Learn how to increase your company’s energy efficiency

Nearly 10% of all the electric power produced in the country is wasted every year, based on information collected from the Brazilian Association of Energy Conservation Services Companies (ABESCO). This percentage represents the average of the commercial, industrial and residential sectors, and could power the states of Rio de Janeiro and Ceará during 12 months. 

According to ABESCO, the best way to minimize this wasted energy is to invest in solar power, because in addition to being a renewable energy source, it could save the industrial segment 6,2% to 10% of its energy as well as 15% for residential. “There are innumerous benefits of photovoltaic energy, starting with the fact that it is practically cost-free. After you have recovered your initial investment, all you’ll need to do is invest in maintenance cost, which is inexpensive. It is also eco-friendly, because it is free of emission of polluting gases and does not produce residues”, explains the president of ABESCO, Alexandre Moana. 

There are other measures that could be taken to cut electricity costs, as put forth by the Operations Manager of the Center Norte Group and professor of the Grupo Facilities Services, Paulo Ponso:

  • Air-conditioning system – Choose better efficient technologies (VRF - variable refrigerant flow, for example), adjust the set-point according to the seasons of the year and program system automation on an hourly basis. Preventive maintenance is also very relevant for optimizing energy efficiency; well-maintained and regulated machines consume much less. 
  • Building automation system – As work environments become larger and more complex, the need for implementing building management technologies becomes greater. There are comprehensive systems that can control the lighting at work desks based on incidences of natural lighting; the more natural lightning that affects a work environment, the system detects this and can lower artificial lights or shut them off if necessary (dimming system). This resource is recommended for use within complex structures in large working environments which require these systems to “do the work” for us in order maximize efficiency of energy consumption and services rendered. 

Here are some important variables to consider when evaluating a building automation system: Public access controls, lighting with programmable timing, light dimming-presence sensor, frequency converters with industrial strength high usage motors, used for powering elevators, escalators, pumps, chillers and exhaust systems. 

  • Contract of energy demand – Physical installations of a certain size should request a contract of energy demand with its energy provider. This contract requires an analysis of energy consumption criteria based on patterns and seasonal factors by the business. A good energy plan generates better financial efficiency in terms of energy consumption considering that there are significant fines and penalties involved when a company goes over its consumption limits.


The National Electric Power Conservation Program (Procel) sponsored by the federal government is responsible for promoting efficient usage policies for electric power has assisted policy making for building standards, public lighting and industrial and commercial activities. In 2016 Procel developed a guidebook containing tips on how to save energy. Find below a list of a few of these. 

  • Prioritize natural lightning 

If you are unable to take advantage of the natural lightning in your working environment, leave the lights turned off for all spaces which are currently not in use such as meeting rooms, restrooms and internal or external decoration lighting. 

  • Pay close attention to lamps:

If the right leg of a lamp is higher than the other leg, it’s better to lower the lighting fixture to dim lighting levels. Lamps with a more open design help to save energy because they are designed to emit more light. Furthermore, if you remove the acrylic protection from a lamp, you could cut the number of lightbulbs in a space by 50%.

  • Type of lightbulb

Compact fluorescent, tubular fluorescent T5 and LED bulbs are the most efficient, but for open spaces, give preference to sodium-vapor high pressure bulbs.