Top Energy Efficiency Strategies for Building Owners
Investing in new “green” technology to reduce energy use can be intimidating at first, but it doesn’t need to be.
Commercial building managers and owners have recurring operating costs that they have little control over, such as insurance, property and real estate taxes, utilities, repairs, management fees, staff payroll, and maintenance.
Although, there is one operating cost that most building owners do have control over, and that’s energy efficiency. Once you get a grip on the energy profile of your building, you’ll in turn be able to control the operating expenses.
What’s the Risk?
The United States is home to roughly 6 million industrial facilities and commercial buildings. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, they waste nearly $60 billion in energy costs annually.
Facilities managers and building owners from Florida to Texas are aware that making the commitment of saving energy will increase the value of their properties and simultaneously decrease their monthly utility bill.
Everyone building owner wants to decrease their energy use, but that can be very difficult in the hot, humid South—it’s impossible to do business without running the air conditioner for most of the year. So how can you lower operational costs without giving up the comfort of your occupants?
Below are two typical causes of controllable energy waste:
“Fresh air,” also known as “unconditioned air,” can make your building uncomfortable if it’s not brought in properly. There are local codes and requirements set by the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) as to how much outside air a commercial building can bring in, and most buildings exceed these. The excess in outside air needs to be heated or cooled, and energy is wasted during this process.
Another source of energy waste is inefficient temperature control. This can occur when the actual temperature varies from the optimal cooling and heating setpoint. It is not uncommon for businesses to be over-cooled because the systems are not properly operating. Just keeping the building at the right temperature isn’t all that matters when trying to save money. Ensuring the the system is operating at peak performance is also part of the equation.