Cool Down Your Company’s Energy Costs with the FPL Business Energy Manager

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By Jennifer Brink, Florida Power & Light Company (FPL)

Summer in Florida means something else altogether for your business: increased energy needs and expenditures. Simply put, the intense heat brings measurable operational challenges.

It’s no secret that during summer months, HVAC systems run longer to keep your business cool – whether it’s for general office space, critical storage areas that require climate control, or even on-site mobile office units for construction projects. On average, HVAC energy use accounts for 40-70% of a commercial energy bill each month.

Today, we’re in one of the four peak energy usage months of the year: June, July, August and September. In this season, your HVAC systems can run up to twice as long as they do in the cooler months. So as your company’s energy demand increases, it’s especially critical to find ways to manage your usage effectively to save money on your energy bill.

At Florida Power & Light Company (FPL), we offer comprehensive strategies and solutions to evaluate where you’re using energy and how you can save. Of course, we also offer a general set of tips that are uniquely important in the summer months. These include:

  • Setting your thermostat to a comfortable temperature between 75 and 78 degrees during the day and turn it up to 82 degrees during unoccupied hours.
  • Installing programmable thermostats that automatically adjust temperature settings based on time and day of the week, and for multiple HVAC units, setting return-to-occupied temperatures for each unit so that they fall 30 minutes apart.
  • Regularly changing HVAC filters and tuning up units.
  • Turning off lights and equipment when not in use and installing occupancy sensors to automatically turn off lights.

But to truly maximize efficiency, you need to clearly understand the unique energy use trends that define your business. That’s where the free FPL Business Energy Manager (BEM) enters the picture. This online tool allows your company to monitor, analyze and calculate energy expenditures, giving you the control and insight you need to save energy and grow your bottom line.

Harnessing the Power of the FPL Business Energy Manager

Using the Business Energy Manager starts by completing the Energy Breakdown Survey, which analyzes your business to deliver a more personalized experience. The survey aims to inspect your energy usage, provide valuable tips on how to maximize your energy efficiency and offer energy solutions specific to your needs. The survey aims to inspect your energy usage, provide valuable tips on how to maximize your energy efficiency and offer energy solutions specific to your needs.

Consider, for instance, the complex energy needs of a construction company that uses on-site mobile offices, and operates machinery and tools that rely on electricity, but also runs office space with significant lighting and HVAC demands. Based on constantly changing construction project needs — and changing seasons — energy use and costs will fluctuate dramatically. As a result, identifying patterns and trends becomes critical in understanding how to lower energy bills.

The survey is just the first step to unlock the power of the Business Energy Manager. Based on survey information, you will receive customized recommendations to save energy and money. You will learn what equipment and appliances are costing you the most, how your HVAC use increases in the summer and how it changes from month to month, and how much you spend on lighting. The platform is broken down into categories so you can learn how to use less and save more in every area of operations.

bem fplTurning Information into Action

The Business Energy Manager analysis and recommendations will let your organization take action quickly to achieve cost-saving results, allowing you to beat the summer heat and the cost it carries at the same time. For example, the platform might indicate excessive energy use during non-operational hours or suggest upgrades to more energy-efficient equipment. Each recommendation is clearly defined and accompanied by advice on how to move forward to make it happen. The goal is to optimize operations, reduce costs and help you achieve your organization’s sustainability goals. By continuing to track energy usage over time, you can modify your strategy in the months and years to come.

bem 2Ultimately, your business can save up to $500 a year on energy cost by following recommendations in these key areas:

  • HVAC: Programmable thermostats and energy efficient equipment will help you save, especially in the hot summer months.
  • Lighting: Interior lighting accounts for more than 25 percent of a business’s energy consumption, and so replace or retrofit lighting systems with energy efficient options.
  • Automation and Technology: Occupancy sensors can reduce your total lighting costs
    by 15 percent. At the same time, sleep mode on office computers can achieve savings up to $20 per year for each computer. You can save about 20 percent on lighting energy use by installing bi-level switches to control lighting. And energy use can be cut by up to 30 percent using timers or setting up a scheduling system to control lights on a predictable schedule.

At FPL, our goal is to help businesses unlock substantial savings with the Business Energy Manager. Visit FPL.com/mybusiness to learn more.

Jennifer Brink is a senior business specialist and program manager with Florida Power & Light Company (FPL). She has more than 25 years of experience in energy efficiency, including overseeing FPL’s Business Energy Manager, a free tool which helps customers track, analyze and monitor their business energy usage.

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