Commercial buildings account for a significant portion of global emissions. As such, commercial building owners must know how to develop energy efficiency to reduce costs, improve indoor comfort, and fully comply with growing regulations. One of the best ways to do this is through installing a robust network of IoT-building utility sensors.
Did you know that building operations account for 26% of global energy emissions? Sustainability is a need across all facets of society, but energy efficiency in commercial buildings is one of the most prominent points of concern. To address this, governments are setting up energy efficiency programs, standards, and regulations to ensure building owners comply with laws relating to energy consumption and carbon emission caps.
However, business owners shouldn't consider the adoption of energy efficiency as a burden. When taken seriously, gearing buildings with energy-efficient tools dramatically reduces unnecessary energy consumption costs and can even lead to improved productivity.
Below, we'll explain these energy efficiency improvements and how energy monitoring equips building managers with a data-driven approach to achieve a greener planet, full compliance, and smaller energy bills.
What Is Energy Efficiency?
The energy sector reinvents itself constantly, and there's no shortage of trends and developments regarding what being "energy efficient" means for a commercial building.
However, as a concept, energy efficiency is the process of discovering and implementing tools and practices to consume less energy while yielding the same results. Some examples of energy-efficient principles and developments include the following:
- Carbon Neutrality
- Green Hydrogen
- Alternative Energy Sources (Turbine, Solar, and Nuclear)
- AI-Powered Energy Savings Monitoring Systems
- Installing Appliances with High Energy Efficiency Ratings
Those are some of the basics. But how do you know if your building excels in energy efficiency? To start, certain government programs, like Energy Star, are responsible for handing out building energy efficiency ratings. Here, officials conduct audits, determining how a building rates according to its list of specifications.
Why Is Being Energy Efficient Crucial in Commercial Buildings?
Energy efficiency experts estimate that, on average, 30% of commercial building energy consumption goes to waste. In part, the reason for such extreme levels of energy waste is that building owners aren't aware of ways to make their operations more energy efficient.
Sometimes, buildings lack proper insulation, leading to massive heat loss, given that HVAC systems run longer to achieve proper temperatures. On the other hand, it could be a result of the failure to install "energy smart" appliances and infrastructure, such as electrical outlets with a high energy efficiency rating.
Developing an energy-forward mindset is critical for many reasons. For one, it keeps buildings compliant with the latest laws. However, it also yields massive benefits to the bottom line.
Key Benefits of Energy Efficiency
Now, you understand the urgent need to address energy waste in commercial buildings. But here are a few direct benefits of promoting energy savings for your property.
Even a slight campaign to promote energy efficiency can drastically reduce utility bills, as many building owners don't consider daily waste. By implementing devices like smart sensors, indoor monitors, and motion detectors, businesses can save up to thousands per year on energy costs.
Also, there are financial incentives for investing heavily in energy efficiency. For example, switching to alternative energy, like solar, comes with major tax breaks that result in getting back up to 30% of the cost of installation.
It's a misconception that energy efficiency leads to poorer indoor conditions.
Energy efficiency creates greater awareness and knowledge of indoor climate conditions. As a result, managers obtain more data and insight into critical metrics like temperature, humidity, mold growth, and particulate matter levels. By understanding these metrics, building management can ensure indoor spaces stay at peak levels for human comfort and health.
A great example of this is humidity levels. A smart sensor system tracks indoor humidity levels, which should be kept between 30-50 percent. As soon as humidity goes astray, the system automatically adjusts the HVAC to return humidity to a comfortable level. This increases comfort while preventing the HVAC from running constantly, which also lowers energy consumption.
Compliance With Regulations
Building owners feel the pressure from growing initiatives around building energy efficiency. Failure to comply can lead to massive fines.
Thankfully, instilling energy efficiency practices ensures your building remains ahead of the legislative curve, especially as agencies like the Department of Energy continue forming more robust laws and guidelines around how commercial buildings should approach energy consumption.
For example, the updated ASHRAE Standard 90.1-2022 was released in 2023. It highlights additional areas of concern for commercial buildings, and revisions include updated information on things like:
- Metrics for greenhouse gas emission targets
- How to implement a low-carbon plan to achieve emissions goals
- Establishing an energy-efficient maintenance program to boost performance
These are all areas where commercial building owners must develop a proactive mentality. Otherwise, falling behind could lead to penalties and a damaged reputation. However, keep in mind it works both ways, as there are many financial incentives for meeting and exceeding carbon-neutral goals.
Empower Your Commercial Building With Attune
A great place to kick off your journey toward raising energy efficiency awareness is through an energy efficiency audit. Here, a pro gauges how your building stands in terms of energy costs and usage and offers ways to improve energy efficiency. Then, you can use their roadmap to make changes that cut energy costs and improve comfort.
Another key initiative is investing in the right energy efficiency solutions. For example, IoT technology does wonders in allowing building management to conduct real-time energy management.
Consider Attune if you're in the market for the best energy and water leak detection tool for immediately reducing the financial impact of energy loss. We offer some of the market's most cutting-edge IoT software and hardware to automate indoor air quality measurements, track energy consumption, and make adjustments on the fly. Our system integrates seamlessly with existing infrastructure to ensure energy waste stays as close to zero as possible.
To learn more about how our solution can help your energy efficiency initiatives, visit our page to schedule a demo.