Energy saving is a goal many progressive business owners including building owners, facility managers incorporate for various reasons such as minimizing cost, improving efficiency, reducing carbon footprint and so on. One of the key aspects of energy saving is to invest in an energy monitoring system. With this building owners or facility managers can easily track and monitor energy usage. Once you are aware of energy usage data of your building systems, you can identify the scope and devise an energy saving strategy. In this article, we take a look at some of the energy saving tips your commercial building or facility can benefit from and minimize the energy costs.
Ensure proper functioning of equipment
Periodically monitor that all equipment and controls are functioning properly. Make sure your energy management system is set up correctly to ensure smooth operation as well as control settings are adjusted. Improper settings can not only slow down operation but also result in high energy costs since it is largely the equipment and machine that consume maximum energy in a facility.
Be aware of peak hour energy costs
If you are a resident of Ontario, then make sure you familiarize yourself with off peak hours and peak hours during which energy costs vary. If possible, schedule high energy consuming operations during off peak hours to minimize energy costs. The time can vary depending on the season, specifically in summer and winter. In addition, weekends and holidays in Ontario always offer off peak hours.
Switch to renewable energy sources
Renewable energy sources can be a great way to minimize energy costs as well as reduce carbon footprint as they use natural resources that are environmentally friendly. If your facility or business relies on power generation you can look for other power generation ways such as cogeneration which minimizes energy loss, increases efficiency by up to 90% or more and reduces energy costs.
Automate building systems
In today’s technologically advanced era, investing in building automation system is not a choice but a necessity. It will not only reduce your energy costs and improve efficiency but also add to user comfort, not to mention make managing your multiple buildings a hassle-free process. With efficient building automation and controls, you can monitor energy usage, adjust settings, receive alerts, predict problems, and reduce major repairs and much more. From carrying out simple tasks like scheduling lighting system to detecting occupants using occupancy sensors to gaining valuable insights for better decision making, it is essential to have your building equipped with BAS. Today’s BACnet to IoT app also makes it easy to control multiple buildings anytime from anywhere.
Encourage occupants to turn off power and equipment
When you want to create an energy saving environment, apart from using an energy management system, you also need to build awareness within the building community so that occupants are motivated to participate in the program. You can install signages, posters, hold workshops that encourage employees, staff, or other building users to make sure all the electronics such as task lights, kitchen appliances, computers are turned off. Since humans are creatures who tend to forget, again another option is to go with a building automation system which will take care of turning off any powered system in absence of occupants or based on scheduled tasks.
Install submetering or energy meter
If you own or manage multiple units such as condo projects, install energy meter or submetering for individual units. This helps in identifying actual energy usage in each unit as well as encourages residents to be more conscious of energy using habits as they are responsible for utility bills of their own portion.
Change old lighting
Replace old incandescent lighting with more energy efficient and modern lighting such as LED. Although initially they may cost you, over the long run, these are more long lasting and energy saving compared to traditional bulbs, thereby helping you reduce electricity bills. Also pay attention to lighting in areas that do not require too much light such as parking lot, areas that receive ample daylight. Invest in motion sensor, smart lighting, or dimmers to effectively control lighting and reduce utility bills.
Install HVAC monitoring system
Since HVAC system is an important component of building as well as a major energy consumer, invest in an efficient HVAC monitoring system or HVAC monitoring app that can give you real-time update and control of the HVAC system. This will not only reduce energy costs but also enhance occupants’ comfort.
In addition, make sure your HVAC controls are properly set and components are serviced and maintained to ensure efficiency and reduced costs.
Upgrade building controls
Since building systems become obsolete with time, you need to upgrade building controls like boiler controls, chiller and so on so that they are upgraded to the latest system, compatible with new software and optimized for performance.
Invest in energy-rated equipment
Whether buying new equipment for your facility or getting new appliances, it is recommended that you check the energy rating of the equipment. Energy rating refers to how efficient a machine runs depending on the energy it consumes, which can be water, electricity, and how well it functions. Usually, latest models and appliances will have better energy ratings than their older counterparts. These are energy rated for their efficiency and help in conserving energy as well as reducing energy costs.
Energy savings is without a doubt a huge concern for any commercial building owner, operator, or facility manager. While there are many energy solutions available, it depends on many factors such as your industry, business goal, building size and so on. Connect with A-TECH Engineering Ltd. – a leading energy company based in Toronto to discuss the energy saving potential of your building today.