The quickest and least expensive way to reduce U.S. dependency on foreign oil and other fossil fuels is to invest in energy efficiency.
Friends Center takes a top to bottom approach starting with simple behaviors and inexpensive equipment and up to major computerized controls systems.
The place to start is in helping everyone in the buildings think about what they are plugging into the outlets. Do you need that extra light or fan? Can you turn your printer off when it is not in use? Can you use the communal coffee and teapots and eliminate the individual coffee pot on your desk?
Proceeding from there, the organizations in Friends Center replaced all computer monitors with updated, efficient models. Instead of printers on every desk, printing was consolidated to efficient, high-speed, printer-copier-scanners. When new equipment must be purchased, it is selected with energy efficency in mind.
The heating and cooling system is computerized to optimize efficiency. Settings can be customized for zones around the building. Instead of running all the time, equipment comes on and speeds vary in response to demand. At night the system goes down to unoccupied settings.
A computerized system allows Friends Center to monitor electricity use. We can see when we experience peak loads and which systems are drawing that power. We can monitor energy use from heating, lighting, and outlets. We can compare energy use from floor to floor. This information allows the users of the building to alter patterns of usage to reduce energy electricity consumption.