Buildings use something like 30% of the energy consumed in this country. We already know that continuous improvement means a lot of small things adding up to something bigger.
So try this end-of-year activity -- while you walk through your office, cafeteria, rest rooms, and production floor, look up at the HVAC exhaust vents. I'll bet you'll find the grids clogged with dust, blocking full flow of air through your system. It's an easy fix, just brush or vacuum out the dirt. Even if you discover you need complete duct cleaning, vacuuming the ducts is a small improvement you can make now.
Don't have the maintenance staff to tackle the big job? Here are a few things to ponder: Is exhaust vent cleaning on a regular maintenance or cleaning service checklist? Does this point out a need to review resource deployment? Do you have proper equipment for doing the job? Do you do a good job in the plant but not in the offices and common areas? What's the effect on morale when people notice crud in their workplace? What's the effect on employee health when air isn't circulating the way your calculations say it is? What's the effect on production equipment to have air and heat circulation impeded? What's the effect on efficiency and energy consumption of your HVAC systems that have to work harder to pull the amount of air they're designed for?
Let's all breathe a little easier in 2010, and save money while we're doing it.