Let’s face it! We have a big Problem.
The price of electricity and gas are skyrocketing and almost everywhere in the EU, we have very hot summers. So how do you manage your energy bills?
If you are working in an office or shared workspace, or you manage such a building, we are going to share with you several tips and tricks on how to save electrical energy in your building during hot summer days that could save you thousands of Euros.
Figure 1. Europe is facing extreme heat waves during the summer of 2022, with the highest records of the last two decades .
Before talking about the energy-saving hints, the first step to saving energy is you know how, when, and where you consume energy! In other words, your decision should be data-driven. Collect as much data as you can from various resources such as weather forecast websites, your building equipment, talking with occupants, energy monitoring or management systems, and energy bills. Empower yourself to be able to forecast energy-intensive events before they happen and prepare yourself and your building to handle them.
LEDs generate around 80% less heat compared to halogens and even more compared to incandescent bulbs. Coupling dimmable LEDs with occupancy sensors will dramatically affect the temperature of your workspace and your energy bills.
Do a training workshop for the staff on the best practice of using the Air Conditioning (AC) system. The simplest thing people avoid doing is to keep the doors and windows shut when the AC is on. Let them know the impact in numbers and ask them to be your treasure hunters at the office. Give them clear and exact quantitative information like: Closing windows when AC is on will save us 5% of energy bills per month which rounds up to 150 EUR.
Check the temperature set point and all the AC filters at least twice a year and replace them, at least once a year. Damaged and dusty filters will increase the power demand of your AC.
Turn off the AC, or train the staff to do it, at least half an hour before they leave the office. The energy saving with this method can reach up to 5%.
Regularly, check with people if they complain about hot or cold temperatures in their office spaces. People are different and have different Hot/cold temperaments. In some cases, ladies say: “Summer is women’s winter in the office”. Some people bring their sweaters to the office to avoid cold weather. So, make sure you have done good space management based on the occupant's comfort level.
If you have a building management system (BMS), make sure it is well-tuned for the time schedules considering the daylight hours and forecasted temperatures. Also, Set the AC temperature to 25°C because you can save more than 15% and reduce the CO2 footprint.
With your BMS, use a smart thermostat to manage a 2°C change during peak and off-peak hours. This change is rarely noticed by occupants it significantly cuts your peak demands and provides considerable demand-side flexibility to your utility provider.
You can save up to 20% of overall cooling energy just by considering cooling the building with outside air, overnight.
Be aware that isolation is not only important for the heating but also the cooling of the office. So, if you have damaged or cracked walls, doors, or windows, replacing and sealing them with heat isolation materials will prevent air leakage and will return your investment in a short period.
While the sun is heating your building against your energy-saving goals, it shows you a great opportunity to use photovoltaic panels on your rooftop and enjoy a complete or partial self-consumption of your AC system.
Keeping the sun out of a room during the peak sun hours will help to keep the office cool. You may do this by training personnel or automatically using the BMS system.
 Available online at [https://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/images/150083/heatwaves-and-fires-scorch-europe-africa-and-asia/], accessed in 16th of July 2022.