Lighting is a major player when it comes to savings on your electricity bill in a commercial building; if you have older lighting in your building, then investing in new energy efficient lighting is one of the best business decisions you can make. A concept less discussed but equally important is how much lighting is available in the building; often there is an excess amount of lighting in older commercial buildings and lessening the quantity of lights adds to energy savings.
Phantom loads and non-essential power draws are common in commercial buildings, especially in office environments that have many computers. Eliminating phantom loads and non-essential power draws from computers and computer related equipment can realize a significant energy savings for your commercial building.
Heating and Cooling
There is so much opportunity for energy savings for HVAC systems in commercial buildings - these energy savings offer attractive returns on investment and ways to help the environment by reducing your carbon footprint. Below you will find a few different examples of opportunities for energy savings.
Heat Recovery Ventilators (HRV's) take the energy from the outgoing air from your building and transfer some of that energy to the air coming into your building. They are gaining popularity, especially in newer building that are built air tight.
Heat Pumps are becoming increasingly popular and for good reason. Cold-climate heat pumps heat and cool for a fraction of the cost of conventional HVAC systems. These devices transfer heat rather than generate heat; it is very counterintuitive to think that they can actually draw heat from negative outdoor temperatures and draw cold from warm temperatures.
Heat recovery for waste water is new for commercial applications though can be a good fit depending on the nature of your commercial building tenants and depending on the nature of your mechanical system and access in your mechanical room.
Variable Speed Pumps for hot water heating are an easy way for owners to make an economical upgrade from a regular hot water pump - they offer a substantial return on investment.
Upgrading fans and motors that are used in the HVAC system are normally a simple swap out and can deliver impressive returns on investment if the equipment is old enough.
Control systems can be tedious to install after the fact and most newer buildings are equipped with adequate control systems that help optimize building performance.
If your commercial building is not equipped with a modern control system and you are considering doing a renovation of your HVAC system - then it would be prudent to consider introducing a controls to optimize your energy use.
The investment can be difficult to quantify a return because the metrics to determine savings aren't as cut and dry. That being said, building performance will be optimized when introducing control systems and a fully optimized building HVAC system is achieved by introducing controls.
Energy efficiency is a key component to green initiatives and are not only lucrative investments but are a great way to lower your carbon footprint. Generally speaking, most new buildings are quite energy efficient and don't benefit from energy efficiency initiatives as much as older buildings do.
The below sections provide a high level overview of commercial energy efficiency opportunities.