How To Reduce Commercial Building Energy Consumption
Managing an energy-efficient commercial building is challenging for maintenance staff. Budget reductions and shrinking talent pools have created an atmosphere requiring them to do more with less. So how can you reduce energy consumption for existing buildings? Here are some tips for commercial energy savings that reduce waste and increase cost savings.
What Consumes the Most Energy in a Commercial Building?
Before taking the necessary steps to reduce commercial building energy consumption, you have to understand what elements have the greatest impact on the efficiency of a building. Some of the building automation system elements that have the biggest impact on your commercial building’s energy bill include:
Many large commercial buildings use water chillers to enhance occupant comfort and help with cooling. These large units are often the largest electricity consumer and significantly impact efficiency if not properly maintained.
Many commercial buildings leverage the benefits of air conditioning to maintain interior comfort throughout the entire year. In fact it is often the case that some sections of a building will require heat at the same time that others require cooling. In addition many geographies have stringent requirements to remove excess moisture or humidity from the air a great deal of the year. All of these realities consume a great deal of energy, however when these processes are out of tune, or a small problem in operation develops, the amount of energy consumed rises significantly and can harm your total energy bill if ignored even for a few months.
Commercial buildings in colder climates need to have a heating system in place to keep occupants warm. Boilers, heat pumps, and gas heat are all methods commonly used to provide required heat to your facilities. These are complex systems that require regular maintenance from a trained and experienced technician. Inefficient heating operations increase the amount of fuel required to produce the same heat value. Over time system performance degrades and the costs of providing proper heat grow exponentially.
Proper ventilation plays a critical role in the heating and cooling of a commercial building. However, making sure your ventilation system is operating properly is difficult because the equipment involved with ventilation is complex and layered. Again ventilation systems require regular maintenance from trained and experienced technicians in order to work correctly and efficiently.
Tips on Making a Commercial Building More Energy Efficient
Set Smart Setpoints
Saving energy starts with proper occupied and unoccuped setpoints. Selecting a conservative setpoint target individually for both the winter and summer season is an easy and effective way to control energy costs. For example, 69F in the summer is an achievable setpoint, but it will cost far more energy to achieve than a 73 F setpoint. If these types of “extreme” setpoints are in place throughout a building, this could represent 5% to 8% of your energy spend.
Take Advantage of Unoccupied Time
Your building is likely only occupied for a fraction of the 24 hour time period. Be aggressive in setting your unoccupied cooling and heating setpoints, which means in the cooling season, set your unoccupied setpoint as high as possible without causing humidity problems. And in the heating season make the setpoint at a safe level that only requires an hour to 90 minutes for the boiler system to recover from. One of our biggest opportunities in saving money is engaging strong unoccupied setpoints – an easy money saver, especially when the cost of electricity and gas keep rising.
Utilize Smart Thermostats
Connecting smart thermostats to a conventional HVAC system lets a maintenance team regularly monitor the interior temperature. Some options even read local weather patterns that allow you to increase energy efficiency by adjusting conditions in real time. This solution can also connect to a smartphone that lets owners adjust indoor temperatures remotely.
Increase Natural Lighting
Lighting systems also play a significant role in a commercial building’s energy consumption. Increasing the amount of natural lighting reduces your reliance on interior lights and helps save money in the long term.
Maintain HVAC Equipmen
Most modern HVAC equipment is designed to keep working even after developing minor issues. However, this means it has to work harder to reach the desired temperature, reducing efficiency and increasing the likelihood of failing. Regularly maintaining a commercial building’s HVAC system is one of the most effective ways of reducing waste.
See How BuildingLogiX Helps Clients Reduce Energy Consumption
Check out our case studies page and read real examples of how BuildingLogiX has helped companies across multiple industries increase energy efficiency.
Enhance Commercial Energy Savings With BuildingLogiX
As budget reductions and staff limitations continue to impact facilities teams across multiple industries, finding ways to work smarter—not harder—has become a top priority. Waiting until major issues develop significantly impacts efficiency and creates situations where building owners are paying large fees to replace equipment.
BuildingLogiX believes that creating healthy buildings means making the best adjustment at the right time, and we help organizations achieve this by leveraging the data their systems already produce. Our Connected Building Services (CBS) ensure your building automation systems and equipment run efficiently by collecting and organizing data for enhanced analysis. CBS harnesses enhanced technology and engineering processes to deliver critical insights using the following innovative features:
BuildingLogiX Data eXchange (BDX)
While traditional systems generate significant amounts of data, your staff can’t leverage the information unless it’s collected and organized. BDX easily connects to building automation systems and stores compiled data into a client-accessible database. This portal also creates graphs, visualizations, and scorecards that help your staff determine which systems are operating properly.
Fault Detection and Diagnostics
Many systems are designed to continue working even if minor issues develop. While this helps maintain set temperatures, it also decreases efficiency and increases the chances of major breakdowns. But what if your maintenance staff could know the moment problems appear and their location? Our Fault Detection and Diagnostics pinpoint problem areas and allow your team to maximize asset value and efficiency.
Chiller Plant Optimization
Keeping chiller plants healthy is critical for maintaining occupant comfort and reducing long-term costs. Our Chiller Plant Optimization tool increases transparency by providing valuable analysis that helps your team keep this essential equipment running smoothly.
BuildingLogiX: Helping Businesses Reduce Commercial Building Energy Consumption Since 2006
BuildingLogiX is proud to be an industry leader and a technology-driven service company. We understand the challenges associated with creating healthy buildings and work with clients to optimize building performance, reduce operational costs, and maximize maintenance staff productivity. Our solutions are scalable from one to 1,000 buildings and easily connect with most systems installed in the last 25 years. We take pride in being a brand-agnostic company and work hard to provide a solution that best suits your enterprise’s needs. Contact BuildingLogiX today to learn more about how CBS allows your team to reduce energy consumption.