Considering energy-efficient upgrades for your commercial property is a worthy investment because it frees up money to support other goals at your organization. While it can take a great deal of effort to get your entire leadership team to embrace this vision, the long-term financial and environmental benefits are well worth the effort. Here are seven ways to improve energy efficiency at your commercial property.
1. Measure Property Energy Consumption
Before you get started, you’ll want to get a sense of where you stand with energy efficiency in your building. Utilize Energy Star’s Portfolio Manager to save energy in your building. The first step is benchmarking where your building currently stands compared to other commercial buildings in America. Energy Star’s online tool provides a valuable reference point for future savings and lets you quickly access your building’s performance level.
Also, consider utilizing The Standard Energy Efficiency Data Platform (SEED). The SEED platform was developed by the U.S. Department of Energy and is a software application that businesses and the government can use to benchmark their energy efficiency. The convenience of the SEED platform is that it gathers data from various sources and runs multiple queries and reports as needed. Using both Energy Star’s Portfolio Manager and the SEED Platform will put your commercial property on track to becoming more energy efficient.
2. Update Garage Doors
Garage doors are notorious for leaking warm air in the winter and cool air in the summer. Don’t let that happen at your commercial building – update your garage door to one that excels in climate control. Look for a door that features polyurethane insulation to assist with temperature regulation. Retrofitting your garage doors to insulate against extreme temperatures is a fantastic way to improve energy efficiency at your commercial property. Another consideration is to improve the garage flooring using epoxy or a cover to provide further insulation.
3. Invest in the Ventilation System
Whether you’re planning to retrofit or do a complete overhaul to your property, make sure you look into your ventilation system. Since your new purpose is energy efficiency, your mission will be to make the building airtight. Whichever ventilation system you decide to pursue, ensure it maintains good air quality without building up moisture.
4. Improve Insulation
Another essential factor to consider in energy efficiency is improving the insulation in your building. Insulation will also contribute to keeping your property airtight and grant you savings in energy. Consider high-performance insulation like cellulose, polyurethane, or fiberglass, as they can be sprayed into existing wall structures, creating an air barrier crucial in preventing energy loss.
You can also consider replacing your windows with newer models that feature double panes, as well as tighter-fitting doors to improve insulation in your property.
5. Purchase Energy Star- Certified Equipment
As you improve your property, ensure you don’t skip out on buying the best when it comes to energy-efficient products. A fantastic guide for all your device needs is Energy Star. This designation provides energy-efficient computers for your workspace, ovens and fryers for your restaurant, refrigerators for your breakroom, or water heaters for your entire property.
Energy Star-certified products, on average, perform 15-30% better than noncertified products in their specific category.
6. Switch to LED Lights
A wise way to save energy in your building, and likewise money, is to make the switch to LED light bulbs. Compared to incandescent and halogen bulbs, LED uses 75-80% less energy, giving off less heat and extending the life span dramatically. This saves LED users on average up to $75 a month. Install motion sensors in bathrooms and infrequently used rooms, as well as timers, to employ other energy-saving tactics.
7. Certify With LEED
As you retrofit your building to improve its efficiency, consider taking it a step further by pursuing certification with LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design). The standard is used for rating sustainability in buildings and is applied worldwide. A LEED certification sets itself apart by being cost-effective – saving billions in energy and millions in water, maintenance, and waste savings.
Additionally, a study by the University of California, Berkley, found that pursuing certification with LEED reduced greenhouse gas emissions by 50% and overall energy usage.
Reduce Your Energy Use and Save Money
When you choose to retrofit or update your commercial property, you decide to invest in a future of savings and sustainability. Use any of these seven methods to begin improving energy efficiency at your building today.
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