3 Obvious Ways Companies Can Flip the Switch and Save Millions

December 6, 2011 No Comments

Probably much like dads worldwide, my dad would yell at us kids to turn off the lights or TV once we left a room. Given how much energy waste is rampant in corporate America, it appears he would have a full-time job in corporate America with all the devices left on.

Many leaders react with a yawn when I suggest that a simple yet effective energy saving technique is to dial down or turn off equipment. But payback on these projects can be astounding, as companies as diverse as Adobe, Fairmont Hotels, Hewlett Packard, Con-way and many others have learned.

Avoid Exceeding Requirements
Adobe’s senior director of facilities, Randy Knox III, relishes telling the story about the efficiency project that achieved an astounding 4,900 percent return on investment.

Adobe provides nearly one million square feet of covered parking for its offices and was running its garage fans continuously. An air quality expert determined that there was sufficient ventilation that the fans only needed to run 15 minutes each hour during the prime-time commuting hours and still exceed regulations.

Continuing the discussion of fans, biotech firm Gilead was able to save by reducing fan operating speeds in its labs. Previously, fans had operated at full speed, 24-by-7. The ventilation requirements are regulated by OSHA, but it is allowable to dial down when a lab is empty. More than 50 percent of the energy needed by the fans was saved with this simple — and obvious, if only in hindsight — change.

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