Did you know the average commercial building wastes 30 percent of the energy it consumes? That means that if you haven’t done anything to save energy, chances are, you’ll find many opportunities to improve. Start with having a conversation with your property management firm about some suggestions and tips on energy saving measures.
Here are some of the suggestions the Scheer Partners Property Management team gives to our clients:
Operations and maintenance
- Retrofit or re-commission the building to make sure it’s running the way it was intended.
- Consider energy audits to identify areas where building systems have become inefficient over time and bring them back to peak performance.
- Repair leaking faucets and equipment. A dripping hot water faucet can leak hundreds of gallons per year.
- Adjust your mechanical systems to run at a minimum after hours and on weekends.
- Replace old fluorescent and incandescent lighting with T-8 (or even T-5) fixtures, ENERGY STAR certified CFLs or LEDs, and other energy-efficient lighting systems that improve light quality and reduce heat gain. CFLs cost about 75 percent less to operate, and last about 10 times longer.
- Install LED exit signs. These signs can dramatically reduce maintenance by eliminating the need to replace lamps and can save $10 per sign annually in electricity costs.
- Install occupancy sensors to automatically turn off lights when no one is present and back on when people return. Storage rooms, back-of-house spaces, meeting rooms, and other low-traffic areas are often good places to start. Before you begin, check with your local utility to see if they offer any incentives. Occupancy sensors can save between 15 and 30 percent on lighting costs. And don’t forget — even good equipment can be installed incorrectly, so don’t install the sensor behind a coat rack, door, bookcase, etc. It must be able to “see” an approaching person’s motion to turn on the light as they enter an unlit room.
- Examine the opportunity to switch from high-pressure sodium lamps to metal halide lamps in parking lots and consider upgrading to LED lighting for outdoor signage.
Heating and cooling
Tune up your heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system with an annual maintenance contract. Even a new HVAC system, like a new car, will decline in performance without regular maintenance. A contract automatically ensures that your HVAC contractor will provide “pre-season” tune-ups before each cooling and heating season. Your chances of an emergency HVAC breakdown also decrease with regular maintenance.
- Plug air leaks with weather stripping and caulking.
- Install variable frequency drives (VFDs) and energy-efficient motors.
- Balance air and water systems.
- Install window films and add insulation or reflective roof coating to reduce energy consumption.
- Upgrade and maintain heating and cooling equipment. Replace chlorofluorocarbon chillers, retrofit or install energy-efficient models to meet a building’s reduced cooling loads, and upgrade boilers and other central plant systems to energy-efficient standards.
- Contact us if we can provide you with some suggestions on how your building should be performing. Click here for additional energy savings information.