Facility Managers: How to Cut Energy Costs and Increase Efficiency of Facilities

Helpful energy saving checklist for facility managers to reduce energy costs and increase efficiency

Facility managers have the essential task to ensure that everything in the building runs smoothly as well as efficiently for the occupants all the time. Over time, the role of facility managers has broadened and includes making sure that the building is energy efficient as well. This results in occupants having a comfortable working environment while minimizing energy costs of the building.

As per EPA, 32% energy consumption and 19% greenhouse gas emission arise from buildings. As companies today work towards reducing energy waste, they are turning to facility managers who are greatly involved in improving the building condition. Facility managers are at an advantage to identify scope of improvement and take corrective actions to improvise energy efficiency of the building.  In this article we take a look at steps facility managers can take to improve efficiency of the facility building and transform it into an energy saving building.

Inspect energy consuming equipment and employ regular maintenance

In order to maintain functionality, efficiency, and comfort of a facility building, it is imperative to consistently manage the energy-using equipment through routine check-ups along with preventive maintenance. When energy consuming equipment are left without any monitoring system or check ups, the equipment not only loses efficiency but can also be irrevocably damaged. Regular, consistent maintenance for equipment through a building automation system can help identify issues such as leaks, repairs, and replacements. Routine check-ups and maintenance can be held for boilers, chillers, fans, lighting system, computers, electronics, HVAC system and so on. In addition, data analytics can equip facility managers with valuable insights into performance measurement which can be utilized to improve the energy efficiency of the building.

Also, as a facility manager, you must take note of equipment that are obsolete, require frequent repairs and get rid of these. Replacing these with energy-rated machines will not only enhance performance but also bring down energy costs significantly.

Utilize submetering to accurately picture energy costs of the facility

When you are a facility manager, it is important that you know exactly how much energy the building is using, how much energy is being wasted, and identify areas of improvement to lower energy cost.

For this, you can look at trends in your utility bills and take note for any inaccurate meter readings and charges that do not make sense. You should also be aware of any controllable factors that can be leveraged to reduce energy consumption.

Also, using submetering in facility buildings is a great way to effectively control and use the resources in the building. Instead of using a single device to determine total energy use, facility management firms are increasingly switching to submeters in facilities to accurately monitor and manage utility costs. Submetering makes it relatively easier to see which areas of the facility consume high power and come up with alternative energy efficient solutions. It also allows precision data-collection methods that facilitate in identifying problems, scheduling corrective measures, and applying better energy saving solutions to improve overall energy efficiency of the building.

Use lighting and HVAC controls effectively in facility buildings

It is no doubt that lighting and HVAC systems account for a huge portion of the electricity bill. In order to cut down energy cost of your facility building, increasing efficiency of these systems can greatly reduce your building’s energy cost. For example, it is very likely for occupants to forget turning on and off these systems when not required, and as a result energy is being wasted. You can have motion sensor lighting that automatically turns on and off depending on the presence of users in the area. Installing efficient building automation system can help to reduce the cost of energy by automated daylight harvesting feature which allows detection of daylight and minimizes the use of artificial lighting in those periods. Nowadays there are many energy saving lights available in the market such as LED lighting, combining this with an automated lighting control system will surely have a beneficial effect on reducing energy costs of your facility.

Similarly, automated HVAC controls and smart thermostats can be utilized in your facility building to control HVAC system. As a facility manager, it is important that you monitor the thermostats and HVAC control settings so that occupants of the building are working in a comfortable condition. There are many automated systems available these days that give you access to these controls through Wi-Fi on your phone, making them easy to use.

Educate facility occupants about ways to reduce energy costs and properly use the facility

Only using an energy efficient machine and transforming the building into an energy saving one will not save money if occupants do not learn how to use it properly. As a facility manager, educate them through meetings, sessions and let them know the proper use of the equipment so that they run efficiently and minimize energy costs.

Get guaranteed 10% Energy Savings when you use A-TECH Engineering Energy Management Services for your facility.

With businesses and organizations becoming more energy conscious over the days, facility managers play an important role in tackling issues, identifying areas of improvement that can enhance building efficiency. A-TECH Engineering Ltd. – a leading building automation contractor in Toronto offers energy audit and energy management systems that can transform your facility building into an energy saving building, give better control over the building, reduce energy costs, and at the same time ensure comfort of the occupants. Contact us  to get a quote and discuss the energy saving potential of your facility.

increasing energy efficiency of facilities

How To Improve Energy Efficiency of Your Car Dealership

Are you tired of paying high bills for your car dealership? You can save over 40% by increasing energy efficiency of your building. Read on to find out how to improve energy efficiency of your car dealership and reduce energy costs.

Starting from early November 2020, electric bills in Ontario will increase by at least 2% as fixed pricing comes to an end. With COVID-19 pandemic still looming over us, it is no doubt that the surge will have a dual negative impact on businesses that are already affected – including car dealership businesses that typically consume more energy per square foot than conventional office buildings. As such, car dealership owners can greatly benefit from an energy management program that will not only reduce its carbon footprint but also reduce its utility bills. In this article, we will take a look at the cost effective areas in which car dealership can reduce use of energy such as heating, lighting, air compressors and so on, while at the same time maintaining functionality and comfort of the building.

Lighting – It is no secret that car dealerships tend to consume a lot of energy in the lighting department as the place needs to showcase the car in the best way possible. Most of the car dealerships that have been operational for a long time use outdated, energy inefficient bulbs that are not only poor in service but also need frequent replacement, thereby increasing overall cost.

Having a building automation system can greatly aid dealerships to effectively use lighting only when necessary thereby reducing extra costs. In addition, dealerships can also invest in energy efficient LED bulbs instead of being fixated on using age-old light bulbs that consume a lot of energy and give rise to a high electricity bill at the end of the month. This will surely result in improved energy efficiency of car dealership.

Heating– Another area car dealerships lose a lot of energy is the heating department. Having outdated heating system, leaving doors and windows open while heating or air-conditioning is on, outdated boiler heating controls are some of the many ways through which energy loss occurs, resulting in high utility costs. On average, 30% of car dealership energy costs are pertaining to heating.

One of the long term cost effective ways to reduce energy costs from heating is to have a smart building technology which controls its heating settings, automatic opening and closing of bay doors, smart thermostat and so on. A smart building knows when to turn the power on and off on its own so even if you have a forgetful mind, you are assured that at the end of the month you are not going to get a high bill because you simply forgot to turn off the power.

Air-compressors – Air-compressors also play an important role in dealerships and are another source of high energy consumption. To improve energy efficiency of your car dealership, it is essential to keep track of air compressor maintenance and performance. Often energy is lost due to leaks in air compressor, presence of condensate and moisture, pressure fluctuations, high source pressure and so on.

Having an energy management system in place ensures accurate assessment of air-compressors through techniques such as metering and measuring. This gives insight into air compressor performance as well as identify windows for improvement. It is also important to use energy rated products, for instance an energy rated air compressor will not only save money but also curb air pollution.

Most dealership owners do not want to partake in energy audit or energy management programs as they feel like these would be an additional and unnecessary cost. What is the need to fix something if it is not broken, right? However, when you are not changing or upgrading your system, you not only run into unforeseen problems but also incur additional cost in the long run. With a little bit of foresight and innovation, as a car dealership owner, you can save a lot of money if you are keen in making your dealership up-to-date and energy efficient. Having an ongoing energy audit and management system will equip your dealership with data, insight and control on how to reduce energy usage, find existing faults, and suggest preventive maintenance and repairs.

At A-TECH Engineering Ltd. – which is a building automation and energy company, we have a host of energy management and building automation systems that are geared to improving your dealership’s energy efficiency and reducing energy cost while ensuring quality, functionality and comfort of the building.

Energy Management System

Optimizing resources can be a challenging task in any given environment. Putting the available tools in use to obtain the best results possible expending as little as you can is a full-time job and requires a lot of careful consideration. This is especially the case in the current state of technological development. Many options are constantly arising, evolving, and improving, and one must consider at least some of them with care since they can make a big difference.

This is the case when it comes to Energy Management. The technology involved in this field has evolved so much that it is now possible to cut down on costs and increase the efficiency of HVAC systems if a good solution to automation of variables such as temperature is properly implemented.

Today we are going to focus on the Energy Management of Schools and commercial buildings. Practically every industry, as well as end-users, can benefit from some kind of Energy Management System, both here in Toronto and around the world. We are focusing today on these two because their particular characteristics set them apart from other sectors and we will try to cover these differences in a certain amount of detail.

This is an area that can benefit greatly from proper HVAC controls, given the fact that it is very common to see, especially in Schools, that there is actually no system in place to manage the temperature remotely at all. Commercial buildings, on the other hand, display a very wide array of solutions, ranging from none to rather advanced systems in the higher end of the spectrum. Advanced is not always optimal, though. Since, as we have mentioned above, this field is constantly evolving it is always good to reassess periodically.


First of all, we should unpack this term so that we are all on the same page. HVAC stands for Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning. It refers to the technology used to control these environmental variables. It has come a long way in the last few years, and it is now possible to interact and command vast systems using practically any modern device with access to the internet. There are PC, Mac, Android, and iPhone solutions that provide an interface with which to manage these systems. When this is properly implemented a lot of time and money can be saved.

Currently available apps, such as A-TECH Engineering Ltd’s brand new iPhone and Android app are designed to provide detailed reporting and the ability to control a few key aspects of the machinery in place. They interact through industry-standard protocols and with all the best-known brands out there to ensure compatibility.


Schools are often big buildings, and the age of these buildings varies greatly. There are certainly newer buildings that have been constructed recently and there are quite a few older ones in use in our education system, too. Often the newer buildings benefit from being a bit more energy-efficient due to the construction techniques applied and the materials that were used during the process. Some may even be already equipped with HVAC systems that are compatible with remote management.

On the other hand, the older buildings will probably not benefit from all of these things or any at all.

Because of its size and the number of hours that a school is active every day throughout the year proper energy management is crucial. An effort to bring up-to-date the environment controls of schools is needed and would be very beneficial. It would ensure that temperature and other factors are kept at an optimal level using the least amount of energy possible.

Commercial Buildings

There are similarities between Schools and Commercial buildings when it comes to this issue. These kinds of buildings vary in size and construction features. Some of them may be very big, while others are rather small. The key difference here is that commercial buildings will probably have less access to aid from the government to put the kind of system that we have been discussing in place. Some of these businesses will be able to afford it, while others will not.

The other factor that comes into play is that, even though the business may be able to cover the costs of this investment, they may not deem it important enough to go through the process. They may reach the conclusion that it is better not to change something that is working properly.

Careful assessment is required here because even though it is in everyone’s best interest to be as energy-efficient as possible, we cannot achieve that at the cost of hurting the businesses involved. There are a few ways in which this problem can be solved, either by making incentives available to private businesses or by enforcing laws. There are examples of both of these approaches locally and internationally with varying degrees of success. If the goal of achieving efficiency with as little negative impact as possible is kept in mind a solution will surely arise that will benefit everyone involved. Let us talk a bit now about the implementation of the first steps in this process.

Initial Investment

Any sector looking to enter into the world of remote energy management will require an investment to get started. This cannot be avoided since regular HVAC equipment will not do, specific equipment that is built with connectivity is required.

This investment pays off in a very significant way as time goes on, it returns in the form of savings from energy bills and often in the fact that this new machinery will require less maintenance both because it is built with newer technology and because of its ability to report the way it is functioning, which improves the machine’s working condition and extends its lifetime.

The problem is that not everyone will be able to shoulder the initial costs of acquiring and setting the equipment up. Although many of these expenses have gone down significantly in the last decade or so, the expense is still a non-trivial amount.

Incentives from the Government

A way around this issue could be provided by the government of Ontario. There is currently an incentive program that is designed to improve energy efficiency across all sectors, including consumers. The way this has been implemented is by providing a discount on the acquisition of more efficient appliances, which spend less energy to perform the same tasks. This initiative could be expanded to include an even greater number of HVAC equipment that may be better suited for the needs of commercial buildings and Schools. There are other incentives that could take place alongside this to further simplify the task of updating or acquiring equipment.

No matter what form this aid takes, it is important to keep in mind that, since this change benefits everyone we should strive to improve energy management as much as we can in all fields. Both commercial buildings and Schools are big players when it comes to energy management and they should be part of this conversation.


After the first step is taken things get a lot easier. As soon as the equipment is in place and doing its job the efficiency starts to rise, which translates into significant energy savings. This means cheaper energy bills and operational standards that are a lot friendlier to our environment. Because of all of the features that current equipment provides maintaining this kind of hardware and avoiding malfunctions is much easier, it takes less effort and time to keep operational levels optimal. Personnel will be freed to handle other tasks and no longer burdened with things that can now be done from a smartphone, this is another added benefit of connectivity and automation.


It can be hard to take a leap and jump into such investments at times. It is often hard to justify them when considering the costs and efforts involved. In every one of the cases we have covered here today, there are already solutions in place to handle temperature and other ambient factors. That makes this decision even harder. Why invest in something that is already resolved and performing its tasks? As we have seen the reasons are compelling and the benefits are great in the long run. It takes a bit of foresight and calculation to realize that moving into a smarter HVAC control scheme is the better option, and we should be trying to help and incentivize as much as we can to ensure that everyone involved makes the required changes as soon as the possible can without hurting their operation. This can be especially challenging in the private sector and should be considered carefully. Schools may not suffer from this challenge, but they have a set of their own to deal with.

Both of these two cases are a substantial part of the energy pie, they should be one of the main focuses of efforts to make both our city and the rest of the world more efficient when it comes to energy management.