There are many employee benefits related to green building that not only improve the organization’s efficiency, but also its environment. It is becoming increasingly important for businesses to take advantage of their carbon footprint, and employee green initiatives are a part of this effort. Green building can also reduce or eliminate healthcare costs related to toxic fumes and pollution from buildings.
The benefits of having a “green” business are directly related to the decreasing use of fossil fuels and their impact on the climate. Green employer energy benefits (EEBs) including subsidies for home energy audits and other financial incentives for public transportation to work, as well as employer-sponsored travel discounts for employees who commute and use public transportation, are designed to encourage individuals to adopt better lifestyle decisions. These changes can reduce greenhouse gas emissions and reduce the risk of climate change, another important issue. Decreasing use of fossil fuels and dependence on fossil fuels such as oil, natural gas and coal is a proven way to decrease greenhouse gas emissions, cut greenhouse gas emissions, and increase productivity.
There are many ways to get started with making your business more “green.” Many companies offer discounts to companies that have already implemented greening policies and many offer credit or debit cards that are dedicated to helping your company become more energy efficient. There are several organizations that help businesses achieve their stated objectives related to greening, including the Office of Energy and Environmental Policy (OEPP), the Non-Federal Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (NCEPC) and the National Wildlife Federation (NWF). Each of these organizations has a number of tools and publications that provide basic information about the state of energy efficiency in commercial buildings, and they can provide a great deal of information that relates specifically to how energy efficiency can be achieved in your specific setting.
One of the foremost goals of green building is reducing energy consumption, so that the building consumes as little energy as possible. The Building Regulations implemented by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) identify specific building materials and techniques that have the greatest impact on energy consumption. To meet these regulations, your building must have low energy consumption technologies. You can learn more about the energy management in your specific setting from an OSHA office or from commercial buildings or facility management firm. You can also contact a commercial building or facility management firm to discuss energy management in your facility.
One of the many energy benefits of having a dual fuel source such as natural gas and electricity is that it provides a 50% reduction in fuel costs. NGL recovery from natural gas and electricity can also significantly reduce energy consumption. For example, the combination of an effective heating system with a highly efficient and environmentally friendly HVAC (heating, ventilating, air conditioning) system can provide up to an 80% savings on energy consumption.
Although you can often control changes to your home’s energy consumption through simply adjusting your thermostat, there are numerous other energy benefits to consider beyond simply controlling the temperature of your home. For example, even if your only energy consumption is from natural gas, the combined effect of all the appliances you use can still have a significant impact on your home’s energy consumption. This is particularly true if you use appliances that produce heat or cool air, as these can each have separate thermostats and air conditioning systems. In addition, in most areas of the country, power demands from your local grid can exceed the amount of energy your home is capable of consuming, which can actually increase your bills and put your energy usage under the jurisdiction of the utility company.