Solar Works recently used PG&E’s energy assessment tool to gauge our energy usage and determine if there are more ways we can improve. We use 77% less energy than the average business of our size and building type. Not bad, right? We think we rate much better still. We know so.
The questionnaire doesn’t include items where we have gone above and beyond. We retrofitted our HVAC and lighting in 2008, but the questionnaire only asks if we have retrofitted in the last five years. We have hydronic, radiant floor heating and no A/C. There are no measures for how much we use the copier, which is only when hard copy is absolutely necessary. We also have a warehouse and office, but had to pick one. We have mostly LED lighting, but rarely use them, preferring natural light.
PG&E’s DIY Energy Assessment, though it may not be completely accurate, is a great place to start for businesses that aren’t already as green as Solar Works. For home energy analysis, try their Home Energy Checkup.
In addition to curbing our energy consumption, we recycle, compost or reuse everything possible, our fleet cars are hybrid, and we walk to do our errands around town. We don’t compare ourselves to an average business. Instead, we do what’s right for our community and planet whenever and wherever possible.