Simple Steps to Help Your Nonprofit Reduce its Energy Use
Implement these energy efficiency tips to help lower your organization’s utility bills.
With over 7.3 billion people on Planet Earth, that’s a lot of energy being used. However, you’d be amazed that a little change here and there can add up to big-time savings — whether you’re a person or a planet.
Direct Energy is committed to making a difference through efforts big and small. Through our Reduce Your Use For Good program, we’re offering to donate more than $200,000 in grants to nonprofits to help implement energy-saving changes.
Let’s Put that Grant Money to Good Use!
Many nonprofits simply don’t have the funds to make the occasional big purchase that is desperately needed. Thus, we’ve provided a few suggestions to help you use your grant most effectively.
- Purchase Energy Star® appliances
- Replace outdated lighting fixtures and install CFL bulbs
- Update HVAC systems
- Install programmable thermostats
- Install window coverings and panels
Let’s Start Saving Energy!
It’s easier to save money and help the environment than you might think. Use the energy saving tips below to lower your energy usage and become more energy efficient. You can easily implement most of them yourself!
- In summer, increase your air conditioner temperature by one degree or more. Believe it or not, it could mean significant savings in the long run.
- If no one’s going to be around for a significant length of time, turn the temperature up or your A/C unit off, depending on the season.
- Replace air filters every month since clogged filters cause your A/C to work harder.
- Install a programmable thermostat if you don’t have one already. Set the times and temperatures to match your schedule.
- Bigger isn’t always better. Remember to buy the smallest capacity unit or system that will meet your needs since an oversized A/C unit will waste energy.
- Before buying an A/C unit or system, find out its energy-efficiency ratio (“EER”). Calculate the EER by dividing the unit’s cooling capacity (BTUs/hour) by its energy requirement (watts). An EER of 10 or more is very good, and 6 or 7 is fair.
- In winter, turn your temperature down slightly since that can make a big difference.
- Dress warmly when indoors. Lower your thermostat by two degrees and you could save as much as four percent on your heating bill.
- Turn off heat in unused rooms and shut the doors.
- Throw down a rug on exposed floors. Not only will it help insulate, it will cut down on noise as well.
- Changing dirty filters in your furnace could save you five percent on your heating bill.
- Keep your supply and return air vents clear of furniture. This allows your furnace to operate more efficiently.
- Check doors for proper insulation. Place your hand against a door from the inside. If it feels cooler than the inside walls, it might be time to install a door that’s better insulated.
- Adding a humidifier to your heating system will allow you to turn the thermostat down and be comfortable at lower temperatures. Aquariums and plants add humidity, too.
- Did you know that heat recovery ventilators improve indoor air quality by continuously expelling stale indoor air and using its heat to preheat the incoming fresh air? Installing one of these may give you the added savings you’re looking for on your next energy bill.
- Repair dripping hot water taps immediately.
- Use energy-saving light bulbs. These can last up to ten times longer than a normal bulb and use significantly less energy. A single 20- to 25-watt energy-saving bulb can provide as much light as a 100-watt ordinary bulb.
- Install motion sensors on external lights.