In recent years, the focus on energy efficiency among commercial building owners, operators, and even tenants has risen to an all-time high, acting as a sign of superior quality and management. Yet, even with elevated industry standards for energy performance, the Washington, D.C.-based U.S. Environmental Protection Agency estimates the average commercial building wastes 30 percent of its energy consumption, indicating vast room for improvement.
This fact, combined with increasingly rapid evolution in smart technology, has led forward-thinking companies to develop solutions, such as real-time energy monitoring, on-demand ventilation, battery storage, back net scanning, and wireless submetering to identify energy- savings opportunities and apply changes that eliminate waste. The owners and operators who implement these technologies in their buildings often see an attractive return on investment and, in some cases, a short payback within months of deployment.As an example, one of our clients, a global athletic apparel and technology manufacturer, was very interested in deploying disruptive energy technology in its corporate portfolio of facilities. The client was committed to partnering with an energy-monitoring solutions provider to identify solutions that, if deployed in the facilities, would drive better-informed energy decisions. The result was an energy savings of more than $100,000 per year at its headquarters; furthermore, the client achieved the energy-data transparency it desired to create a more sustainability-focused corporate culture. Our client sees itself as a conscious corporate citizen that understands its decisions to operate more energy-efficient buildings is becoming more common among global brands.
The Case for Energy Monitoring
According to the Commercial Buildings Energy Consumption Survey from the U.S. Energy Information Administration, Washington, there are approximately 6 million commercial build- ings in the U.S., comprising 87.4 billion square feet. With the 30 percent of lost energy estimated by the EPA, the nation’s commercial buildings generate more than $1 trillion of wasted energy.
Building owners actively seeking ways to save energy often turn to structural and passive-design innovations, like integrated lighting and insulation upgrades or natural ventilation, but the simplest start and most comprehensive approach for any building is to track energy usage in a detailed, comprehensible manner. Real-time energy management provides a blueprint to maximize energy efficiency. For building management, the benefits of being able to easily track all the systems and components contributing to energy consumption in a building are often remarkably eye-opening in terms of potential cost savings and overall operational efficiency.
New and evolving technologies in the energy-management field, such as real-time energy monitoring and on-demand ventilation, are helping building owners save tens of thousands of dollars each year and vastly improve operational efficiency. These quick-to-install, custom solutions integrate easily into new and existing building infrastructure to provide building owners the information they need to better manage and make decisions about water, electric, and gas usage and turn their sustainability goals into a reality.
Dynamic Building Management
Less-invasive modifications to an existing building’s mechanical systems are a key tool in building optimization. Implementing an energy-monitoring system, for example, begins with a thorough examination of building systems and equipment, as well as in-depth discussions with owners and teams to learn goals and needs. With this information, an energy-monitoring company can come onsite to deploy sensors in strategic locations throughout each building, retrofitting existing meters or adding new hardware if required.