Energy Efficiency for Commercial

Energy Efficiency for Commercial

Owners of commercial office buildings today face energy costs that continue to rise, making it very challenging to manage their facility budgets. Owners have a hard time reducing energy bills due to high fuel costs and outdated technologies. Therefore, they must take new and creative steps that keep energy costs in check to maintain a sustainable business.

Building owners in different sectors face unique challenges and must choose the solution or solutions which fit their needs. Possible solutions vary widely, whether the building houses a convenience store, a restaurant or a warehouse. Among the wide range of possibilities, is often hard to determine which one is the best for specific business. However, many energy saving technologies are universal and can be adapted to most any business.

The US Energy Information Administration Outlook shows that energy costs tend to rise at increasing speed of over 30% every two years. High energy prices are forecast to continue due to limited supply and refining capacity, a tense global political climate, and brisk worldwide demand for fossil fuel. Despite perceptions to the contrary, energy-efficient offices are not expensive, difficult to manage, or inflexible. They don’t hamper productivity or comfort either. Investments at the time of renovation often carry paybacks and improvements to the business.

Managing energy has multiple benefits like: cutting costs, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, supporting sustainability commitments, and more. In order to track your progress, you need to know where you’re starting from, and how your changes affect your bottom line. Current approaches to measurement and verification of energy savings have served the building efficiency industry well, providing managers with clear and useful data.

Technology can help improve accuracy and confidence while driving down costs. For example:

  • Low-cost meters, advanced building sensors, and greater connectivity between building and business systems provide building owners and business managers with data and show them where they can make improvements.
  • M&V applications using advanced statistical-based analytics will dramatically lower costs.
  • Integration of M&V with performance monitoring, fault detection and diagnostics, and energy information makes the business more efficient and more cost-effective.

Building owners and managers who have a good understanding of building performance measures are able to make M&V plans simple, consistent and transparent. By communicating their goals and plans clearly, managers help to quickly build and maintain high levels of trust between all parties involved with energy efficiency projects. The purpose of M&V is to validate that the time, effort and money invested to reduce energy usage actually produces the desired results by accurately measuring (or estimating) the savings generated from any type of energy efficient project.

So why invest in energy efficiency? The answer is not simply to reduce energy costs. Other benefits specifically related to owner-occupied buildings also play a major role. These include:

  • An energy efficient building has greater market value.
  • Energy costs become more predictable in the budget, because demand trends are measured over time through reporting.
  • Maintenance staff receives alarm notification of facility problems, often before more costly events occur. Frequent or after-hours maintenance costs are reduced.
  • Equipment life is extended, deferring replacement cost for years to come.
  • Changes in building use can be monitored for significant impacts on energy demand.
  • The building will be seen as an energy leader in the community, attracting interest and promoting the business.