- A credit union achieved 85 percent energy savings by installing renewables and efficient technologies.
- A restaurant reduced its annual energy use by 38 percent through a variety of efficiency improvements.
- A hotel saved energy and enhanced its 'green' image by implementing sustainability measures.
Energy-saving measures can reduce your utility costs, but the benefits go far beyond that. In many cases, efficiency upgrades help improve occupant comfort and employee productivity. They can also enhance your public image by displaying your commitment to improving the environment.
The U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Better Buildings Initiative is designed to help make commercial buildings more energy efficient. As these showcase projects demonstrate, energy efficiency and sustainability can make your business stand out from the crowd.
Credit union invests in energy efficiency
The Suncoast Credit Union's Bushnell Service Center is a 3,700-square-foot facility that's achieved 85 percent energy savings through a combination of renewable energy and energy efficient technologies. A roof-mounted, 40-kW solar PV system provides power to the service center during business hours. Other energy-saving measures include:
- Interior LED lighting
- Groundwater source heat pumps with premium efficiency motors
- Exterior insulated low-E tinted glass and window shading
The company's commitment to sustainability goes beyond energy savings. Low-flow water fixtures and drought-resistant landscaping help conserve water usage. The center participates in multiple recycling programs and the carpet in the facility is made from 100-percent reused materials.
As the Bushnell Service Center example shows, businesses can reduce operating costs by integrating renewable energy and energy-efficient technologies, while maintaining comfort and convenience.
Restaurant gets the right ingredients for energy savings
Arby's Restaurant Group remodeled it's 3,200-square-foot Howell Mill Road location in Atlanta, Georgia in 2015. It's now the most energy efficient Arby's restaurant in the U.S. The restaurant has undergone a variety of efficiency improvements that have reduced its annual energy use by 38 percent. Some of the most effective measures and the associated cost savings include:
- Indoor and outdoor LED lighting—$4,850 annual savings
- High-efficiency rooftop HVAC units—$1,200 annual savings per unit
- Low-oil fryers—$2,200 annual savings
- High-efficiency condensing walk-in box cooling unit—$850 in annual savings
The Howell Mill Road location is designed to serve as a model for energy efficiency. According to the DOE, "managing energy as a controllable expense gives Arby’s a competitive advantage, improves the company's bottom line and helps the company to be a responsible corporate citizen."
Hotel finds the key to sustainability
The Super 8 hotel in Ukiah, Calif. was looking to reduce operating costs and showcase their commitment to sustainability. To accomplish these goals, the hotel replaced most appliances with ENERGY STAR® models. Indoor lights were updated to high-efficiency CFLs and outdoor metal halide lamps were replaced with induction lighting. As a result of measures such as these, the hotel reduced their energy use by 13 percent in the first year alone, for cost savings of $3,800.
The Ukiah Super 8 has taken sustainability to another level, offering preferred parking to hybrid vehicles and installing an EV charging station onsite. Solar panels on the roof provide 75 percent of the facility's electricity and hot water is supplied by renewable solar thermal energy.
These and other green initiatives have given the hotel some positive visibility. The building has achieved ENERGY STAR® certification over the last five years. The hotel has also been platinum certified by the Green Business Bureau and is listed as a Green Leader by TripAdvisor.
How do you begin saving energy and going green? See Your Facility: Walking the Energy Walk for some ideas to help get you started.
Image sources: iStock and U.S. Department of Energy