Proven ways for funeral homes to save energy

Operating a funeral home is an energy-intensive undertaking. But through behavioural and procedural changes, your funeral home can reduce its energy consumption by 10-20%.

According to a Harvard Business Review article:

  • 90% of executives feel significant pressure to reduce their energy spend.
  • 80% feel that fluctuating energy prices are causing them quite a challenge.

Why become more energy efficient?

The cheapest energy is the energy that you don’t use – becoming more energy efficient means doing more by using less energy. Implementing a few simple energy efficient changes in your funeral home means less environmental impact, and more money saved.

The benefits of energy efficiency include:

  • Reduce the severity and speed of climate change
  • Lessen your demand on the local power grid
  • Decrease demand on natural resources
  • Improve your local air quality
  • Generate positive PR
  • Save money

Quick wins for fast energy saving

The good news is that taking steps to save energy can be simple, and won’t cost you a cent.

Here are some ideas for fast energy saving:

  • Turning down your thermostat by one degree (without compromising comfort, this can result in significant savings). In fact, reducing heating temperatures by just 1°c can cut fuel consumption by 8%.
  • You can also lower your water heater temperature.
  • Clean or replace your heating and air conditioning system filters monthly. Dirty filters block airflow, which increases your energy bills and shortens the lifespan of your equipment.
  • A regularly serviced boiler can save as much as 10% on annual heating costs.
  • Allow the sunshine in during winter to help warm the building.
  • See if you can move energy-energy intensive tasks to off-peak hours.
  • Replace all light bulbs with LED bulbs – these use less energy and last far longer than traditional halogen bulbs.
  • On that note, turn off lights when you leave the room.
  • Turn off computers at the end of the day and unplug all idle electronics: printers, scanners, microwaves etc.
  • Get your refrigerator’s coils cleaned each month.
  • Have your energy supplier install a smart meter that will help you identify spikes and patterns in your energy usage to help you manage your energy use more effectively.

Longer term savings ideas:

  • Install a smart thermostat that will manually set your thermostat to the agreed levels and will turn down automatically at times when your building isn’t occupied.
  • Install ceiling fans to run alongside your air conditioning and help circulate the cooler air, allowing you to set your air conditioner at a higher (and less energy intensive) temperature.
  • Replace old appliances with energy-efficient alternatives.
  • Replace single-pane windows with double-paned ones for better insulation.
  • Look into installing a power strip that can shut down all electronics at once.
  • Install low-flow faucets with restrictors and aerators.

Conduct a professional energy audit

The best way to learn about how your funeral home can be more energy-efficient is to have a professional energy management company conduct an energy audit. Your contractor will take a look at your funeral home operations and suggest both quick wins and longer-term solutions for more efficient use of energy.

Questions to guide your energy audit

  • How much money do you spend on energy every month?
  • Where are you wasting energy?
  • How long will it take for you to receive a return on investment on your implemented energy efficiency measures?  
  • What other benefits do energy saving measures provide?

Another benefit of conducting a professional energy audit is that your contractor will also include an investigation into your energy rates. They can compare the market on your behalf to make sure that you are getting the best energy deal for your needs. If there’s room for improvement, they can help you switch and save.

Source: These helpful suggestions are courtesy of Smarter Business, a UK-based energy consultancy. Its mission is to help all businesses achieve cost savings, maximise efficiencies, and pursue their goals through our comprehensive suite of services.

This was first published in the March 2019 issue of Funeral Service Times

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