how to reduce energy consumption in commercial buildings

5 Effective Ways to Reduce Energy Consumption in Commercial Buildings

Energy efficiency within commercial buildings has taken on new importance in the face of rising costs, stricter carbon emissions policies, and the continued push for net zero.

But despite the prevalence of new technologies, companies lose valuable resources and fall off track with their emissions goals due to poor building management, creating massive issues that are difficult to rectify once they veer off course.

To effectively reduce consumption in commercial buildings, there needs to be a holistic approach that fosters a culture of efficiency from top to bottom.

The challenge of how to reduce energy consumption in commercial buildings comes not from the availability of new technologies but their effective implementation.

But with smart building management systems like ours, organizations can walk the fine line between tenant satisfaction and energy efficiency and take back control of their resources and consumption.

With an EMS, even the most simple and straightforward methods for energy saving can have a significant impact on their ROI.

And their profits.

Some key statistics about energy consumption in commercial buildings

· The energy management sector is projected to grow by around 15.68% from 2023-2028

· Energy consumption in buildings could realize a 50% reduction by 2050 with the right approach

· MIT says buildings waste on average at least 30% of their energy without an EMS

· The energy management market was worth $28.28 billion in 2022

· Programmable thermostats can save as much as 30% of heating and cooling costs

What causes energy inefficiencies in commercial buildings?

A host of factors contribute to poor energy management standards within commercial buildings. Some are relatively obvious. Others can easily slip under the radar and cost organizations significant resources over time.

Ensuring operational efficiency requires a 360-degree monitoring platform and strategy that takes a granular approach to energy consumption.

When considering how to reduce energy consumption in commercial buildings,

it is vital to analyze potential areas of concern, and an audit of appliances and systems that are old or damaged is always the first port of call.

However, there are issues that need to be addressed in order to maximize cost-saving efforts.

1. Wasting valuable power

Leaving on plugs, lights, air conditioning units, computers, and any other appliances that are not being used is something that may not seem like a massive factor.

But depending on the size of the building, these additional wasted resources add up over time and could significantly contribute to energy bills.

2. Incandescent lighting

Thankfully, lighting solutions have evolved to be far more energy efficient than incandescent bulbs that are so common in commercial buildings.

Almost 90% of the energy used to power incandescent light bulbs is converted into heat rather than into the light it is supposed to.

3. Below-par building structures

Even the design of certain spaces can have a detrimental effect on how to reduce energy consumption in commercial buildings.

Poor insulation, inefficient windows and doors, a lack of energy-efficient appliances and green energy resources, and minimal natural light can all play a major role in poor energy consumption within buildings.

4. No energy-saving culture

One of the most underrated but effective methods of how to reduce energy consumption in commercial buildings is creating a culture of awareness around usage.

Creating incentive schemes and reminding staff about the importance of energy-saving measures is an excellent way to ensure that the small margins of daily wastefulness do not become far greater over extended periods.

This is especially important for organizations that have higher numbers of employees.

How to reduce energy consumption in commercial buildings

1. Switch to more efficient lighting systems

With traditional lighting, the output of light vs heat is sub-optimal at best, and any legacy systems that are still depending on incandescent bulbs should take the necessary steps to replace them.

This is far more cost-effective in the long run, even if there would be an initial outlay on replacing them.

Upgrading lighting systems should be at the top of the list for any commercial buildings that are looking to transform their energy-saving efforts.

There are two alternatives to the inefficiencies of legacy lighting systems. Compact Fluorescent Lamps (CFLs) and Light Emitting Diodes (LEDs).

They have become the default choice for so many organizations for several reasons.

· They are far more energy efficient, offering significantly more savings

· They use 70-75% less energy than legacy lighting systems

· Reduces electricity bills but extends the lifespan of bulbs

· Adjustable to time of day, occupancy, and natural lighting conditions

· Minimizes unnecessary lighting and reduces consumption

2. Controlling plug loads

With commercial buildings there is a tendency to overlook the importance of plug loads in how to reduce energy consumption in commercial buildings.

Computers, monitors, network devices, printers, and all manner of office electronics all have the potential to undermine attempts to curb energy usage.

But despite the prevalence of these appliances in commercial buildings, there is still essentially a problem with cutting them below 50% of total energy usage in which they play such a pivotal role.

Every building is different.

It requires a different strategy tailored to each one’s specific outputs. But by managing plug loads, organizations can take a giant leap towards sustainable, responsible, and cost-effective energy use to boost profits.

But how?

· Ensure all office equipment is turned off entirely after working hours

· Integrate smart power management tools

· Educating employees about the need for powering down devices when out of use

· Benchmarking the use of equipment while encouraging an energy-saving approach

· Involve tenants in the push to conserve energy where possible

3. Energy-efficient window cover

Maintaining a level of temperature comfort is critical to any commercial environment but it is also a process that drives heavy consumption.

During warmer months, windows are a primary driver of heat gain, and during the colder months, they are responsible for a majority of that heat being lost.

This puts a tremendous strain on HVAC systems.

But when looking for ways of how to reduce energy consumption in commercial buildings, energy-efficient window coverage can offer substantial protection against wasted resources.

These include:

· Insulated cellular shades

· Window quilts

· Roller and Roman shades

· Louvered blinds

· Window films

· Heat-reducing curtains

All of these solutions are designed to create a thermal barrier between the indoor and outdoor environments and thus reducing the strain placed on HVAC systems.

These can also be supplemented by outer coverings of the building’s facade and exterior solar screens, awnings, and shutters can add an additional layer of resistance to effectively minimize the sun’s glare and heat.

4. Automated HVAC systems

The balancing act of optimizing HVAC can greatly benefit from the latest in automation tools and are a prime target for energy conservation.

Heating, ventilation, and air conditioning are a necessity and organizations that are dealing with how to reduce energy consumption in commercial buildings can look into automation strategies that provide greater efficiency.

Here are some critical considerations for HVAC automation:

· Reducing airflow rates with variable-air volume boxes (VAV) to minimize consumption of up to 7%

· Limit heating and cooling according to occupancy to save up to 6% on consumption

· This will optimize efficiency while providing tenant health and safety

· Automated HVAC also only operate when required and prevent waste this way

5. Implementing predictive maintenance

When it comes to the small deviations in equipment performance, there is always the potential for waste in the daily processes and these can accumulate over time to be far more costly.

But with predictive maintenance and the evolution of IoT-powered solutions building managers can take a proactive approach to the optimization of equipment performance, reducing downtime, and enhancing efficiency.

When considering how to reduce energy consumption in commercial buildings, predictive maintenance provides data analytics and sensors with the ability to monitor equipment conditions in real-time.

So, what makes them so effective?

· Identification of potential issues before they turn into major breakdowns

· Allow for targeted maintenance interventions

· Extends the lifespan of equipment and its optimal performance

· Can save anywhere between 8-12% when compared with traditional maintenance approaches

· Gives engineering teams the leeway to provide far less downtime

Deploy the latest in Energy Management Systems with an IoT-connected solution and total control of your consumption

Outdated legacy systems are costing companies millions of a year and derailing sustainability efforts.

Can your organization afford to continue to waste valuable resources on inefficiencies? Can you afford to keep missing your goals for sustainability?

If the answer is no. Then it is time to partner with an EMS solution that gives you back full control of your consumption.

With remote accessibility, fully customized programmability, and real-time usage insights, you can save as much as 30% on your energy costs and stay on track with your sustainability goals. With AEMACO, you can set new standards in your energy management profits and transform your operations into in an energy conservation powerhouse.

The time to take your building management into a bright new future is now, and we spent years developing hardware and software solutions to ensure that your quest for carbon-neutral and profitability exceeds your highest expectations.

Ask us how we can save you money, energy, and time.

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