The Top 5 Industries Where Energy Efficiency Is Most Needed
Energy efficiency is a practice that can benefit everyone: individuals, businesses, and the planet. By figuring out how to power our daily lives while burning less fossil fuel, we can lower our carbon footprint and even save money on energy bills.
For businesses, this is especially pertinent, as they tend to use more energy than the average home. Plus, there’s a big push for companies to reduce their carbon footprint in a meaningful way on the path to net zero. In fact, it’s likely public companies will soon be required to report on their emissions.
Any business can benefit from enacting energy efficiency by upgrading equipment and taking advantage of cutting-edge energy-saving technologies. This can boost a company’s bottom line by lowering energy bills and help demonstrate a commitment to the environment. There are some industries, though, where energy efficiency can have an extremely high level of impact. Below are a few examples.
Quick Service and Fast Casual Restaurants
Restaurants are energy intensive businesses. They typically need high levels of energy to power cooking, cleaning, food storage, ventilation, and more. In fact, restaurants use about five to seven times more energy per square foot than other commercial buildings, according to some estimates. For quick-service restaurants (QSRs), this can actually be 10 times higher.
The good news is that great strides are being made in energy efficiency for restaurants, with high levels of potential savings. New refrigeration control technology, for example, allows for optimal efficiency and temperature control for walk-in coolers, while also sending out alerts if there are any issues—to help protect equipment and the perishables they keep fresh. There are alsoAdditionally, there are new, self-contained refrigeration systems for indoor walk-in coolers and freezers that can save businesses 50% on their walk-in refrigeration unit’s energy bills on average.
There are also technologies that help reduce HVAC energy usage, prevent water waste, and so many more. Given the high levels of consumption at restaurants, these efficiency measures can lead to significant savings.
Healthcare and Fitness
Healthcare and fitness are vast and diverse industries that include many different types of businesses. But all of them share one thing in common: they use a lot of energy.
One good example of this is gyms or fitness centers. A gym needs a lot of power to regulate the atmosphere, keep the lights on, and to power fitness equipment—some gyms pay nearly $70,000 on energy annually. State-of-the-art, energy-efficient HVAC systems and LED lights can help bring down these costs significantly. One YMCA location saved $8,200 annually on its energy bills after partnering with Budderfly for high-efficiency upgrades.
Plus, gym goers prefer giving their business to eco-friendly businesses, meaning energy efficiency can even boost memberships. Read more about why gyms should care about sustainability here.
Hotels are complex businesses, and many function not merely as a place for guests to sleep—but as a gym, restaurant, cafe, and laundromat all rolled into one. That means it takes a lot of energy to keep a hotel running. In fact, due to their 24-hour 365-day operations, hotels are one of the highest energy and water consumers per square foot, according to the Department of Energy.
Reducing waste across a hotel facility is essential to staying profitable. Plus, demonstrating real strides towards net-zero can help attract more increasingly environmentally-conscious guests. “Nine out of 10 travelers want more sustainable travel options and 76% of business executives want sustainable corporate travel choices — even if it costs more,” according to the U.S. Travel Association.
Energy efficiency can lead to real, measurable benefits for hotels.
Keeping retail stores comfortable and well-lit is essential to attracting and retaining customers. Yet maintaining an ideal shopping environment can be costly, as lighting, heating, and air conditioning consume high amounts of energy.
For certain types of retail stores, this can be even higher. Grocery stores, for example, need to power large refrigerators and freezers to prevent goods from spoiling. Retail businesses that are open 24 hours a day also have higher than average energy needs, as they must keep lights and HVACs running around the clock, even when business may be slow.
Upgrading some of this equipment to energy efficient models can be a game changer and minimize energy costs and emissions—without compromising on customer comfort.
Schools and Universities
K-12 school districts spend more than $6 billion annually on energy in the U.S., which is more than they spend on computers and textbooks combined. It makes sense, as schools have complex energy needs. Temperature regulation must be maintained for student comfort, cafeterias must cook and clean meals daily, computers must be powered, and facilities must be well lit. The same holds true for universities.
However, as much as 30% of a school district’s total energy is used inefficiently or unnecessarily. Installing better equipment can help eliminate this waste and lower schools’ utility costs. The reality is most schools struggle due to a lack of resources. Lowering energy bills can free up money for schools to spend on other student needs.
At the same time, studies show that a better physical environment that includes better energy performance can help increase learning and productivity among students. That means, for schools and universities, energy efficiency isn’t just good for business and good for the planet—it’s good for education!
In conclusion, it’s clear that across industries, energy efficiency is a crucial way to reduce business costs for better profit and to get to net-zero emissions for a better planet. Beyond the five listed above, all industries can benefit from reducing energy waste and lowering utility bills.
The only reason a business might avoid enacting energy efficiency at its locations is that energy saving technology and equipment upgrades often have high upfront costs. That’s why more and more businesses are choosing to partner with Budderfly—because we provide it all with no upfront cost.
We install a suite of cutting-edge energy technology and upgrades such as high-efficiency HVAC systems, LED lights, refrigeration controls, and more. With our unique model, we invest 100% of the capital and then provide continuous management and monitoring to ensure amazing outcomes for our customers. We've already helped more than 5,500 businesses across every state in the U.S. and across industries significantly reduce their energy usage.
Want to learn more about how we can do the same for your business? Contact us today.