Commercial Building Electricity Usage Measures for Your Commercial Property
As a commercial property owner or manager, cost-savings measures that affect the bottom line should catch your attention. An important way to save money is to save energy; whether your property is large or small, there are steps you can take to save significant energy.
Not only will you save money, but you can reduce your carbon footprint and help the environment. Utility companies also take note of measures businesses to take to save energy and provide financial incentives. Participating in the incentive programs will add to your cost-saving.
Commercial Building Electricity Usage Savings: Educate Building Tenants
If you take cost-saving measures without involving tenants, it will lead to misunderstandings and difficulties. In contrast, a partnership with tenants can lead to a successful program.
If tenants understand the goal, they can disclose problems that you may be unaware of.
When tenants participate willingly, they will forgo practices that are costing you money. For example, portable heaters under the desk or behind the counter can skew the thermostat reading in heating/cooling zones and will increase energy use.
Tenants and employees may also appreciate their company showing interest in the environment.
Commercial Building Electricity Usage Savings: Physical Improvement
The most effective cost savings measures involve construction; the most expensive cost savings measures involve construction. One approach is to determine to use energy-saving construction material and practices as the need arises. When the capital is available or sufficient incentives make it cost-effective, make the appropriate changes.
Replace Old Windows. Twenty-six percent of heat loss in commercial buildings occurs through windows. Determine ahead of time to use Low-E windows, dual pane windows, or other energy-efficient materials when replacement becomes necessary. Check the seal on windows annually and replace them when the seal is broken.
Increase Roof/Attic Insulation. Commercial buildings lose as much as 20% of the energy dedicated to heating and air conditioning through the roof. In South Texas, the recommended attic R-value is 30. That is the minimum requirement, and it is probably what was installed in your building is relatively new… if it’s older, the R-value maybe even less.
In addition, insulation compacts over time, losing its effectiveness. Adding insulation to your attic is a very effective energy saver and if the space is easily accessible, it is relatively inexpensive to install.
Commercial Building Electricity Usage Savings: Lighting Upgrades
Lighting upgrades can be a tremendous energy saver. The reason is obvious: the commercial property is generally well lit, so there are many lights in total using electricity. Consider these energy-saving suggestions:
Switch bulbs to the most energy-efficient lights available. For many commercial applications, that would be LED bulbs that replace fluorescent and/or incandescent bulbs. Each LED bulb will produce more light, use up to 80% less energy and last up to 25 times longer.
Investigate whether your exterior lighting can benefit from LED lights as well.
Parking lots will be brighter and safer for customers and staff. Check with your electric utility—incentives may help pay for bulb replacement. Remember auxiliary lighting too—display lights, vending machines, vanities, etc.
Switching to LED lights will also save on maintenance. Incandescent bulbs generally last one year before failure and replacement. Fluorescent bulbs generally last 5 years or more. But LED bulbs may last as long as 25 years under normal lighting conditions.
Install motion-sensitive switches in areas that are not constantly in use, such as conference rooms, restrooms, and breakrooms. Often people forget “last one out, turns off the light.” After a pre-programmed time, the lights will go off immediately and save significant energy/money.
Commercial Building Electricity Usage Savings: Maintain and Upgrade HVAC Systems
Your HVAC system consumes at least 20% of the energy in a typical commercial building. Since commercial HVAC systems vary considerably according to the size of the building, it is not necessary to get specific.
Consult with your HVAC professional concerning the age of the product and lifespan of the equipment. Be proactive to avoid an HVAC failure that may affect business for lengthy repairs.
Commercial Building Electricity Usage Savings: Manage Thermostat Settings
A major hit to the electric bill is improperly managed thermostats. Someone is too cold or too hot and instead of layering clothes for comfort, they inch the thermostat for individual comfort. To save energy, install programmable thermostats for each heating/cooling zone.
You will not keep every employee happy, so determine temperature standards throughout the property, for both heating and cooling seasons. Determine ahead of time whether individual fans are permitted. Small space heaters are energy hogs and interfere with the control of temperature in the larger zones. They should not be allowed.
Program a reduction in heating and AC use after hours; real savings are achieved over periods 8 hours or longer.
Make sure you condition space in vacant buildings to keep pipes from freezing in the winter and to prevent mold and mildew growth in the summer months.
Commercial Building Electricity Usage Savings: Equipment Power Settings
Make sure that computers, printers, and internet hardware are set to energy savings mode; equipment settings can be programmed to go to “sleep” a few minutes after activity rather than running a screen saver all night.
Some computers and printers will power down completely after a set time, rather than silently draw electricity all night.
Update your server room often, as needed. Server rooms usually function as vast data storage centers and require significant cooling to keep them from overheating. Recent technology advancements allow companies to store data securely on the internet “cloud.” Consider whether your data could be better stored by a second party on the cloud and saving you space and money.
Commercial Building Electricity Usage Savings: Complete An Energy Audit
An energy audit develops a customized plan to save energy and therefore save money. Air Pro Houston Electric has trained technicians that can inspect your commercial buildings and help you discover even more energy/money-saving measures.
Our four decades of experience as a Houston Electrician and contractor AirPro Houston provides you with the skill and expertise to increase the energy efficiency of your commercial properties.
We have financing options available with great options with up to 72-month terms with approved credit. Call us today at 281-880-8805 and let us partner with you for all of your electrical repair and installation needs.