Commercial Energy Efficiency

Commercial Energy Efficiency Tips

Simple ideas can sometimes add up to significant energy savings. Check out these energy efficiency tips for business to learn more about ways to save money and energy.

Interesting facts

  • Commercial buildings account for nearly ½ of the nation’s energy use.
  • Energy Star rated buildings use 35% less energy.
  • Energy Star qualified light bulbs use 75% less energy than standard bulbs and can last up to ten times longer.
  • Lighting is the largest cost component of a commercial building’s electric consumption. Generally it accounts for 35% of your energy usage.
  • 30% of the energy used by commercial buildings is used inefficiently.


  • Reduce the number of lights you use and/or install occupancy sensors.
  • Change the type of light you use to a more efficient type – either compact fluorescents or a more efficient fluorescent fixture/bulb. (new fixtures could be eligible for a Columbia Water & Light rebate).


Office Equipment

  • Turn off all machines when not in use.
  • Set your computer to hibernate or standby mode after 30 minutes of inactivity.
  • Set your computer monitor to enter sleep mode after 5 minutes of inactivity. Screen savers generally do not save energy. Some graphic-intense screen savers burn twice as much energy than normal use.
  • Unplug laptops or cell phone chargers when not in use. They draw power even when they are not in use.
  • For equipment that uses energy even when turned off, use a power strip and turn the main switch off. Or consider using a ‘smart’ power strip that senses when equipment is not actively in use and turns off the power.


Heating and Cooling

  • For every degree you move the thermostat down in the winter or up in the summer you will cut your heating and cooling costs by 3%.
  • Change the filters in your heating and cooling system at least four times a year.
  • In the summer, close the window shades during the day to reduce inside temperatures. In the winter, open the shades during the day to naturally heat your space and close them at night for insulation.
  • Keep air vents free of any obstructions so air is circulating properly.
  • If you have uneven heating and cooling between various rooms, consult a contractor to see how your system can be balanced.
  • Make sure all of your building’s electric equipment and systems undergo scheduled maintenance so they are operating as efficiently as possible and cut your energy costs by 6% to 20%.

Energy Efficiency Programs

Let Columbia Water & Light help you with your quest to be more energy efficient. We can help you evaluate your building for savings and also offer incentives.

  • Free Energy Assessments: learn ways to improve your energy efficiency.
  • Lighting Rebates: get money back for upgrading your inefficient fixtures.
  • Heating and Cooling System Rebates: rebates are based off size and efficiency rating.
  • Super Saver Loans: help finance your energy efficient projects with a low interest loan.
  • Infrared Inspections: locate mechanical problems.
  • Leak Detection: stop compressed air leaks.