In yesterday's post, we started looking at the helpful tips that the Department of Energy's Building Technologies program provides on their website to assist in making various types of buildings more energy efficient. Because the department has been obliging enough to provide tips for 10 different types of buildings, we are splitting this up over the next couple of days. Yesterday we looked solutions for single family homes, multifamily homes, and office buildings, and today we will continue this series.

Retail Buildings

The Department of Energy admits that it is a difficult thing for retailers to strike a balance between creating an energy efficient environment and attracting customers. Due to displays and signs that potentially consume vast amounts of energy, in addition to regular energy costs for heating and cooling, it is a hard feat to accomplish. It is, however, possible to reduce these costs, and the following tips show retailers how to do this.

* Reduce lighting costs with energy-efficient lighting such as T-8, compact fluorescent, and metal halide fixtures

* Install energy management systems to monitor and control energy use through the building

* Control air infiltration in heavily trafficked areas with energy-efficient doors and windows

* Improve comfort and indoor air quality with proper maintenance and cleaning of heating, cooling, and ventilation systems

Health Care Buildings

It probably looks pretty obvious that with the large amount of people entering and exiting health care buildings, as well as utilizing various types of medical equipment in the process, finding ways to reduce energy costs is a difficult one for hospitals and medical facilities. According to the Department of Energy, “medical facilities spend $ 5.3 billion annually on energy, and rank second only to the food service industry in intensity of energy usage.” This astounding budget expenditure on energy can be reduced through some fairly simple adjustments, as seen in the following solutions.

* Reduce energy and maintenance costs and increase patient comfort by installing centralized energy management systems

* Save energy and water with solar water heating systems and low-flow faucets, showerheads, and toilets

* Reduce lighting loads by replacing inefficient fixtures with T-8, compact fluorescent, and metal halide fixtures

* Specify ENERGY STAR products for administrative offices

The two building that today's post provided tips for have some obvious difficulties facing them in regards to preserving energy and cutting the costs of energy bills. As we have seen, it is possible through the adjustments mentioned above in the solutions, as well as the assistance of those occupying the buildings. Customers obviously do not have the responsibility to conserve your buildings energy, but workers employed at the building can help out. The big picture, however, is that many energy saving aspects can be best implemented in the construction of new buildings. Many hospitals, as well as retail buildings, are being constructed with this in mind.

We will continue tomorrow with this series and look at some more tips for conservation energy in buildings, thanks to the solutions of the Department of Energy.