While commercial buildings have one of the highest energy needs in the market, they also account for significant wastage. On average, commercial buildings waste 30% of their energy. That translates into colossal costs, lowered efficiency, and reduced ROI in the long run. Fortunately, there are a couple of things you can do to bring down energy costs and make your building energy-efficient. Let’s look at ten proven ways that could give you a great head start today.
Engage Occupants in your Building
Saving energy is not a one-man initiative. You need to engage the occupants of your building and encourage them to embrace energy efficient solutions. The reason for this is that how occupants use energy impacts on the energy efficiency ratings of your building. As the owner or building manager, take the initiative to share energy goals and give incentives to encourage occupants to rethink their energy use. By engaging occupants and educating them on energy-efficient strategies, you can save up to 10% or more on energy use and transform your building into an energy-efficient structure.
Energy-Efficient Bulbs & Lighting Fixtures
While lighting fixtures are key requirements of any building, they also contribute tremendously to wastage. You can find yourself paying more for electricity than you had actually intended. Whether you are the owner or a building manager, consider replacing incandescent light bulbs with energy-saving LED bulbs and retrofit the building with energy-efficient fixtures. It’s highly recommended to use Energy Star approved fluorescent bulbs as they are more durable and cost 75% less to maintain.
Install Light Sensors
It’s not enough to use energy-efficient bulbs; you need to have a lighting control mechanism in place. It’s highly recommend that you encourage occupants to install sensors that turn lights on and off automatically. The reason for this is that light sensors are relatively cheap and highly reliable in controlling lighting and minimizing wastage. When you install and use switch plate sensors in strategic locations, you can gain quick savings and improve the energy-efficient ratings on your building.
Sun-Proof your Building
Does your building face direct sunlight? Here’s what you should know. Buildings that face direct sunshine heat up quickly and require more energy to keep cool. To keep temperatures low, block direct sunshine from shining through windows. Consider insulating climate-controlled areas of the building and improving insulation with solar films, solar screens, and awnings. Don’t forget to check for leaks on doors and windows, as they impact on internal conditions.
Regulate Heating with Thermostats
Sometimes, occupants tend to use more energy on heating than is required. Such wasteful habits, whether it’s heating water or heating rooms, has the potential to increase energy costs in a building substantially. You can keep costs in check and increase energy efficiency by encouraging responsible heating. The easiest way is to install and use thermostats. When used constantly, thermostats can slash heating costs and improve your savings.
Rethink your HVAC Systems
Like it or not, commercial HVAC systems account for a considerable percentage of energy consumption in a building; you need to rethink how you use the HVAC system. To get the most out of your HVAC, fine-tune it to be more efficient. Delay using the HVAC unit during the day and instead, use fans to aerate and cool rooms. Minimize air conditioning hours and use programmable thermostats when heating. Inspect the HVAC system for leaks and replace air filters regularly. And if you’re HVAC is old, it’s prudent to replace it with an Energy-Star Qualified model.
Make Efficiency Upgrades
As we have seen, commercial buildings use and waste more energy than other buildings. The costs can be tremendous and shrink the margin on your ROI. You can reduce wastage and save up to 35% on energy by making efficiency upgrades to your building. Efficiency upgrades allow you enjoy clean energy at a much lower cost. Energy Star provides a 5-stage approach to upgrading buildings and maximizing energy savings. We also recommend that you switch to Centria panels as they can help you attain greater thermal efficiency and moisture control. They also up the aesthetic value of the building. To get the most, ensure that you perform an energy audit to discover opportunities and areas for improvement.
Energy-Star Qualified Products
Conventional appliances and electric products make life easier, however, they have the potential to raise the cost of electricity. When shopping for lighting fixtures or appliances, it’s advisable that you go for products with manufacturers’ energy efficient ratings. Models with high EER ratings or Energy star labels use 15% less energy than conventional products. That puts you in a good position to save energy and enhance the efficiency of your building. Besides that, EER qualified products make you eligible for energy rebates from your utility company.
Plug Leaks in your Building
Do you suspect the presence of a leakage in your building? Get a home inspector to check for leaks. The reason is that leaks of any kind make it difficult to control internal conditions. You may find yourself using more energy to heat rooms than you would in normal conditions. If you are certain your building has leaks, we recommend weather stripping & caulking. Both can help you control your ventilation, improve indoor air quality, and keep heating costs in check.
Powering commercial buildings is a costly affair. If you’re not proactive, you can find yourself spending a lot more on energy than you intend. To keep costs low, you should embrace cost-effective strategies and implement solutions that can help you reduce waste and increase efficiency. Simple things such as replacing incandescent bulbs with fluorescent bulbs, retrofitting your building with energy-efficient fixtures, and rethinking how you use your HVAC can lower energy costs and enhance the efficiency of your building. Plugging leaks, using solar screens, and making efficiency-upgrades will also help you slash energy costs.
Consider Renewable Energy
You seriously need to think about how you power your building. The world is shifting from non-renewable to the cleaner and sustainable renewable energy. Commercial non-renewable energy is not only costly but also less eco-friendly. Embracing renewable energy can help you lower energy costs and make your building more energy-efficient. Instead of using electric-powered hot water heaters, use solar heaters. Take advantage of state subsidies and incentives to transform your building into an energy-sufficient and efficient model.
About the Author:
Based in Houston, Wade Architectural Systems is a leading supplier of architectural and metal roofing panels. Wade has worked with several contractors and engineers across the US offering high-level support and architectural assistance. And with a portfolio spanning over 2500 projects in the last 25 years, Wade has grown to be a reputable company in architectural systems, project design, and engineering. WADE ARCHITECTURAL SYSTEMS is located at 1803 Humble Place Dr. Humble, TX 77338. You can reach them by phone at (877) 226-6301, by fax at (281) 852-5246, or by email at [email protected].