Ways to Reduce and Measure Energy Consumption in Commercial Buildings
When you’re in charge of running a commercial building, you have to find ways to keep the operation costs down. One of the most effective ways to do this is to create a more energy efficient building.
But it’s not enough to just reduce energy consumption. You need to be able to monitor it, so you can manage and control your building’s energy at all times.
How to Measure Energy Consumption
There are several ways that you can measure energy consumption so you can identify problem areas in your building. This in turn allows you to specifically target those areas in your energy efficiency efforts. To measure energy consumption, you can:
Use Portfolio Manager
One of the most basic ways to measure the energy use of your commercial building. All you need to do is collect information from your utility bills and plug that information into Energy Star’s Portfolio Manager program. The program will calculate the EUI (Energy Use Intensity) of your building by dividing the amount of energy your building used within a year by the total gross floor area of your building.
You can then compare your numbers by checking out the EPA’s energy use benchmarking report to see where your building stands compared to other similar commercial buildings.
Implement a Building Energy Management System
A building energy management system may seem like a huge investment at first glance. But it can help to greatly reduce your building’s monthly energy costs. Those costs, as you know, can be substantial in their own right – so just imagine t,he savings!
A building energy management system allows you to connect all your building’s systems. Anything from the HVAC system to the lighting system can be accessed, monitored and controlled from a remote location on your smartphone or tablet. A building energy management system will provide you with in-depth analytics concerning your systems’ energy use. You can view their overall energy use as well as peak energy consumption times. You can even see how much energy is used in real time.
Implementing a building energy management system is an effective way to pinpoint which of your building’s systems are using up the most energy so that you can focus on energy efficient upgrades that will make the biggest impact.
Ways to Reduce Energy Consumption
Once you’re able to measure energy consumption, you’ll want to address problem areas of your building. The following are some of the most effective ways that you can reduce your commercial building’s energy consumption:
Upgrade to LED lighting
Commercial buildings tend to use up a lot of energy when it comes to lighting – especially if there are people present at all hours of the day and night. If your building uses traditional light bulbs, replace them with LED lights. LED lights not only use much less energy – they last longer than typical bulbs.
Upgrade your HVAC system
Older heating, cooling and ventilation units can be inefficient. Newer units can improve the efficiency of your building as well as improve the overall air quality. If you have implemented a building energy management system, you should be able to program your heating and cooling systems to adjust to their most efficient levels whenever the occupancy of a room is at zero.
In fact, the use of a building energy management system allows you to control the heating and cooling for each room individually. That means that you won’t be wasting massive amounts of energy heating or cooling the entire building just because one room is in use.
Look for Energy Star rated appliances, whether they are refrigerators or vending machines. These types of appliances suck up energy constantly, which means newer, more energy efficient models are worth investing in.
Install Smart Plugs
All appliances continue to absorb energy as long as they are plugged in – even if they are turned off. BOSS Smart Plugs allow you to monitor the energy use of your appliances and electronic devices as well as remotely control their energy use.