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How to Become an Energy-Efficient Business

Energy efficiency is quickly changing how all industries across Canada operate. The national goal is to have a carbon-neutral power grid by 2050, which means all businesses, large and small, will play a key role in achieving it.

You may already be familiar with ever-changing regulations that your company must comply with, but becoming more energy efficient can also improve your competitive advantage! So, as the push for efficiency continues, here is a step-by-step guide to make the transition easier.

The changes that will make the most significant impact may carry a heftier price tag, but minor changes can also improve your facility's efficiency. We'll cover options for every operating budget in this post.

Step 1: An Energy-Efficiency Audit

Businesses can be complex and may have many moving parts. Enlisting an energy audit is a good place to improve your company's efficiency. The audit involves an in-depth inspection of your building's infrastructure, including its windows, walls, insulation, HVAC, lighting, water heating, and specific equipment.

Some energy efficiency issues aren't visible. The audit will also measure and document the efficiency of your electrical systems. Multiple tools and meters are used, like data loggers and infrared scans.

  • A data logger is connected to your main electrical distribution for a set time to find any power issues or occurring events.
  • An IR scan (thermal imaging) reveals issues like inadequate wiring, poor insulation, and air sealing.

The data is acquired, analyzed, and delivered with recommendations for improvements. You can then repair and upgrade your way to better efficiency. An audit is the first step to improving your energy efficiency and helps determine which of the next steps outlined below would make the most impact.

An electrician analyses a data logger

Step 2: Use an Energy Management System

Dozens of companies across Canada have implemented the ISO 50001 Energy Management Systems Standard. This voluntary, internationally recognized standard gives companies a structured way to manage their energy consumption. These companies collectively save about $2 million per year. 

The system ties energy efficiency into management practices to help all parts of a company move in the right direction. If you prefer an individualized approach, then keep reading.

Step 3: Small Changes to Create an Energy-Efficient Business

Some changes require only small improvements and can be implemented quickly. Here are a few options:

  1. Light Retrofitting: LED fixtures are much more efficient than fluorescent ones and often cost less per unit—bonus points for installing fixtures with occupancy sensors that keep lights on only when someone is nearby.
  2. Switches: Swapping out regular light switches for others with sensors or timers reduces the amount of wasted energy on unused light.
  3. Improve Insulation and Sealing: Controlling a facility's climate can be challenging with inadequate insulation or air leakage. Adding more insulation or sealing areas where air easily escapes can bring that cost down considerably.
  4. Energy Efficient Staff: Educating employees about energy efficiency practices and fostering a culture of conservation can lead to more mindful energy use across the organization.

Note: Some of these changes may be eligible for government rebates.

An electrician completes a lighting retrofit

Step 4: Large Changes to Create an Energy-Efficient Business

Large organizations can take bigger steps to improve efficiency. These suggestions have a greater impact on inefficiencies but require more costs and operational changes.

  • Optimize Production Processes: Besides being better for your bottom line, streamlining production processes reduces waste and improves efficiency. This might involve reconfiguring manufacturing lines, improving heat recovery systems, and changing operating schedules.
  • Installing Variable Frequency Drives (VFDs): Using VFDs on motors that drive pumps, fans, and other equipment allows the motor speed to be adjusted according to demand, reducing energy use during lower demand periods.
  • Replacing inefficient equipment: As technology progresses, upgrading or replacing old equipment can increase productivity and efficiency.
  • Upgrading facility: If you have the budget for it, improvements to HVAC, plumbing and even decor (think blinds) can also impact your energy efficiency.
A manufacturing facility

To improve the efficiency of your business, there is a clear process. You can discover where power is wasted with just a few simple electrical services. Once you find these inefficiencies, you can plan to improve small or large parts of your facility as needed. For more guidance, check out the ISO 50001 energy management system.

To get started, we’d be happy to help you with an energy audit to get you on the right track. Connect with us by phone at 1-844-667-6937, email at, or by filling out the form below.

We look forward to helping you improve your business’s efficiency!

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Serving the Hamilton and Niagara area.

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