Office buildings consume 17% of energy use of all U.S. Commercial buildings and they waste the most energy. On average 30% or $28M per hour of the energy used in Commercial buildings is wasted according to The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
Here are the facts: 20% of U.S. energy use goes toward powering Commercial buildings. Yet, only 15% of U.S. commercial buildings have building automation systems that control lights, heating or cooling rooms.
To bring awareness of the importance of energy conservation in Commercial buildings, The Building Owners and managers Association (BOMA) International released its top 10 ways for building owners and managers to reduce energy consumption. These no or low cost strategies could possibly reduce energy consumption by as much as 30 percent.
Some of these energy saving strategies are:
The vital components of all Commercial buildings are hot air ducts and hot and cold air ventilation systems. Properly insulating this equipment is very important.
Check to make sure that equipment is functioning as designed for example a loose fan belt requires more energy to run a fan than a poorly adjusted belt, according to Sam Schnell, consulting engineer with Sesco Inc.
Coordinated Effort can save energy by the Janitors and Security crew working together to walk through the building to turn off equipment left on by the tenants.
Keep tenants informed about energy saving goals.
Installing power management software for computer monitors, central processing units and hard drives. It costs U.S. companies $1B a year on wasted electricity. Changing lighting from incandescent lights to fluorescent lights that use less energy is a great strategy, especially if retrofitting new lights may be tax deductible.
Adjust building operation hours to reflect actual tenant usage.
Adjust ventilation in unoccupied and low density areas.
The Building Technologies Office (BTO), an office of the U.S. Department of Energy works to develop strategies and technologies to reduce Commercial buildings energy consumption. Unfortunately, these strategies are underutilized by the market. BTO is targeting a 20% energy use reduction in Commercial buildings by 2020. BTO reaches out to building owners, builders, engineers, architects, contractors, manufacturers and others to implement energy saving strategies.
The potential to reduce energy consumption on new and existing buildings is enormous, Jennifer Hermes writes that recovering wasted energy expense is a $750B opportunity. The U.S. Dept of Energy estimates that the cost of the $60B waste, at an 8% capitalization rate represents $750B of lost asset value. For example, increased NOI translates into increased asset value.
The message from the DOE is that when owners take charge by setting goals, energy cost savings happen. Owners should conduct a hands on assessment using benchmark data from Energy Star or Zero Touch. To achieve the best return on investment owners should compare a full array of alternate solutions.
Another suggestion is using cloud based software to prepare simple professional recommendations.
The U.S. DOE software guide provides a detailed description of new cloud based software that makes reducing commercial energy bills simple.
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