Going green – or at least greener – bring benefits to both the environment and those who own property. Building owners can expect to save major money in energy costs while shrinking the building’s carbon footprint when they reduce energy consumption in buildings. They’ll also be reducing overall dependency on fossil fuels.
Which Buildings Require the Most Attention to Promote Energy Efficiency?
Improving energy efficiency is important in every building. However, some buildings consume more energy than others. According to a report from the U.S. Energy Information Administration, commercial buildings that have between 25,000 and 200,000 square feet account for 11% of all buildings in the country, but use 44% of all building energy.
Operators of these buildings need to do the most to improve efficiency for three reasons:
- They operate on higher economies of scale in terms of cost structure. This means that large, commercial buildings that aren’t energy efficient realize much higher costs than their smaller counterparts.
- They receive more attention from customers and activists. They are under more pressure to reduce their carbon footprint to appeal to the growing number of eco-conscious consumers.
- They are more carefully scrutinized by environmental regulators.
They must take all possible measures to reduce the energy consumption of their buildings. Fortunately, there are a lot of things that they can do.
Reducing Energy Consumption in Buildings
If you’re ready to invest in environmentally friendly strategies, we have four tips that will get you where you want to be.
1. Upgrade systems and equipment.
By far, the most important step is upgrading every old system and appliance currently in place. This all starts with your HVAC. Old HVAC systems are not only monetarily inefficient, but they may do a poor job in managing air quality. This seems inexcusable when you consider that many of these systems don’t even give you enough control across separate portions of a building.
You should also gradually replace any appliances, from washing and vending machines to dishwashers and refrigerators. These upgrades alone could see you saving money each and every month.
It must be said that this may be a sizable investment. But don’t let the initial expense put you off. In addition to the cost savings on your monthly energy bills, the value of your property will increase.
2. Install green walls.
That value increase is the best fringe benefit of becoming energy efficient. If you want to lift property values while reducing appliance use and adding incredible aesthetic value, a green wall could be the solution.
Green walls, also called living walls, take vertical gardening to new levels. The plant life breathes fresh air into your space while insulating or cooling environments that rely heavily on HVAC. If it’s commercial space you own, you’ll be able to visually – and therefore, more effectively – market your building as the best choice for eco-friendly patrons.
3. LEDs, please.
The average person thinks nothing of buying a few light bulbs, but when you have an entire building to tend to, this really adds up. LED bulbs are longer lasting and use only a quarter of the energy conventional bulbs do.
In addition to this, LED lights radiate less heat, which can help further reduce the amount of money you spend on air conditioning. Because they need to be replaced less frequently, you’ll save money by diverting maintenance services to where they’re more vitally needed.
4. Curb water consumption.
With so much focus on electricity, we tend to forget water usage, which is a top resource most people take for granted in the first place. The first step to take in mitigating overuse is to locate the source of any leaks and have them fixed.
From there, simple fixes can help conserve water. Fixtures like faucets can be fitted with aerators to restrict flow, while low-flow toilets use approximately half a gallon less per flush.
First and foremost, reducing energy consumption is vital in order to reduce the threats posed by coal and oil. Still, the fact that there’s plenty in it for you, a building owner or manager, should be enough to take those first steps. Increase property value, attract conscious consumers, and save money on utility bills.
There Are Plenty of Ways to Bolster Energy Efficiency
Commercial buildings aren’t known for their energy efficiency. However, there are plenty of steps that you can take to reduce their energy consumption.