Energy saving hints and tips

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Energy saving
hints and tips

Take control of your business energy bills

Understanding your businesses energy bill is a good way to save money and combat climate change. At SSE Airtricity we provide a full range of energy saving advice, tips and programmes to help you control your energy use.

Energy efficiency tips and advice - Winter

Here’s some simple changes that can make a big difference, help the environment and make great savings to your energy bills.

1. Make use of heating timers

Setting timers will ensure you’re not wasting energy by heating or cooling down your business outside of working hours.

2. Have you switched off your air conditioning units?

Every environment needs the right temperature so make sure your heating and cooling systems are not running at the same time. This helps reduce energy waste and keep costs down. Did you know that every time you increase your heating by 1°C you increase your heating costs by approximately 8%?

3. Get your boiler and heating system serviced regularly

Has your boiler and heating system been serviced in the last year? Getting a regular service improves efficiency, reduces the risk of breakdown and is essential for safety.

4.Tackle draughts

Repair any holes and gaps around walls, windows, skylights and doors. These holes will let cold air in and will let hot air escape out of the building.
Other ways to tackle draughts include getting door draught excluders and investing in double-glazed windows or roof insulation.

5. Turn it off

The winter is the most energy intensive for most places of work. Remind employees that their help is important and that switching off any unnecessary equipment is invaluable, even when they pop out for meetings or lunch.

Energy Authority (Utility Regulator)

For further energy efficiency tips and advice for businesses visit the Carbon Trust and Energy Saving Trust, information is supported by the Energy Authority (Utility Regulator).  

Energy efficiency tips & advice – Motors & drives

Simple no cost measures

• Switch off motors instead of leaving them idle.
• Attach an operating schedule to all machinery so operators know when it should be turned off. Use an hour's run meter to measure how long equipment has been running and compare with the required hours of operation.
• Reduce the operating time of motors whenever possible by improving control of motor driven loads and switch them off, either manually or automatically, when not required.
• Turn off all machines (fans, pumps, conveyors, equipment) outside of operating hours, at weekends or during holidays.
• Lower the motor’s speed by 20%.
• Ensure motors are regularly cleaned as a dirty motor will get much hotter than a clean one and this can result in increased inefficiencies.
• The 'loading' of a motor is the amount of work it does compared with its capability. Matching the right size motor to the right load (typically 75% loading) can ensure optimum performance.

Other measures

• Regular maintenance of motor systems including regular lubrication, checks for belt tension and alignment testing can to save up to 10% on energy consumption. Prepare a schedule and procedure for motor maintenance and ensure staff promptly report faulty or noisy motors. Have a plan for repairing failed motors, which compares long-term repair vs. replacement costs.
• If the motor size is big for its required purpose, consider replacing the motor with a smaller and more efficient option.
• Always consider investing in high efficiency motors for new equipment.
• A Variable Speed Drive (VSD) is a system that can control rotational speed and torque on an AC motor by adjusting the power supplied to the motor to match the load requirement. A small reduction in the power load can have significant benefits for the consumption of electricity on sites motor installations.

Energy efficiency tips & advice – Compressed air units

Simple no cost measures

• Only consider using compressed air in processes when essential. If possible, use high speed fans as they are cheaper to run.
• Consider switching off an idle compressor, either manually or automatically, as it uses almost 40% of its full load during idling.
• The simplest way to improve the efficiency of compressed air units is to identify and repair leaking areas into the system. Regular leak checks can avoid energy waste.

Other measures

• Invest in self-isolating pipework for compressed air systems in large facilities as it reduces waste and leakages due to isolation.
• Consider using cool air compression systems (possibly with heat recovery) to reduce load on the compressor and to improve the overall energy efficiency of the facility.

Energy efficiency tips & advice – Refrigeration

Simple no cost measures

• In larger refrigeration systems, check for bubbles in the refrigerant cooling liquid sight-glass as they indicate a leak that should be repaired.
• Refrigerators and freezers should be located away from heat sources in order to reduce cooling load on the refrigeration system.
• Keep condensers and evaporators clean and free of dust and dirt. Introduce a scheduled maintenance programme to check for scaling, ice build-up, damaged vent fins which can impact the systems performance.
• Check and maintain strip curtains on walk-in refrigerated spaces.
• Ensure seals and gaskets are in good condition.
• Check air flow around refrigeration units and remote compressors to ensure that they are not obstructed and that grills are not blocked.
• Avoid overcooling and maintain correct temperatures as per requirements of the stored items.
• Avoid overloading or empty running refrigeration systems as it impacts performance of the systems

Other measures

• Upgrade older systems with newer, more efficient refrigeration technologies.
• Service refrigeration system and components annually.
• Annual calibration of controls will maintain performance
• Invest in pipe insulations and good quality seals to reduce cooling losses.
• If refrigeration output varies significantly (e.g. refrigeration systems in retail stores), consider using two (or more) smaller refrigeration units rather than one large one and turn off any unused equipment.

Energy efficiency tips & advice – Electric Vehicles

If your business involves being on the road then switching to an electric fleet can cut your businesses carbon footprint drastically. The electric motors used by EVs run at over 70% efficiency when converting power from the grid to power for your car. In comparison, a conventional fuel engine runs between 15% and 30% efficiency. EVs are also proven to be environmentally friendly with zero tailpipe emissions; and when combined with renewable power source for charging you can feel good every time you switch on.

For more information on how to reduce your carbon footprint and build a greener, cleaner business, contact our dedicated team at

Energy efficiency tips & advice – Office equipment

Simple no cost measures

• Office equipment can account for up to 15% of the total consumption in offices. Turning off non-essential, unused equipment can help save energy, lower costs and extend the lifetime of equipment
• Operate equipment on “Eco” mode where possible and keep it on “Stand-by” mode when temporarily not in use.
Place high heat-emitting equipment like printers in a cooler area of the office (e.g. near widows or ventilation outlets) to reduce the need for VAC load in the space.

Other measures

• Use inexpensive plug-in timers on non-essential equipment to cut off power automatically outside of operational hours.
• Equipment must be cleaned regularly to maintain optimum efficiency.
• When investing in new equipment, account for goods with higher energy efficiency ratings (preferably A or A+). Although the equipment may require a higher initial investment the energy efficiency will make it more cost effective over time.

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