Clearly, using less energy will save dollars, but will the cost of implementing the energy conservation measures cost more than the savings? That’s the million dollar question business owners are asking themselves on a daily basis. Equipment with higher energy efficiency ratings usually has a higher price tag. There are added building costs to constructing a better performing facility. Renovating existing buildings becomes increasingly complicated to boost efficiency in cost effective ways. Even if the moral implications of the impact on the environment is taken out of the conversation, there is evidence that the extra effort is well worth it for the positive lasting impact it will have on the building and its future performance and value. Let’s explore some added benefits that energy efficiency measures can contribute in other areas of business processes besides energy savings.
Benefits of Energy Efficiency
The obvious benefits of energy efficiency measures are the reduced operating costs and lower utility bills which will result in an increase in profits. If the facility has not performed any efficiency measures since being built, the potential savings can be 30-40% of the current energy usage. Labeling the building as certified in energy efficiency increases the marketability of the building which will increase the rental income and the future value as a real estate asset. There are intrinsic values as well that are not so obvious. The improved occupant experience from improved indoor air quality, natural lighting and controlled temperature can increase the productivity and health of the workforce. Internally and externally, energy efficiency enhances the brand of a company. External branding is improved because consumers are loyal to companies that are environmentally conscious. Companies retain better talent because employees express their preference for working for an environmentally conscious company. Another often overlooked value in the investment in energy efficiency measures is that the overall building longevity is improved due to the better quality of energy efficiency materials and equipment and lower maintenance required.
Build and sell construction entities can demand higher prices for energy efficient buildings. It is understood that better care and planning have gone into producing a high performance building which will benefit the buyer in all the ways we mentioned above. Long term hold developers reap all the benefits of the investments into energy efficiency.
Low Cost Energy Efficiency Measures
More good news is that there are a number of low or no cost measures that companies can take to achieve a higher level of energy efficiency and virtually immediate savings, such as inspecting the aspects of the building envelope; repairing broken windows and misaligned doors; sealing windows and doors where drafts can be felt; using interior shading devices (such as curtains and blinds); inspecting lighting and replacing lamps/bulbs with lower wattage versions like LEDs; investing in lighting controls with sensors that can turn off the lights when the space is not in use.
Action can be taken on existing HVAC equipment to ensure that it is operating at its most efficient. Replace any damaged or missing insulation around the domestic hot water supply pipes and equipment. Repair leaky faucets and other plumbing fixtures. Replace manual thermostats on the heating and cooling equipment with programmable ones that will turn off systems when spaces are unoccupied. Perform maintenance on equipment on a regular basis. Establish comprehensive maintenance protocols to achieve the maximum efficiency of the HVAC equipment.
Establish corporate policies around energy efficiency and encourage management and staff to implement regularly. Building management can oversee that policies and goals are being carried out as intended while looking for more operational improvements.
The EPA estimates that buildings waste about 30% of the energy they use. Implementing these measures can reduce that waste without a significant expenditure. But there comes a time when equipment has reached the end of its lifespan and replacement must be considered. Or a new construction project is being planned. To ensure that you are getting the maximum bang for your buck, this would be the time to consult a qualified contractor or energy auditor to reveal the most cost-effective energy efficiency solutions that can inform the right sized equipment and product selection to lower your utility bill. If Albireo is onboarded in the planning stages of a new construction project, the best long term building performance can be achieved.
Funding Energy Measures
And there is money out there to help fund your project. Federal and local governments offer low-cost loans, utilities offer rebates based on energy savings achieved, and the Small Business Administration has financial assistance programs. Albireo Energy, energy experts, has knowledge of rebate and funding opportunities and more importantly, knows the application and submittal processes to facilitate getting those dollars into your hands in a timely manner. Having Albireo assume the administrative burden is a valuable benefit that will save the project team time and headaches.
There is a multitude of resources available that offer information on getting started and it is possible if you have massive time to invest, to research, and learn how to improve energy efficiency and obtain funding on your own. Albireo Energy has the experience and expertise to save you this time. They can meet with building managers, evaluate company goals and building conditions or plans and advise on the best path forward. If you set a savings goal, Albireo will know just what is needed to attain that goal. If you have a budget in mind, Albireo will be able to provide solutions within that budget. And if you have a deadline, Albireo has the resources to make things happen in a timely fashion.
Invest in energy efficiency and watch your bills go down and your profit go up.