3 Ways to Boost Your Office Building’s Energy Efficiency
The Increased Need for Energy-Efficient Office Buildings
Commercial buildings account for almost 20% of the energy consumed nationwide, according to the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy. 17% of all those commercial buildings are comprised of the office buildings we use every day. By making our office buildings are as energy efficient as possible, we can save more energy and money!
There are many opportunities for optimizing energy efficiency within these energy-sucking buildings. We’ve put together the top 3 ways to boost your office building’s energy efficiency.
Make Your Office Space More Energy Efficient in 3 Steps
- Incorporate Smart Lighting Solutions
This is a vital step to designing energy efficient buildings. Energy efficient buildings make the most of sunlight. For example, if a structure has a narrow width, it allows the sunlight to reach its interior spaces more efficiently.
This process is called daylighting. It is the process of using sunlight to illuminate your building. Daylighting reduces energy demands and will make your employees happier.
And, when employees are happy, we know that they are more productive – so much so that happiness can boost employee productivity by 10 percent.
Nearly half of a commercial building’s electrical energy consumption comes from its electric lighting. Strategic BOSS_SLIDER_3use of daylight can reduce this energy demand. When you can’t use daylight, incorporate smart lighting design.
Use Light Emitting Diode (LED) desk lamps in your office. These energy efficient light bulbs provide three advantages. LED bulbs last up to 10 times as long as compact fluorescents and much longer than your typical incandescent. LED lights are also more durable since they don’t have a filament. They are solid bulbs, so they will hold up against bumping.
So, if your office is hip and equipped with a Ping-Pong table – go ahead and embrace the roughhousing!
Thirdly, LED bulbs prevent heat-build up. They don’t get hot like common incandescent bulbs and contribute to heat build-up in the office. While the initial cost of purchasing LEDs may be expensive, there’s a powerful return on investment. You’ll save money (and energy) over time since LED bulbs last longer.
- Upgrade HVAC Equipment
Over half the energy used by commercial buildings goes toward heating and lighting. Commercial building owners are forking out a lot of funds – $80 billion, in fact – per year on their heating, cooling, lighting and, other energy services
Upgrade your HVAC equipment – your heating, ventilating, and air conditioning systems – with more efficient models to reduce energy consumption, costs, and chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs). CFCs contain carbon, chlorine and fluorine vapors derived from methane, ethane, and propane. CFCs contribute to ozone depletion in the upper atmosphere.
Before you replace your HVAC equipment though, make sure to evaluate your current heating and cooling needs. This ensures that maximum performance, energy reductions, and cost savings can be achieved.
Keep in mind that there are tax deductions for incorporating energy efficient solutions in commercial buildings. They can save you a pretty penny or two!
Federal tax deductions reduce the amount of your income subject to tax. It’s available to a taxpayer who owns, or is a lessee of, a commercial building. The taxpayer is eligible if he/she installed energy efficient property as part of the building’s interior lighting systems, heating, cooling, ventilation, and hot water systems, or building envelope. You’ll need to verify that the property installed satisfies energy efficiency requirements.
- Computer Power Management
Equip your employees with energy-efficient tools like laptops. Power management is important to saving energy since your employees use their laptops 8+ hours daily. Laptops use 90 percent less energy than their desktop counterparts.
For instance, Apple’s MacBook Air has an incredibly thin design. Apple received a Gold rating from the Electronic Product Environmental Assessment Tool (EPEAT) and an ENERGY STAR 5.0 certification. ENERGY STAR is a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) voluntary program that focuses on energy efficiency solutions.
Energy efficient laptops use less energy and decrease your company’s electricity costs and carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. The EPA estimates that over the next five years, ENERGY STAR labeled computers will save U.S. companies and consumers $1.8 billion in energy costs. The EPA estimates the computers will also decrease greenhouse gas emissions equal to the emissions from 2.7 million cars per year.
Energy efficient buildings and their plug loads, such as office computers, need operated and managed appropriately to follow through on their energy saving functions.
Boss Controls is where energy management meets micro-management. Our Atmospheres™ software technology allows you to remotely monitor your plug loads. These also include your water fountains, appliances, and window AC units. Have the power to turn your plug loads off at night and power them back up in the morning – all with the touch of a finger from your mobile device!