Did you know that the term “going green” doesn’t just mean being conscious of the environment; it also means saving money? While the energy costs required to run a commercial property can be high, there are several things you can do as an owner to cut these costs. Your property manager can work with you to conserve energy and save money. Below are some tips that we think are the most beneficial for commercial property owners.
1) Conduct an energy audit on your building
Not only will an energy audit help you identify problem areas where energy is being wasted, but it will help you determine which areas you should prioritize addressing first. Energy audits typically involve an on-site visit by a certified professional to survey and collect data on the property’s energy systems. That is followed by an analysis of utility bills and a diagnostic test of systems and equipment. Lastly, you will receive a recommendation of energy efficiency measures that can be taken.
2) Replace old, traditional lighting in your building
Swap out any incandescent or outdated lighting fixtures with LED lights. While LEDs are initially more expensive, their energy efficiency makes them cheaper over the long term. They use 75% less energy than incandescent lights and last longer than traditional lighting. An LED light can operate for up to 50,000 to 100,000 hours, roughly five to ten years.
3) Use occupancy sensors and programmable thermostats
Occupancy sensors can ensure your lights and HVAC are not consuming energy in rooms that are not in use. They also work most effectively with LED lighting. And programmable thermostats help you control the temperature when your building is unoccupied, reducing energy consumption.
4) Optimize your HVAC system
Be diligent about regular HVAC maintenance and cleaning by scheduling at least two seasonal tune-ups for your system every year. Once in the spring for the air conditioning and once in the fall for the heating. This will ensure your HVAC system is running at maximum efficiency and reduces energy consumption. Also, do not neglect changing your HVAC filter every 30 days. Not only will this improve the air quality of your building, but you will use less energy.
5) Utilize renewable energy
If your budget allows, you can look at installing solar panels on your property to achieve sustainability goals. While the cost of purchasing solar panels may seem off-putting, there are several ways to reduce expenses. You can often quickly recoup some of your investments with rebates certain manufacturers and utility providers offer. Federal and state tax breaks for energy-efficient equipment will also lower total expenses.
6) Educate your tenants on ways they can conserve energy
This includes: Turning off lights and electronics when not in use, reducing hot water usage, using window blinds to keep out the temperatures from outside, and keeping the thermostat at the highest comfortable level in the summer, and the lowest comfortable level in the winter.
By working with your property manager to implement these energy conservation measures, you can contribute to a more sustainable future while reducing energy costs and increasing your commercial property’s energy efficiency.