area, but installing low-flow toilets and reclaiming water in a car wash can payoff in areas where water is scarce, such as Las Vegas.
About the Author: Michael Lawshe is the president and chief executive officer of Paragon Solutions. Lawshe was a presenter at The NATSO Show 2103 in Savannah, Ga.