Addressing Energy Waste In Commercial Buildings
As the energy shortage intensifies, prices will continue to rise and impact the bottom line of organizations large and small. To avoid financial setbacks — while also making strides toward sustainability goals — energy waste must be addressed in commercial buildings. After all, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) reports these structures waste 30% of the energy they consume on average.
Below, we’ll go over a few ways businesses can improve energy efficiency and lower their electricity and natural gas bills.
There are two main approaches to improving energy efficiency in a commercial building. The first is taking steps to renovate the structure. From retrofitting the HVAC system to implementing programmable smart technology, there are many ways to optimize energy usage through equipment and structural changes.
For instance, the EPA recommends upgrading outmoded equipment to modern models with ENERGY STAR certification. This could apply to food service equipment in a commercial kitchen or the water heater in a retail store setting. Other equipment features to look for include built-in timers and energy sensors as well as sleep and low-power modes.
Along the same lines is updating and performing proper maintenance for the HVAC system. According to the U.S. Small Business Administration, the costs to heat and cool a commercial building account for approximately 40% of electricity use. If not routinely cleaned and maintained, that figure could go up, as HVAC inefficiencies often lead to increased energy consumption and waste. When implemented, effective HVAC system maintenance practices can optimize performance and enhance efficiency, therefore lowering operating costs.
The other approach is to change workplace practices. A great place to get started is to perform an energy audit. Doing so helps identify areas of waste while also providing insight for energy use plan development. Part of the plan should also entail company-wide sustainability processes. Organizations are encouraged to instruct employees on modern energy consumption procedures and instill a sustainability-minded culture, with employee incentives for little-to-low waste outcomes. Establishing eco-friendly practices may seem trivial, however, small changes can add up quickly. The key is to achieve high levels of participation.
Another recommendation is to reach out to professional services with energy marketplace software to become an energy broker partner. Utilizing these advanced energy supply solutions helps save big on electricity costs. By looking at the equipment, employee culture, and all other aspects of the business, the software works to eliminate phantom electrical loads, water waste, and so many other detriments to the bottom line.