Energy efficiency for buildings should be considered a priority by all modern business owners. After all, the levels of energy used will influence everything from your carbon footprint to the way the company is viewed by customers, your overhead, and the firm’s bottom line. For those reasons, and many more, overlooking energy efficiency for your business is not an option.
When it comes to increasing the energy efficiency of your business, there is no time to waste. If you’re interested in making sure your building operates at the highest level of efficiency, the following guide is just for you.
Your Guide To Boosting Energy Efficiency In Your Business’s Buildings
Energy consumption in business is something that’s very easy to overlook. Gas, water, and electricity all enter commercial buildings without any need to consider how those features are being supplied. In reality, you only need to think about how many products require those resources to understand the financial impact of reevaluating your building’s energy use.
Computers, HVAC systems, machinery, and staff facilities all require the use of gas, water, or electricity. Even a 10% saving on resources and expenses could transform your business for the better by improving cash flow and performance with stunning results. As such, it’s imperative to increase the energy efficiency of your business.
Achieving the same (or even an increase) level of performance while spending less time, money, and energy can only be a good thing – not least because those rewards will filter throughout the entire business.
Factors Affecting Energy Consumption In Business
Before attending to the issues that are negatively impacting your commercial premises, you must first identify those potential problems. No two businesses are identical, and understanding the needs and energy consumption levels of your individual company is vital.
Several factors can impact the overall energy efficiency of your business premises, including but not limited to:
Buildings used for business matters may function in many different ways. Some examples include offices, classrooms, shop floor, warehouses, laboratories, and factories. Naturally, a storage warehouse may have a vastly different energy consumption level than a shop floor or office.
Different building types will use gas, electricity, and gas to varying levels due to the type and volume of equipment used as well as the requirements to regulate the atmosphere. Similarly, the hours of occupancy will significantly influence the overall energy consumption.
In addition to the building’s function, the physical structure of your business impacts energy efficiency. While the age of the building itself is shown to have minimal impact in offices and similar buildings, attributes such as using outdated materials should not be ignored.
Window types and thickness are another key aspect to consider in relation to insulation and air circulation while recent upgrades on the maintenance of the building, especially in relation to the control room, can have a significant impact as well.
The energy consumption levels of a building can also be influenced by the sophistication levels of your HVAC systems, plug loads and equipment layout, outside temperatures, and mechanical system types. The duration of occupancy will play a significant role too.
With all of these factors affecting a building’s energy consumption, the DIY option simply won’t suffice. It’s a smart idea to acquire the support of experts in the energy efficiency field. Navigate Power is one of the most reputable energy consulting firms that Chicago has to offer.
A Checklist of Ways to Improve Energy Efficiency in Business
Given that energy is used in vast quantities across multiple business settings, it’s necessary to embrace a comprehensive approach to the analysis and implementation of any new ideas. A variety of steps can be taken to improve your situation, here are some of the best:
Using equipment to measure your business’s energy consumption is essential. You can look at how much is being used as a cumulative total while also looking at more specific data, such as daily, weekly or monthly kWh analysis. Understanding the current situation provides the perfect platform for setting goals and plotting the best approach to increase energy efficiency.
The concept of a reverse auction essentially allows businesses to post details of their ongoing energy requirements to the public domain, allowing the major energy suppliers to bid for the contract by telling you the lowest price that can be offered. This can instantly shave a percentage off of your monthly bills.
It’s often the small changes in life that make the biggest difference. Incandescent lights waste 90% of energy on heat rather than light while LEDs can last up to 15x longer. Those two factors easily compensate for the extra outlay at the point of purchase. Making the switch throughout the commercial premise is key.
Equipment that carries Energy Star certification uses far less energy than equipment that doesn’t. An Energy Star rated computer, for example, can use up to 65% less electricity than a non-certified computer. Upgrading equipment may cost money in the short-haul but will pay dividends in the long-term.
While the idea of adding new technology to old buildings is something you’d naturally do over time, investing in the right facilities in a conscious way is vital. Most investments will pay for themselves (through energy savings) within just a few short years. When the decisions are backed up by data, you can’t go wrong.
Heating and Ventilation
Increasing your building’s energy efficiency isn’t just about upgrading HVAC systems, although they are important. You should also consider investing in better windows and insulation for commercial property. Whether it’s an office block or a warehouse, heating and ventilation will have a huge influence on the overall expense.
Not all items need to be replaced to gain maximum efficiency. In many cases, regular servicing and maintenance are all that’s needed to keep equipment performing at its best and reduce the threat of energy waste. This is also an eco-friendly option as you’ll be extending the lifespan of products rather than trashing them prematurely.
Energy consumption isn’t defined solely by the facilities. Staff interactions and habits are equally crucial. Investing in courses that teach them how to follow the most energy efficient practices is vital. Incentivizing the team with group perks for getting it right encourages them to take greater accountability.
Other suggestions include outsourcing certain tasks, allowing you to avoid the associated energy costs while also operating from a smaller venue. When you incorporate the right strategies to maximize your energy efficiency, the impacts are phenomenal.
Why Contact An Energy Consulting Firm?
Given that you have a relatively good understanding how those resources work while also boasting experience of organizing your home utility bills, it can be tempting to assume that the DIY approach will be good enough to secure the best transformation for your business. In truth, connection with an energy consulting firm could be one of the smartest investments of all.
Professional energy efficiency consulting will:
- Ensure that you gain a thorough and comprehensive audit to obtain a clear indication of where the business currently stands.
- Gain impartial suggestions on products, brands, and models as well as energy suppliers while still retaining the final say on all decisions.
- Save money with restorations and simple adjustments that can maximize efficiency without the need for expensive replacements.
- Have all changes, upgrades, and restorations completed in a timely manner, allowing your business to focus on its core assignments without any major downtime.
- Gain actionable advice on how to correct mistakes and encourage your team to keep the business running with optimum efficiency.
- Provide secure peace of mind by knowing that you’ve made the right decision for the immediate and long-term needs of the company.
The support of energy consulting firms is, therefore, a highly advised route to take. Navigate Power has helped thousands of companies throughout Chicago and further afield. For example, implementing a reverse auction enabled Austintown Local Schools to generate savings of $53,100 each year. These advanced tactics, along with a comprehensive approach to the issues above, can help your company save money too. Now is the perfect time for your company to join the revolution.
The levels of energy efficiency in buildings are of huge importance to your business and will lay the foundations for operating in a more environmentally friendly and profitable manner. This is the perfect time to take control of the company’s approach to energy consumption for financial and practical improvements.
Efficient energy consumption leads to a range of benefits including:
- Increased cash flow
- Improved employee reactions
- Improved customer reactions
- Long-lasting tech equipment
- Reduced emissions
- Increased profitability
The smallest changes can make a significant impact on the company’s energy consumption levels, and a professional audit will give you the best shot at discovering the best upgrades while also providing advice regarding the habitual changes that can be incorporated by your employees for even greater success.
With support from Navigate Power’s energy efficiency consulting and utility bill auditing services, saving energy and improving your bottom line is now easier.
About Navigate Power
Navigate Power is a leading electricity and natural gas consulting firm, headquartered in Chicago, IL. Ranked no. 550 on the 2017 and no. 856 on the 2018 Inc. 5000 list as one of the fastest-growing companies in the nation, Navigate Power continues to expand into new markets nationwide and currently manages over 30,000 commercial energy accounts and over one billion dollars in energy budgets.