It goes without saying that having an energy-efficient commercial property continually yields dividends over the short and long term. This is why performing energy consumption analysis is essential—not only does it give you actionable methods to save money on energy bills, but if you live in Toronto or Ontario, you will also qualify for commercial energy rebates from your municipal or provincial government.
We’re not just talking about saving money month-to-month on utility bills, either. Rather, an eco-friendly building can have a dramatic effect on a number of areas, from improving employee productivity to giving you peace of mind regarding future utility bill increases. Energy efficiency means you are well-prepared for the future, and this is an important consideration if you know that you want to be proactive in your approach to saving energy.
Increased Asset Value
Eco-friendly buildings have two big immediate financial payoffs: 1) higher rental rates and 2) higher occupancy rates. In the long run, if your commercial property is offered for sale, it is far likelier to sell at an above-market price if it is an energy-efficient green building. These factors are significant incentives for investing in energy benchmarking methods in order to see how your commercial property stacks up.
Energy Performance Improvement
The benefits of an energy-efficient commercial property also include optimal levels of maintenance and operation for your building’s systems. This translates into greater reliability, consistency, and efficiency. The bottom line is about having building systems that don’t require costly repairs or replacements.
Comfort for the Building’s Occupants
There are intangible benefits to being certified or perceived as a green-friendly building. Improved air quality and consistent temperatures will ultimately make everyone in the building much more comfortable. Another understated benefit here may be the increased productivity of your employees. Having steady, regulated temperatures and a comfortable work environment is a huge incentive for regular attendance at work. Overall, many employees may feel empowered and proud that they are part of an eco-friendly company, especially with the current emphasis on companies that display corporate social responsibility.
Reduced Energy Cost
This is, perhaps, one of the greatest benefits of being energy efficient. Imagine reaping the financial rewards that come from a significant reduction in your heating, cooling, hydro, and other associated energy expenses. Furthermore, the benefits can be realized in several different ways.
Decreasing operating expenses from your energy bills automatically means greater company profits. Any investment in eco-friendly efficiencies will have a higher return on investment, especially when you consider how energy costs have continually risen over the years. By proactively investing in energy efficiency, you are buffering your commercial building against rising energy bills for years—or decades—to come.
How Energy Efficiency Reduces Costs
Looking at specific areas of a commercial building can give us a deeper understanding of why retrofitting or improvements may be needed, and exactly how energy efficiency can translate into cost savings.
Heat loss can be a problem, especially with older buildings that were constructed before higher standards for materials or design were implemented. Thermal bridges, which are common, can increase heat loss by 25% to 40%. With a comprehensive energy audit, you can find workable solutions to bring energy costs down like adding more insulation, weatherstripping, and caulking to reduce heat loss.
The lighting used in commercial properties is responsible for a significant percentage of energy bills. Switching to LED and fluorescent lighting is an ideal way to become more energy efficient. Also, remember that fluorescent lights produce four times as much light per watt as incandescent lights. Not only that, but they last about 10 times longer and cost only a third to operate, meaning you have even more incentive to invest in energy-efficient lighting.
Heating and Ventilation
The further north you are situated, the more likely it is that heating makes up the most significant portion of your energy bills. Rapid drops in temperature will mean you incur spikes in your heating bills. If your building is not optimized to keep consistent temperatures throughout all areas, you are likely wasting money and making your employees uncomfortable.
Be aware that furnace replacement can bring in tremendous savings. A comprehensive commercial energy audit can help you understand where to invest in capital costs that will pay off many times over.
Depending on the type of air conditioners you use, air conditioning may also make up a big part of your energy bills. There are, however, cost-saving methods to keep a building cool such as installing window coverings and using greenery for shading.
Older, inefficient appliances can be replaced with energy-saving Energy Star appliances, depending on your need and an analysis of the purchase cost versus potential year-to-year savings.
Hot Water Systems
An important area that should not be overlooked is your hot water system. Energy-efficient flow controls can be installed. This way, the volume of water being used can be reduced.
About PL Energy Services
You can increase the value of your commercial business by switching to energy-efficient systems. The many benefits of having an energy-efficient commercial property cannot be overstated, from an increase in the value of your property to eco-friendly branding for your company.
PL Energy Services is a leading energy firm that specializes in a wide array of energy-saving initiatives for commercial buildings. By conducting energy audits, we’ve helped clients to collect over $2.4 million and counting in energy rebates over the past two years. By conducting energy benchmarking through us, you can save money. Contact us today to learn more about our green initiatives and how your commercial property can become more energy efficient.