Westchester County

Commercial Buildings

Energy Savers for Commercial Buildings

Here are energy-saving tips for commercial and industrial buildings:

  • In hospitals, perform flexible operations such as disposal of medical waste, during evening or early morning hours, when the demand for electricity is lowest.
  • Pool pumps should only be operated during evening hours. This eases electric demand during peak usage hours. Check water quality frequently.
  • Turn off the water cooler during periods of high electrical use, which is from 4 to 8 p.m.
  • Request employees to shut off non-essential computers, coffee makers, other nonessential equipment and, if feasible, 50 percent of copiers.
  • Promote casual wear that is more comfortable when air conditioning is reduced.
  • Offer flexible work hours in the summer where practical to allow employees to come in earlier and leave earlier.  
  • Implement "cool café" days when the food service only serves cold items such as sandwiches, salads, fruits and vegetables.
  • Raise thermostat settings for your air conditioning systems by a few degrees during working hours, and consider raising the thermostat further when your facilities are unoccupied. Raising the thermostat a degree a day (up to 78 degrees) will make the transition easier.
  • Consider moving operations or production schedules away from the first shift, or starting the first shift earlier in the day, to avoid high electricity demands during peak usage periods.
  • Turn off machinery not in use rather than letting it idle.
  • Use water-cooled equipment whenever possible.
  • If you are planning a facility shutdown, consider scheduling it sometime during the hottest months (July or August).  
  • Investigate the use of mobile air compression or mobile electric generation.
  • To conserve energy, reduce water pressure to minimum safety levels before starting any pumping operations. Also, allow sumps at sewerage pumping stations to remain as full as safely possible before pumping.
  • If you have water storage tanks at your facilities, fill them before peak electric demand periods in order to maintain sufficient water pressure in the event of a power outage.

-- for elevators and escalators:

  • If your elevators are connected to an alternate power supply, verify the maximum number of elevators that can run without overloading the generator.
  • When shedding load, make sure that the air conditioning and ventilation systems for the elevator equipment room are not shut off.

-- for generators:

  • Check the operation, adequacy and maintenance (e.g., fuel supply, filter, coolant levels) of your emergency generators and battery systems. To identify potential problems before the time of need, test emergency generation under full-load conditions.
  • If you decide to obtain on-site backup generation, contact your the State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) for information regarding emissions issues and special provisions.
  • Before installing emergency generation, contact your local electric company for interconnection requirements.
  • Consider pre-cooling your facility in the early morning hours, prior to peak demand for electricity.
  • Verify that all maintenance has been performed on your air conditioning equipment, including changing the filters.
  • If you are considering purchasing a new air conditioning system, evaluate high efficiency units and consult your local electric company about cash incentives available for owners of highly efficient systems.
  • Use drapes or shades to prevent direct sunlight from entering your building.
  • Turn off heat-generating office equipment, such as copiers and computers, when not in use, especially when your facilities are unoccupied.
  • Turn off every second or third lighting fixture in order to conserve electricity and reduce the need for air conditioning.
  • Lower the temperature of your water heater to 120 degrees Fahrenheit, which is adequate for normal use. Also consider turning off your water heater during periods of high electrical use or public appeals for electric curtailment.

-- for motors:

  • Check the nameplate information on your motors and verify that they are rated to operate at your supply voltage. Motors are normally designed to operate between plus-10 percent and minus-10 percent of their normal voltage without shortening life expectancy.
  • Consider installing a buck-boost transformer as required to maximize the life expectancy of your motors. This is a worthwhile consideration for normal operating conditions as well as during voltage reductions.  
  • Ensure that all areas where motors are operating are well ventilated. Avoid aiming fans directing at motor starters. This practice may defeat controls designed to protect the motor from possible burnout.
  • In the case of a blackout, turn off all your units to prevent large power draws when the power comes back on. Once power is restored, turn on your units one at a time to prevent sudden power surges.