Pollution Prevention Guides for 
Auto Body Shops - Fact Sheet 17

Energy Conservation

Energy conservation can save you money and prevent pollution in less time than any other pollution prevention technique. Major energy conservation areas for your shop center on three areas:

  • Lighting systems
  • Heating, ventilation, and cooling systems
  • Equipment

Energy Savings Tips

Here are a number of no cost and low cost energy saving strategies you can implement in your shop. Try to come up with some tips of your own.

Overall Shop Tips

  • Place signs around your shop to encourage energy conservation.
  • Reward employees who do their part to save energy and come up with energy saving ideas.
  • Do an energy audit of your shop (for more information, contact your local power company.
  • Prioritize your energy reduction ideas, implementing one idea at a time before moving on to the next (especially if your ideas cost money).

Lighting Tips

  • Encourage your co-workers to turn off lights when leaving a room.
  • Use natural lighting wherever possible.
  • In areas where lower light levels are acceptable, remove two lamps from four-lamp fluorescent fixtures. (For maximum energy bill savings, disconnect ballasts when removing lamps.)
  • Install photosensors to turn off exterior lights at dawn and turn them on at dusk.

Heating, Ventilation, and Cooling System Tips

  • Use natural ventilation as much as possible.
  • Keep doors and windows closed when heating and cooling systems are running (as long as there is appropriate ventilation).
  • Weatherize your building by sealing cracks, installing/replacing weather stripping, etc.
  • Wire heaters or air conditioners in service area to turn off automatically whenever the overhead doors are opened, or use localized heaters to heat a specific area.

Equipment Tips

  • Keep your equipment well-maintained through regular tune-ups to help equipment run smoother and use less energy.
  • When replacing equipment, choose the most energy-efficient replacement that can be used for the job.
  • Consider purchasing solar powered equipment.
  • Purchase batteries that are rechargeable.

For more information on ways to conserve energy, contact: Your local power company

Energy Conservation
1) Do you take steps to conserve energy?

As discussed earlier in this section, taking steps to save energy can reduce your energy bills dramatically and help prevent pollution.

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2) Do you regularly check windows and doors for leaks?

No matter how you heat or cool your business, you can greatly reduce the load on the heating and cooling equipment by installing insulation and draft-proofing windows and doors.

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3) Is your shop properly insulated for your area's climate?

To help you answer this question, contact your local power company..

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4) Have your water heater and related pipes been insulated?

Insulating water heaters and pipes can help reduce heat loss and conserve energy.

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5) If constructing a new building, will it be energy efficient?

Reduce your energy bill by designing your shop to use natural lighting and energy-efficient equipment and lighting.

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6) Do you routinely check valves and lines for leaks or worn cylinders?

Routinely inspect your air compressor, delivery lines, shut-off valves, connections and flanges, and quick-release valves. Check for worn air cylinders. Leaks in these areas are a major source of energy loss in an auto body shop. Seal all line leaks or replace the high pressure hose completely.

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Montana State University Extension Service
Pollution Prevention Program Taylor Hall Bozeman, Montana 59717
(406) 994-3451
funded by
The United States Environmental Protection Agency
(Fact Sheet 17 of 18)

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