5 Energy Saving Tips for Frederick Commercial Real Estate
With 5.6 million commercial real estate buildings in the U.S., commercial real estate represents about 1/5 of U.S. energy consumption. The worst part? Approximately 30 percent of the consumed energy is used inefficiently or unnecessarily.
Can you decrease your energy bill by 30%?
That Which is Measured, Improves
This quote by Karl Pearson rings true in so many areas of business. You measure your sales revenue, customer satisfaction, and productivity, but how close of a look do you take at your energy consumption?
When getting their energy bills each month, most owners/tenants of commercial real estate in Frederick take a quick glance and toss it out. Instead, take the time to collect all this information and figure out where you are wasting energy. Then prioritize these wastes and take steps to fix them.
Need some help measuring your energy consumption? Luckily for you, the U.S. Environmental Protection provides the ENERGY STAR ® Portfolio Manager ®. This tool can be used to manage the energy and water use of any building. Just plug in some information about your building and presto! You now have the data you need.
Get Everyone Involved
Now that you have figured out where you are leaking money, it is time to take action. This is not a one-man job, however. It requires the participation of everyone in the building. Whether these are tenants or your employees, they need be on board with saving energy. Seemingly little things like putting monitors to sleep, unblocking air vents, and unplugging electronic devices whenever possible can make a significant difference to the bottom line. Many companies, for example, will have their night shift custodians turn lights on and off as they go from room to room. There is no need to keep every light on the building on when only 3 are being used. Another common issue is portable heaters in offices. Every office has those continuously “freezing” individuals. Worse than that is when the thermostat happens to be located in that individual’s office. Don’t go too far with energy conservation, however. The employees don’t need to work in the dark.
Check for Leaks
Whether through a door or window, air leaks in your building can be one of the primary causes for unnecessary energy costs. Examine all windows, doors, walls, roofs and even the foundation of your commercial building in Frederick MD for leaks. When you find leaks (and you will), use weather stripping and caulking to seal them. It may even be worth talking to an energy-efficient expert about more energy-efficient windows. They are not always worth the additional cost, but sometimes they are.
According to the National Institute of Building Sciences, window improvements can cut your lighting and HVAC costs by 10-40%. Don’t miss out of these cost-savings.
Hint: It can be difficult to find air leaks. If you are in a small office, however, there is a trick: seal the house, turn on all exhaust fans, and pass a burning incense stick along all openings to discover leaks.
Upgrade Your Lighting
Lighting represents about 25-30% of the energy used in commercial real estate buildings. Installing high-efficiency lighting is an easy way to make in immediate cut in energy costs. Switch out incandescent bulbs with compact fluorescent lights (CFLs). LEDs can provide an even more significant savings.
Replacing the lights is only half of the battle, however. The rest falls on the occupants. Encourage them to turn lights off when they are not using them. If you want to automate this process to ensure it happens, use occupancy sensors and timers in common areas.
Don’t Get Carried Away
Too much change too fast will likely annoy occupants and be a detriment in the long run. Implement small changes periodically instead of bulldozing occupants with new policies and procedures. It is not necessary to invest thousands on solar panels and the latest-and-greatest trends in green energy. Instead, start with changing a few lightbulbs and encouraging occupants to turn lights off in unused rooms.