​Energy Saving Tips for Your Business


View energy-saving tips that can help make a difference in the amount of energy you use and money you save.

Water Heating

  • Condensing hot water heaters recover heat from combustion flue gas for your domestic hot water, saving you about 10 to 15 percent in hot water energy costs. Save more with rebates available on certain models. Details at CenterPointEnergy.com/BusinessRebates.
  • Hot water from your faucet can be conserved by incorporating low-flow aerators into your facility resulting in savings of 25 percent or more on your water heating costs.

Programmable Thermostats

  • Scheduling heating and cooling needs with a programmable or Wi-Fi thermostat as part of your overall building automation plan can save you energy. Set the thermostat back 7-10 F when the building is unoccupied for at least eight hours and save as much as 10 percent on heating costs. (Source: DOE)
  • Smart thermostats monitor behaviors and building occupancy to adjust heating and cooling temperatures to optimize comfort and efficiency. Saving 10 percent or more in energy costs depending on your facility size and usage. (Source: DOE)

Natural Gas Energy Analysis

  • Most organizations can achieve annual energy savings of 2 to 10 percent through better energy management. Scheduling a Natural Gas Energy Analysis is a good first step in starting an energy efficiency plan for your facility. Plus, participants are also eligible for free direct-install natural gas-saving measures, including programmable thermostats, energy-efficient faucet aerators and showerheads, and weather stripping for exterior doors. Learn more at CenterPointEnergy.com/EnergyAnalysis.
  • About 5 percent or more of steam traps fail each year, wasting energy and money. Coordinate with CenterPoint Energy a plan for assessing steam traps as part of your overall building and steam heating system maintenance plan, to ensure your steam traps are regularly checked with a professional steam trap survey to identify any failed traps. CenterPoint Energy has steam trap audit services available along with rebates for repair or replacement of failed traps

Energy Data Portal

Discover the exciting bottom line benefits of using Energy Data Portal from CenterPoint Energy to automate your building’s energy benchmarking. Get FREE current and historical natural gas energy use tracking. Visit CenterPointEnergy.com/BenchmarkingResources to get started.

Heating

  • As part of your building automation system, adding boiler controls (such as cut-out and reset controls) can save you energy and money by optimizing your hot water temperature. This helps your boiler operate about 5 percent more efficiently.
  • The ventilation load on a commercial building can account for half of your heating bill. You can avoid paying for over-ventilation by installing a demand control ventilation system to automatically adjust the amount of fresh air intake based on carbon dioxide levels (occupancy) in the room. 
  • Modulating burners can allow for 3 percent better efficiency and lessen cycling of your boiler system during part-load seasons.
  • A natural gas hydronic heating system with a condensing boiler can operate at least 10 percent more efficiently than one with a standard efficiency or non-condensing boiler. If it’s time to replace your boiler, consider upgrading to a condensing model. Learn more at CenterPointEnergy.com/BusinessRebates.
  • Having your boiler tuned-up at least every two years can increase boiler operating efficiency from 1 to 5 percent. Learn more about tune-up rebates at CenterPointEnergy.com/BusinessRebates.
  • Infrared and condensing unit heaters can operate 10 percent more efficiently than standard natural gas unit heaters. Learn about heating rebates at CenterPointEnergy.com/BusinessRebates.
  • Linkageless controls optimize your boiler’s combustion efficiency, saving about 3 percent on space heating costs. Save more with boiler component rebates

Steam Traps/Steam Trap Audits

  • An audit of your facility’s steam distribution system can help increase its efficiency by identifying steam traps in need of replacement or repair.
  • Enjoy rapid payback when you combine eligible audit funding with qualifying equipment rebates provided through our rebate program. 
  • In steam systems that have not been maintained for three to five years, between 15 and 30 percent of installed steam traps may have failed. This allows steam to escape into the condensate return system. Work with your steam system service provider to audit, repair and replace traps and use our audit funding and prescriptive steam trap rebates from CenterPoint Energy to pay for 35 percent of the cost of repair or replacements. 

Rebate Program

Remember, rebate applications for natural gas equipment installations must be submitted by Dec. 31 of each year.

Foodservice Equipment

  • Many operators still refer to the convection oven as a “wind” oven. With a fan rotating the hot air around the oven cavity, it is vital to lower the cooking temperatures from the standard recipe. With lower temperatures and shorter cook times, an operator can save up to 25 percent on energy costs every time. (Source: Foodservice Technology Center)
  • All cooking appliances benefit from being kept clean and most are very easy to maintain. When appliances run at peak efficiency, energy is maximized. For range tops, keep burner heads clean to maximize the flame and work at peak efficiency. A wavy or yellow flame is a sign the burner needs attention and you need to call an authorized service agent.
  • High efficiency dishwashers don’t just save water, they save natural gas. Dishwashers that recirculate hot water reduce the demand on the natural gas water heater and save $200 in natural gas costs and 50,000 gallons of water per year. (Source: EnergyStar®)
  • Invest in a high-efficiency fryer with faster recovery times and save energy. Better cooking efficiency and optimized idle rates can save 30 to 50 percent over the annual operational cost of a standard-efficiency fryer. (Source: Foodservice Technology Center)
  • Consider a natural gas steamer for your kitchen and save energy. A high-efficiency steamer, including those with the ENERGY STAR® logo, can save well over half the annual appliance energy cost. (Source: Foodservice Technology Center)
  • Make your next conveyor oven a high-efficiency natural gas unit and save! A high-efficiency conveyor oven with California Energy Wise (CEW) cooking energy efficiency rating can save 25 percent of the annual appliance energy cost. (Source: Foodservice Technology Center)
  • Don’t leave the high-efficiency decision for your next natural gas griddle on the back burner! A griddle with the ENERGY STAR® logo can save you 30 percent off your annual appliance energy costs. Those savings add up to the amount of hot water energy needed for a commercial kitchen to use its dishwasher for six months! (Source: Foodservice Technology Center)
  • Lots of energy gets exhausted through your kitchen hood. A kitchen hood demand control ventilation (DCV) system will save you energy when your appliances are idling. Don’t blow those savings away! Install DCV and save approximately 30 percent of your hood system HVAC costs. (Source: Foodservice Technology Center)
  • A natural gas booster water heater for sanitizing dishware can lower operating costs drastically and save operators well over 50 percent compared to electric booster water heaters, while reducing emissions to the environment. (Source: Blue Flame Alliance)
  • Combi ovens diversify the kitchen’s cooking options and can help save energy. Compared to a traditional steamer, a combi oven can cut your appliance cooking cost in half. Consider a high-efficiency combi option, including those with the ENERGY STAR® logo, and potentially chop your costs by at least another 30 percent. (Source: Foodservice Technology Center)
  • Combi ovens diversify the kitchen’s cooking options and can help save energy. Consider a high-efficiency combi option, including those with the ENERGY STAR® logo, and potentially chop your costs by at least 30 percent. (Source: Foodservice Technology Center)
  • Did you know nearly 90 percent of chefs prefer cooking with natural gas? Due to excellent results and up to a 50 percent reduction in operating costs on high efficiency natural gas equipment, it’s the preferred choice of foodservice operators. Source: Blue Flame Alliance Chef Energy Preference Study

Foodservice Energy Savings

  • Restaurants use 5 to 7 times more energy per square foot compared to any other type of commercial facility. The energy SAVINGS of a high-efficiency natural gas fryer is equal to the same amount of energy used in 1 home per year and saves over 4 metric tons of CO2 emissions which is the same as or equal to 1 car being removed from the roadway. This is why using high efficiency, natural gas foodservice equipment in your commercial kitchen can help you save significantly on your foodservice equipment environmental impact. Source: Energy Star®
  • When running a commercial kitchen, ask your kitchen staff and chefs to focus on turning equipment down or off when it is not being used to save energy. Up to 50 percent of appliance energy consumption is used when equipment is on but nothing is cooking. Posting a start-up and shutdown schedule on each appliance as a guide is a simple yet effective way to keep track of equipment energy consumption if your appliances do not have an automatic idle control to automatically reduce this wasted energy. Source: Foodservice Technology Center

Foodservice

Take advantage of CenterPoint Energy’s complimentary Foodservice Learning Center in Minneapolis, Minn., one of only a few of its kind in the nation to test the latest energy-efficient, natural gas commercial cooking equipment. If you’re not familiar with high-efficiency natural gas foodservice equipment, you can try before you buy and compare and test the latest models.


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