Energy Savings Tips for Business

Click here to see the source from Toronto Hydro
In the City of Toronto, 69% of all the electricity used is consumed by small to mid-size commercial industrial outlets such as retail shops, restaurants, laundromats, small manufacturing firms, small offices and sole practitioners. Much of that electricity is wasted due to the use of inefficient equipment, no conservation knowledge and inefficient lighting.


Using energy efficiently can contribute to your bottom line. You can reduce your operating cost with only minimal changes to your facility and that will result in saved energy and a cost saving to you.

Did you know?

A small retail business in Toronto paying $24,000 per year in energy costs can save up to $7,200, or 30 per cent of costs, in year-to-year savings by making energy efficiency upgrades and changing a few operational items.

Energy saving ideas for:

Remember these main conservation ideas: 

1. Shift electricity use to off-peak periods.
For customers with smart meters and paying time-of-use rates, you can save money by switching some of your energy use to mid- and off-peak hours when electricity prices are lower.

2. Unplug electronic items not in use.
Many electronic items — TVs, computers, photocopiers — continue to consume small amounts of electricity unless they are unplugged. Try plugging these items into a power bar with a switch, so you can easily turn them off when they are not in use.

3. Choose energy-efficient products.
ENERGY STAR® appliances and compact fluorescent light bulbs consume less electricity, so your costs will be reduced.

4. Talk about energy conservation.
Train staff on energy conservation business practices, such as temperature control and appropriate lighting. In addition, renters and landlords should work together on energy efficiency to reduce energy bills for all parties.

Saving ideas for:

Heating and Cooling

• Close the door. An open door may entice some customers into your store, but consumes a lot of energy and costs you money.
• Install a programmable thermostat with a built-in timer. In the winter, set the heat down by a few degrees when your business is not open.
• In the summer, set your thermostat to 25°C instead of the low 20s. Use a portable fan and/or ceiling fan in conjunction with your air conditioner to stay cool and save energy. Relax your dress code to keep employees comfortable.
• Consider getting a heat recovery system to reduce heat lost from air exiting your building through the ventilation system exhaust. You could save up to 60-70 per cent of heat lost through air ventilation with an air-to-air heat exchanger, particularly for kitchen exhaust ventilation.

Source: Ministry of Energy

Equipment and Appliances

• Turn equipment, computers, monitors, photocopiers and appliances off when they are not in use. Electronic items continue to consume small amounts of electricity unless they are unplugged. Try plugging these items into a power bar with a switch, so you can easily turn them off when they are not in use.
• If you have a large walk-in refrigerator, consider installing a humidity control system to increase temperature by two to four degrees. Because walk-ins are usually storing fresh food or meat, humidity and temperature must be kept at the proper levels to preserve food quality. Check with your appliance supplier.
• If you have a compressed air system, check it for leaks. A small leak of only 0.8 millimetres can waste up to $100 per year.

Buying a new monitor?
Replace worn out computer systems and monitors with ENERGY STAR® models, and save up to 75 per cent of the energy typically consumed by their conventional counterparts. For example, a flat-panel, liquid crystal display (LCD) monitor consumes less than half the energy a cathode ray tube (CRT) monitor does.

Buying a new appliance?
Consider energy savings in your buying decision. Look for the EnerGuide label when making your next appliance purchase. Also, look for ENERGY STAR® models. ENERGY STAR- qualified appliances exceed minimum federal energy efficiency standards for energy consumption by at least 10 per cent, which will save you more money in the long run.

Source: Ministry of Energy

• Replace older T12 technology lights with newer T8 lights to save up to
• 25 per cent on operating costs. You will also eliminate the buzz from magnetic ballasts of T12 lights as you switch to the electronic ballast of T8 lights. Dispose of older ballasts and fixtures in an environmentally friendly manner as magnetic ballasts can contain PCBs, and fluorescent bulbs contain small amounts of mercury.
• As a lower cost (but less efficient) alternative to full replacement, remove unneeded light bulbs in areas with excess lighting levels, such as near windows, in hallways and in areas with no furniture. Adjust lighting levels by removing either the two outermost light bulbs or the inner pair from each four-bulb fluorescent fixture and keep a uniform lighting pattern for the ceiling. Save even more by purchasing lower wattage bulbs.
• Add reflectors on fluorescent tube light fixtures to increase the effectiveness of lighting, which often allows for lower wattage and/or fewer bulbs.
• Add occupancy sensors in areas such as store rooms and warehouses.
• Replace pot lights (recessed downlights) with compact fluorescent light bulbs as pot lights are inefficient and trap most of the light the bulb produces. Alternatively, ensure pot lights are properly air-sealed, insulated and separate from the insulation, to ensure safety and prevent excessive loss of heating/cooling from the building. Special sealing boxes are available for this purpose.
• Replace traditional EXIT signs with newer light emitting diode (LED) signs. By law, EXIT signs must be lit whenever the building is occupied, so they are often lit 24 hours a day. LED bulbs are more expensive, but they can last up to 10 years.
• Decorate your business with LED lights during the holidays to reduce energy costs by up to 95 per cent.

Source: Ministry of Energy

LED LIGHTING and Energy Efficiency Quick Facts
Click here to see the source from Toronto Hydro



The savings are immediate and ROI is generally 1 to 3 years

With the recent introduction of commercially viable LED bulbs and fixtures, businesses can expect unprecedented savings in their energy costs for lighting.

An LED for every need

Today, there is a large selection of LED bulbs, fixtures and arrays for many types of installations. So there is no reason to wait. The savings are immediate, the paybacks are generally between one and three years, and in many cases, the quality of the lighting is noticeably improved.

LEDs reduce your maintenance costs too

Since LEDs typically last four to nine times longer than other lighting sources, you don’t have to change them as often. That’s especially important in outdoor or high-bay areas where cranes or lifts are required to reach the fixtures.

In addition to their reduced energy requirements, LEDs offer these advantages:

• Their compact size makes LEDs more versatile
• Low heat dissipation means lighting can often be closer to the object being lit, and also reduces overall air conditioning requirements
• LED lighting is “immediately on” and starts at full brightness
• LED lights are fully dimmable
• LED lighting is ideal for outdoors and performs well in both heat and cold
• A selection of vivid colours are available
• As an added safety factor, LEDs operate at low voltage

Don’t overlook these opportunities

Because of their long life, LEDs should first be considered in areas where lighting is required for substantial periods of time.

These can include:

• “Always on” locations such as lobbies, hallways, stairs, exit signs
• Parking lots and other outdoor lighting
• Commercial signage

Because of their low-heat output and small size, LEDs should be candidates for:

• Freezer cases, fruit and vegetable displays
• Retail display cases
• Restaurants and entertainment facilities

Cut Light Energy Costs with Energy Efficient Lighting Options (Source for this section)

Lighting can represent on average 22% of the monthly electricity consumption for most non-industrial buildings.

Consider upgrading to LED lights which last up to 25 times longer and are 75% more efficient than incandescent lighting.

Determine what type of light upgrade is suitable for your facility and upgrade with saveONenergy incentives.

Source: Local Authority Services Audit ++, 2009

Garage Lighting

3 Reasons to Upgrade Garage Lighting:

1. Light up savings underground
Parking garages are often overlooked areas for lighting savings. There are three distinct reasons to review your garage lighting now:

  1. A lighting retrofit generally produces energy savings of 20 to 60 per cent.
  2. You’ll get an increase in light levels which ensures you meet the new building code requirements.
  3. Your tenants will notice the immediate improvement.

2. Typical garage lighting paybacks

Savings will vary considerably depending of the size of the garage and the current lighting. However, incentive applications have typically had paybacks on installations between one to four years, with an average of 2.3 years.

3. Typical lighting types for garages

For general overhead lighting, T-8 fluorescent lamps are the most cost effective, providing improved levels of lighting at a savings over T-12s.

For hard-to-reach installations, exit signs and general lighting where specialty fixtures are required, consider LEDs. Their efficiency, long life and compact size make them a good choice.

Upgrading to LED Lighting – Details
Click here to view the source on Toronto Hydro

Upgrade to LED lighting with saveONenergy incentives to shorten payback periods, reduce maintenance costs, and cut operating expenses. LED lighting also lasts up to 25 times longer and uses up to 75% less energy than standard incandescent lighting.

Available Prescriptive Incentives
Determine your financial incentive based on your lighting requirement. The table below is for ease of reference. Participants should refer to the program documents for further details.

*Lights must be Energy Star qualified
**Light fixtures must be DLC qualified

Upgrading to High Intensity Discharge Lighting – Details
Click here to see the source at Toronto Hydro

Install HID lights with saveONenergy incentives in large areas such as arenas, or for outdoor applications to reduce lighting energy costs and reduce replacement costs.

Available Prescriptive Incentives

Determine your financial incentive based on your facilities lighting requirement. The table below is for ease of reference. Participants should refer to the program documents for further details.

*Lights must be Energy Star qualified

**Light fixtures must be DLC qualified