Sustainability Sub-Committee of the Economic Development Committee
Mission Statement: To establish and recommend environmental health and sustainability best practices for the Chamber and its members.
- Turn off lights when leaving a room.
- Turning off a light that is not needed is a 100% energy savings!
- Install occupancy sensors, which could reduce your total lighting costs by 15%.
- Save up to 30% by using smart power strips to regulate energy use on equipment such as computers, copiers, and printers.
- Enable the sleep mode on office computers to achieve savings up to $20 per year per computer.
- When it is time to replace printers, refrigerators, and other office equipment, choose products that have the ENERGY STAR® label.
- Use programmable thermostats to reduce air conditioning during unoccupied hours. For thermostats below 75 degrees, increase them by 1 degree immediately then increase 1 degree every 3-6 months until at least 75 degrees is reached.
- Pay for a professional HVAC company to service the system annually. Cleaning heat exchanger coils extends the life of the system, maintains proper energy use, and promotes better air quality.
- Use daylight sensors when lights must always be on at night.
- Consider installation of an Energy Recovery Ventilator (ERV).
Lighting Specific Optimization
- Replace traditional incandescent light bulbs, which is a great way to save. Choose Compact Fluorescent Lamp (CFL) bulbs which use 75% less energy and last up to 10 times longer. Better yet, light-emitting diode (LED) bulbs use 85% less energy than incandescent – saving you about $70 in energy costs over the life of the bulb.
- 5000K/daylight/blue color for outside and industrial environments.
- 4000K/cool/soft white/white color for office environments.
- 3000K/warm/yellow color for home environments.
- Life should be 25,000+ hours for the home and 50,000+ hours for commercial and industrial.
- Avoid integrated fixtures or lamps.
- Do not forget about signage: replacing incandescent bulbs in exit signs with LEDs saves about 80% on signage operating costs. If LEDs are not compatible with your current sign, a new sign is inexpensive and could pay for itself within a year.
- If you have any questions about these tips Florida Power & Light Company’s Business Energy Experts are waiting to help you and can be reached at BEE@FPL.com or 1-800-375-2434. We encourage you to view the short tutorials on how to navigate the Business Energy Manager tool.
General Sustainability Information
General Resources – Implementing Sustainability in your Business:
- S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) ENERGY STAR for Small Business program: provides free info and technical support to improve your business’s financial performance by reducing energy waste and energy costs, while protecting the environment.
- ENERGY STAR Action Workbook for Small Business: newly updated and free, on-line greening publication designed especially for designed especially for small businesses; provides assistance for moving beyond compliance and into sustainability
- Energy Savings Tips for Small Businesses: Home‐Based Businesses
- Non-profit organization Cultivating Capital publishes theSmall Business Guide to Sustainable Business Practices, a practical guide with resources to help owners build sustainable businesses
Further Energy Information & Resources
- To access your energy usage, billing and payment options, ways to save, small business tools and much more visit fpl.com/business.html
Energy Audits & Renewable Energy Procurement: Energy Audits
- To identify further opportunities to reduce energy consumption and costs, existing building owners and operators may consider conducting an energy audit. This entails gathering energy consumption data for the entire building so that facilities teams can identify no-cost and low-cost energy conservation measures to improve overall energy performance.
- ASHRAE Procedures for Commercial Building Energy Audits defines best practices and provides guidance on preparing, conducting, and documenting an ASHRAE Level 1 energy audit. An ASHRAE “Level 1” audit may be performed by in-house staff or by a third-party auditor.
- The ASHRAE procedures and forms are standardized for use in a variety of building types but can be tailored to suit particular projects. The procedures help Identify no- and low-cost improvement opportunities that will improve operations and save energy.
- Regularly recording any changes in systems, operation, and usage ensures that knowledge can be easily passed from operator to operator and is also available to support future upgrades, audits, or commissioning activities.
Renewable Energy Procurement
- Reusables calculator: this online tool calculates the estimated cost savings and environmental benefits that businesses will obtain by using reusable instead of disposable products. Savings estimates can be calculated for a variety of disposable products, including straws, cutlery, cups, plates, and bowls.
- Responsible products catalogue: this guide is an easily searchable database that provides sustainable alternatives to single-use plastic disposable products. Most of these items are backyard/cold-compostable products that can be taken to a community compost and will break down in the environment; “compostable” bioplastics are not featured because these materials must be processed in industrial composting facilities which do not exist in Florida, and because they behave similarly to traditional oil-based plastics when in the environment. Aluminum-canned still and sparkling water options are also featured in this catalogue because aluminum is the most efficiently recycled material; boxed water options are not featured because they are often lined with plastic PLA. Most products in this catalogue are from southeast Florida businesses to support the local economy and reduce our carbon footprint. Anyone can apply to be part of this guide at this link.
- Green Business Checklist: this is a self-evaluation based on environmentally, economically, and socially sustainable business practices. Use the checklist to assess your business practices and calculate a green rating score based on best management practices for sustainability.
*Sustainability information provided by Florida Power & Light (FPL), U.S. Green Building Council (USBGC) and Florida Crystals Dept. of Corporate Sustainability