If you own a commercial building or have leased commercial space, adopting energy efficient measures can translate to tremendous advantages- you not only get to save on utility bills, you also reduce fossil fuel use and greenhouse gas emissions!
If the amount of energy your commercial space consumes bothers you, it isn’t too late to do something to cut down utility costs. Here are 9 tips to help you make your commercial space energy efficient.
Get an Energy Audit Done
You can't reduce your energy usage until you have an accurate idea of the amount of energy you're using and how you're using it. Start with the previous year's utility bills- go through them and see where you can cut down on energy costs.
Keep in mind that commercial buildings and spaces serve different functions that make energy consumption a lot different from that of other building types. As such, getting an energy audit done by a professional might be a better idea. Moreover, a professional will be able to look into things you couldn't possibly think of, plus give you personalized solutions on saving energy!
Upgrade Your Equipment
You might consider investing in second-hand equipment to lower set-up costs, but remember that doing so might mean costlier utility bills. If you have old equipment, consider getting upgrades. And if you haven’t purchased equipment yet, make sure you only buy ENERGY STAR certified products!
Carry out Regular Maintenance
Irrespective of your commercial appliances and equipment being new or old, timely maintenance is sure to keep them working fine and your utility bills low. Clean or change HVAC filters every month and also get an annual maintenance contract so that all your equipment is tuned up pre-season.
Using fans along with air conditioning units can help cut costs on utility bills considerably by maintaining a comfortable temperature and ensuring humidity and air movement. Fans can also reduce or delay the need of turning on the air conditioning.
Install the Right Lighting
While switching to CFLs and LEDs is sure to help lower energy costs, don’t underestimate the importance of clean and evenly distributed lighting. Installing lights the right way can make a work space seem bright, thereby eliminating the need for excess light fixtures.
In addition to this, install occupancy sensors so that lights turn on and off automatically, and timers and photocells outdoors to prevent energy wastage.
Don’t forget to take energy efficiency measures when buying exit signs! Signs with LED lamps or ENERGY STAR certified signs will reduce maintenance costs by eliminating the need to replace lamps while also consuming less energy.
Invest in Building Automation Systems
Building Automation Systems (BAS) offer centralized control of lighting, HVAC, security systems, fire safety systems, etc. of a building. A BAS can be installed in buildings with no existing system, or can replace pneumatic or digital control systems easily.
With a BAS, you can schedule equipment to turn on or off depending on the time of the day, day of the week, or variables like outdoor air condition; lockout equipment so that it doesn’t turn on unless necessary; reset equipment operating parameters to match weather conditions; and monitor information and use data to ensure all equipment is operating correctly and efficiently.
Improve insulation by plugging air leaks around door and window frames with caulking and weather stripping. Further, add insulation around pipes, electrical outlets, and HVAC ducts to minimize condensation and heat loss.
Keep the Sun Out
Keep direct sunlight from coming in during summers by installing blinds and curtains to improve the efficiency of air conditioning units. Consider installing awnings, solar screens, or sun-control films to keep the heat from getting through the glass panes. Growing trees to help shade the building is also a good option.
Use Solar Energy
Consider getting in touch with a commercial solar panel roofing company to install solar panels or solar hot water collectors on the roof. By tapping a renewable source of energy, you’re sure to reduce utility costs. What’s more, solar panels have no moving parts, require minimal maintenance, are extremely reliable, and can also increase the resale value of your building!
An energy efficient commercial space means reduced operations and maintenance costs, and lower utility bills, in addition to a higher building marketability and increased building value in the future. However, despite the obvious benefits, a lot of people don’t put much thought into making their commercial space energy efficient.
With the tips provided here, you now know that making your commercial space energy efficient doesn’t require you to spend a lot of money. You needn’t worry about the age of the property either, because the energy saving measures you take are sure to work on both new and old buildings.
So don’t put off adopting energy saving measures for later, act now and make your commercial space green!