The facility that I choose for the discussion is an enterprise and office blocks in which I have access to courtesy of my brother who is an employee. The energy consumption use in the company is quite impressive with the facilities project manager incorporating a number of techniques that are geared towards efficient energy use. The facility is doing quite well even though there are a number of areas that can be improved to ensure maximum efficiency in the consumption of energy. These areas will be discussed in depth within the paper.
The enterprise, for instance, switched from using incandescent light sources to compact fluorescent light bulbs which are affordable, easy to install, consume 75 percent less energy and save upto $200 per each bulb as compared to using the incandescent bulbs (Hu, 2013). It is evident that the FPM at the building acknowledges that expenses incurred in lighting may take up as much as 50 percent of the average electricity bills.
The employees in the company have also set their computers to automatically sleep or hibernate after 45 minutes of inactivity. The computers and printers are also turned off at night and during weekends when they are not in use to ensure that energy is conserved. This according to the EPA saves up to $150 per computer or printer annually with little variation on the machines depending on the type and the energy consumption of the machine (Zomaya& Lee, 2012). The employees in the company also do not fall for screen savers which actually keep monitors active and often consume full power.
The organization has also installed smart strip power cords which automatically detect when devices are turned off and immediately cut off the phantom power of electronics (the power that devices use even when they are turned off). Not only do these smart strip power cords help in conservation of energy, but also double up as surge protectors. The strips are also equipped with hot outlets that are always on and are a better option for printers especially the laser printers that may at times be damaged by the ordinary power strips.
The company has also planted a significant number of trees around the company premises. Trees are a natural remedy to cost saving benefits and efficient energy use in two ways. Trees are wind breaks and also provide natural cooling thereby cutting down on the cost of cooling by air conditioners. During warm climates specifically, the trees significantly reduce the cost of cooling by reducing the ambient temperature of the surrounding by approximately four to six degrees. The energy that could be used in powering air conditioners is thus channeled to other use.
Even though the enterprise is doing well in terms of energy use, there are a number of ways the facilities project manager (FPM) can incorporate to be more effective in managing the use of energy. For example, the company can go green by supplementing the electric lighting with natural lighting (Royle et al., 1990). This can be done by tearing down some concrete wall sections and replacing with reinforced glass sections which provide large amounts of natural lighting. Eventually, the company can cut down the cost of lighting greatly. Efficient energy consumption can also be achieved by reducing the cost of heating and cooling as these two account for a great share of utility bills of companies.
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