Electricity meters on a commercial building showing energy consumption.

The commercial building sector accounts for more than 18% of all electricity consumed in the United States – and up to 30% of that is wasted, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. So, it makes sense that commercial building energy consumption would be a great place to start when looking at ways to save money for your business.

Building owners and managers can reduce energy costs by optimizing energy usage, sealing air leaks, improving insulation, upgrading heating and air conditioning units, installing new roofing systems and adopting renewable energy technologies, such as solar panels. A variety of resources are available to help improve building performance!

Improvements to energy efficiency can save a significant amount on utility bills, while also providing increased comfort for the building’s occupants. Let’s take a look at the energy management measures that commercial building owners can take to reduce energy consumption and increase total energy savings.

Consider an Energy Assessment

An energy assessment is a tool to help identify opportunities for improving the efficiency of your building. It can be performed by a third party or by the building owner. This type of assessment is useful for all types of buildings, from office buildings and factories to warehouses or similar buildings. It can include an inspection of the entire property or just one area (such as the boiler room).

If there have been recent renovations or changes in occupancy patterns, the amount of energy that gets used (and where) will be affected. The more information you have about these changes—and how they’ve impacted your building since they were made—the more useful an assessment will be for finding ways to reduce costs and improve comfort levels for occupants.

Once you have the results of this assessment, you’ll be able to prioritize which energy performance upgrades make the most sense for your facility.

Energy Efficiency Upgrades

There are a number of upgrades that building owners can consider to reduce the amount of energy that their buildings use, both small scale and large scale.

    • Installation of motion-sensing light switches.

This type of light switch detects when there is no movement in a room after a certain period of time, reducing electricity consumption and energy expenditures.

    • Installation of LED lights.

The LED lights have far less total energy consumption than old-fashioned incandescent bulbs. When you multiply the energy usage of energy efficient bulbs by every square foot of your facility, you can easily see the energy savings.

    • Installation of renewable energy technologies, such as solar panels.

    • Service or upgrade your HVAC system.

Old or poorly functioning HVAC systems have higher energy demands and do not hear or cool interior spaces efficiently. There may also be refrigerant leaks or dirt buildup that can affect heating and air conditioning.

    • Replace your building’s appliances with Energy Star rated appliances.

An Energy Star rating indicates that the appliances complies with U.S. government guidelines concerning energy efficiency. Energy Star ratings also apply to natural gas furnaces and hot water tanks!

    • Seal air leaks in windows and doors.

Sealing leaks reduces energy consumption because it reduces airflow through windows and doors where heated or cooled air escapes into an outside environment.

It’s not necessary to undertake all these upgrades at once, of course. However, building management can set benchmarks for when certain energy upgrades should be completed. Staggering these upgrades also makes it easier for building owners or property managers to budget and allocate resources. Keep in mind that some of these updates may require retrofitting of existing building structures.

Energy Efficiency and Your Commercial Building’s Roof

Your building’s roof plays a major role in the overall energy efficiency of the entire building, and there are several measures you can take to improve its capabilities and sustainability.

    • Add a reflective coating on your commercial roof.

A reflective coating on a commercial roof prevents heat from the sun from being transferred to the interior of the building, adding stress to the HVAC system. A reflective coating is especially important in hot climates.

    • Install a metal commercial roof.

Metal roofs last longer than traditional commercial roofs – even decades longer with proper maintenance! You can also add a reflective coating to a metal roof.

    • Install or upgrade existing skylights.

According to energy consumption data metrics from the Energy Information Administration’s (EIA) 2012 Commercial Buildings Energy Consumption Survey (CBECS), 17% of a commercial building’s energy use is due to lighting. Skylights allow more natural sunlight to enter the building, reducing the need for artificial light. The more floor space your building has, the more energy you can save with natural light.

    • Assess the need for additional roofing insulation or an updated roofing system.

In addition to maintaining a constant temperature inside of a building, proper insulation also adds fire resistance and increases the durability of the roof. If your roof is beyond reasonable repair, a new roof can dramatically reduce the amount of energy used within the building.

TEMA Roofing Saves You Time And Energy

The energy performance of your commercial building is an important part of your company’s energy future. Through improved efficiency, building owners and managers can reduce their utility bills while maintaining comfortable temperatures and providing a valuable service to their tenants. TEMA Roofing can improve building performance through data collection about your roof to determine its energy capabilities. Contact TEMA Roofing today!