Once you’ve taken financing and affordability out of the equation, there’s no reason every building owner and every contractor should not be 100 percent focused on energy efficiency. We’ve removed the barriers to financing energy contracting. Whether you are a building owner or a contractor, it is time to get started.
There are virtually endless ways to make commercial buildings more energy efficient. You don’t have to do a complete retrofit. Take it in stages. Or determine what your biggest cost-saving option is and start there.
What are you waiting for? Contractors, deliver the financing for your customers. Building owners, reduce operating expenses and increase property values. Now is the time. Here are some places to get started. For more tips, check out a full, 25-page list of energy-saving tips for commercial buildings from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory.
Manage Your Air
Are your heating and cooling coils, and AHU filters working at capacity? Static that builds up thanks to dirty coils makes fan systems work overtime because more air will need to be moved to achieve the same heating and cooling.
Eliminate Inefficient Venting Systems
One hundred percent outside air ventilation systems are one of the largest energy-wasting systems in commercial buildings. Unless you are ventilating an operating room or work in some kind of industrial facility that is required to have 100 percent outside ventilation, modulate your air flow and stop wasting energy.
Switch to VAV
Replace your constant air volume HVAC systems with a variable air volume system to control your temperature more precisely, save energy, reduce wear and tear on compressors and fans, and lower noise volumes.
Better exterior installation is one of the easiest ways to cut energy use. Work with your energy contractor to come up with the right mix of loose-fill, EIFS, rigid fiber and spray foam insulation.
Simply installing shade-producing landscaping, overhangs and light shelves on East, West, and South facing facades will significantly reduce your exposure to outside heat and improve cooling efficiency.
Check out new window technology before you make this move. You’ll really want to work with an energy professional. Gas-insulated windows, heat reflective coatings, and solar-reflective films are all worth considering.
Make an Entrance
People entering and exiting commercial buildings is a major source of energy loss. The fix is simple. Installing revolving doors can reduce the volume of outdoor air coming into a building by a factor of eight. Add a double-door vestibule if swinging doors aren’t feasible. At the very least, make sure your loading docks and shipping doors have sufficient weather stripping. The closures are uneven and leak like a sieve if not properly insulated.
Check Your Water
If your building is still using hot water tanks, moving to on-demand heaters can deliver energy savings between eight and 25 percent.
Light the Way
There’s no reason for any building to be wasting energy on lighting. The options are staggering. Here are just a few.
Shock-resistant LED lights have lifespans reaching 50,000 hours. They are appropriate for almost any application, and prices are dropping rapidly.
Plasma lights are manufactured with completely benign materials and last almost as long as LED lights. Where color rendering is a concern, plasma lights are the way to go.
Intelligent lighting design, using a combination of ambient and task-specific lighting with manual controls and system-controlled lighting systems are the best way to get the most bang for your lighting buck.
Install advanced meters that can record and provide you baseline data for energy consumption. Smart electrical metering can deliver you sector-by-sector energy use data and help pinpoint areas of inefficiency. Smart water metering works the same way, and can help you identify areas most in need of retrofitting.
If you are running a lot of computers or servers, and your systems are more than a few years old, you are wasting energy. There are easy fixes you can make. Laptops with docking stations, for instance, use about half the energy as a standard desktop computer. And, we can’t say this enough, look for Energy Star systems and appliances. They’ve done the hard work of measuring performance for you.
Contractors, Fund Your Commercial Projects
Energy Contractors, help your building owners make the smart energy move by helping them finance their projects. Call LED.finance today. Let’s get started getting more efficient.