10 Energy Cost Savings Solutions for Commercial Buildings
Improving energy efficiency in commercial buildings is key to cutting costs. There are numerous energy upgrades and programs available to help your business reach its full potential when it comes to energy savings.
The more you save in energy, the more you add to your net profit. Energy efficiency may sound difficult, but we can assure you—it’s not as daunting as it seems. We’ve compiled a list of energy solutions for commercial buildings that are easy to implement, no matter your budget.
Here are ten strategies to reduce your business’ energy use and save on energy expenses:
1. Use phase change material.
Phase change material is an easy-to-install product that goes inside your building’s roof, ceiling, or walls. This building material is designed to act as an ice pack to regulate your building’s temperature. As the temperature rises, the phase change material melts to absorb heat. As the temperature drops, the phase change material refreezes, releasing that same energy.
The process of absorbing and releasing heat keeps your building’s temperature steady. The steadier your temperature, the less work your heating and cooling systems do to regulate it. Phase change material can reduce your energy efficiency costs by as much as half and lower your building’s peak temperature by as much as 20 degrees Fahrenheit.
2. Retrofit your building.
When you aren’t building a new structure, retrofitting your existing one is the easiest way to improve energy-efficiency in commercial buildings. Adding energy-efficient solutions to your building will decrease energy expenses, and, in many ways, can make your building more comfortable for employees.
3. Hire an energy consultant.
Hiring an energy consultant gives your business insight into what you’re spending on energy and how to lower that cost. A custom savings assessment can help your business find saving opportunities you otherwise wouldn’t. Some consultants do not require payment before the assessment and instead, take a commission on the savings they find. This possibility makes hiring the right consultant a high-reward solution with only savings to gain.
4. Set regular commissions of your HVAC system.
Over time, your HVAC system decreases in performance. It’s inevitable that without regular maintenance, this equipment’s performance will continue to decrease until your business has a noticeable jump in its energy cost. Any equipment that could drive up your energy expenses—or lower your energy efficiency—should have consistent maintenance checks. This regular appointment will keep your business from spending unnecessary funds or missing a larger problem that could cause damage.
5. Upgrade to LED bulbs.
Changing to LED light bulbs in your building gives you considerable savings on your energy costs, particularly in buildings that use light for extended hours. According to GE, LED lights use 50 percent less electricity than incandescent, fluorescent, and halogen bulbs. Not only does making the switch to LED reduce electricity use, but these bulbs are more durable, last longer, and operate well in cold temperatures. LED lights are a low-cost way to have a more energy-efficient commercial building.
6. Implement energy efficiency programs for employees.
Your effort to create a more energy-efficient commercial building is a fantastic start; however, you may not be considering your most valuable resource—your employees. A staff trained in energy efficiency is important to the implementation of new processes. Giving your staff the knowledge and ownership to decrease energy use and increase your business’ profit is a powerful tool.
According to the U.S. Department of Energy, the Alabama Building Operator certification program has saved facilities up to $20,000 in just one year. This savings shows the power of professional development and how investing in your employees can add to your bottom line.
7. Think small.
Small gestures go a long way in energy savings. You’ve thought of the big items—HVAC systems, lighting, hi-tech energy upgrades—but, what about your computers, printers, and other office equipment? Encouraging your employees to shut down all their office equipment before they leave can add up to big savings for your company’s energy expenses.
8. Research funding for energy upgrades.
The U.S. government offers tax incentives and other financial programs to help your business upgrade its energy solutions. The Department of Energy offers resources to calculate tax deductions and determine tax credits. They also offer loans, utility-bill financing, and performance contracting. The DoE’s website is a great resource for businesses to learn more about improving energy efficiency in commercial buildings.
9. Use the Energy Star program.
More than 40% of Fortune 500 companies rely on the Energy Star program for energy efficiency. This program helps businesses choose energy-efficient products that are also cost-effective. Using the tools and resources Energy Star provides, you can be sure that your business purchases the most energy-efficient equipment possible.
According to Energy Star, “the average commercial building wastes 30 percent of the energy it consumes.” Energy Star’s tool, Performance Manager, allows you to monitor energy usage of multiple buildings to discover trends and better understand your energy use. It even allows you to compare your energy uses to buildings similar to yours.
Energy Star’s simple guides and tracking tools optimize your energy efficiency, lowering your overall energy costs. Your business can even receive tax incentives for energy efficiency upgrades in commercial buildings.
10. Use real-time data.
Collecting real-time data can give insight into programming your building’s systems. Factors, such as weather or number of employees in and out per day, let you know how to adjust your systems to accommodate. The more you anticipate the change and can control the energy use, the more you can regulate and monitor energy output.
These strategies approach energy efficiency from several different directions and have something for every type of business. Implementing even just one of these solutions consistently will have an effect on your energy costs. Are you ready for your business to be on its way to increase energy efficiency in its commercial buildings? D.I. Pathways can provide solutions. Contact us today to learn more!