To Save on Electricity, Check Home’s Energy Efficiency

To save money on electric bills this hot summer, consider a tip from Broward Health Medical Center. The sprawling Fort Lauderdale, Fla., hospital has cut more than $250,000 from its electric bill in the past year by keeping an eye on how efficiently it uses energy.

The hospital works with a three-year-old energy company, Entic of Pembroke Pines, Fla., to check on its air-conditioning system. Entic uses software to monitor how well commercial air-conditioners run. It notifies customers of changes in performance, so they can fix problems and boost efficiency.

A fix to a simple valve in the hospital’s chillers has provided the bulk of savings to date.

“Entic offered us new technology that helped us peer inside the system and find where we were wasting energy,” said Diana Dominguez, facilities services manager at the massive hospital that employs 3,200 people and often spends more than $300,000 per month for electricity during the summer.

Homeowners and small businesses have numerous options to check the efficiency of their air-conditioning and electrical systems to minimize their energy waste.

Households and small businesses can hire specialized companies or utilities for energy audits. Audits can show, for example, if cooled air is leaking out of ducts or windows and suggest ways to boost performance of energy systems.