Energy savings in commercial & mixed-used buildings

Updated on February 11th, 2021

photo of hi rise building energy savings through submetering

Even little changes in building maintenance and optimizing tenant engagement can have big impact on reducing utility costs.  In combination with energy management tools, building operators can greatly improve the efficiency of their buildings. Below, we take a look at the impact of maintenance, tenant engagement and energy management on commercial and mixed-used buildings.

Maintenance:

This article,  Energy Efficient tactics to Reduce Building Maintenance Costs, recently published on the REMI Network, speaks to the impact maintenance and tenant engagement can have on building efficiency. It features some excellent tips from Ariel Feldman, project principal and technical lead at WSP. We highlighted a few quotes here:

“Despite the challenges of working with increasing economic restraints, little changes in maintenance and operations can significantly impact the efficiency of a facility. While such energy savings can result from capital planning and proactive maintenance, a large portion of savings can be maximized through occupant engagement, sustainable practices and ensuring components perform at optimum level.

Ariel Feldman, project principal and technical lead at WSP, used an example of a leaky faucet to demonstrate simple cost savings. He said that one drop of water from a faucet, every second of every day for a whole year, amounts to $27 annually. Such small factors can have big impacts on utility costs, but are often overlooked. He also highlighted several short term paybacks inherent to mechanical systems.

 …Use expert advice and start with energy assessments and capital planning as soon as possible so strategies are in place when equipment begins to fail, Develop a plan and ensure funding is available when it needs to be. Budget for training as systems, especially new management software, is only as good as the people operating it. Once implemented, celebrate success and monitor performance to guarantee benefits.”

Tenant Engagement:

Ensure your building’s performance meets energy conservation expectations through a tenant involvement program.  Measure energy consumption, track results and maintain consistent  2-way communication with your tenants.

Here are 4 key tips to ensure you take advantage of any additional energy savings that result from submetering and other tactics:

  1. Start with the property team: education will lead to engagement
  2. Engage and educate tenants in their space
  3. Assist with energy reduction efforts
  4. Track results and repeat

For more tips, here is our Tenant Engagement Guide

Energy Management:

Energy Management Systems monitor equipment and can help improve performance.  They can be set to alert a building operator to loads operating outside of building operating hours, review load profiles to schedule the start-up of equipment more efficiently to reduce overall peak demand or identify “disproportionate” utility usage from tenants. Meters pay an important role in energy conservation; as property managers and occupants actually see how they use energy they are more likely to be more efficient in their utility usage. Advanced analytics, through the automated conversion of data to reporting either in real time or post event, makes turning meter usage information into actionable insights, easy.

Learn more:

Developers, property managers, and consultants work with us at  QMC to design and implement project-specific energy management systems that conserve utilities and save money. QMC has both hands-on experience in the field, and extensive knowledge of submetering, utility billing, analytics, and conservation.