Our “TEN Cents”: Energy Efficiency for Commercial Office Buildings

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Whether you own a commercial office building or simply lease space, it is important to understand that just because a building isn't brand new, it doesn't mean it has to operate inefficiently. Despite the age of a property, implementing energy efficiency measures may provide for a fresh look and comfortable environment.

Editor's note: This article was written by The Efficiency Network. Headquartered in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (with regional offices throughout the Northeast), The Efficiency Network (TEN) team has collectively performed over $500,000,000 worth of energy efficiency projects across every business sector.

Building owners may have tremendous advantages with energy efficiency measures such as:

  • Lighting Upgrades (High Efficiency T8 and LED options) – Clean, evenly distributed lighting can make a huge impact, especially for older buildings.  It can provide a brighter and more professional work environment. In the before and after photos below, notice the elimination of “shadows” on the walls.
  • Building Automation Systems (BAS) – Building Automation Systems offer centralized control of a building’s HVAC, lighting, and other systems (security, fire safety, etc).  In many instances, board rooms and large conference rooms are conditioned spaces that may only get used once per week. Setting temperature schedules, occupancy sensors for lighting, and CO2 sensors which detect how much outside air is needed in a space, all contribute greatly to reduced energy consumption and a more comfortable environment.
  • Plug Load Control – Desk-based technologies and other electronics that plug into office building receptacles draw a considerable amount of power, some of it 24/7. In fact, “plug loads” account for roughly 25% of total electricity consumed within office buildings.* The ability to “power down” or turn off devices when not needed, provides for a lot of savings in commercial office environments.
Clean, evenly distributed lighting


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Advantages to Implementing Energy Conservation Measures:

  • Increased building value: Think about it…if you’re considering selling your building within the next five years, do you expect to command a higher sale price with an outdated building automation system, inefficient lighting, and “past useful life” mechanical systems OR a building that has control functionality, efficient/attractive looking lighting systems, and mechanical systems that operate efficiently and don’t require repairs or replacement?
  • Building Marketability: not only will the property retain existing tenants because of a lower operational cost, the property can now also attract and market the property as energy efficient to new tenants. A company looking to relocate not only wants their space to look good, but also efficient, as they are responsible for utilities more often than not.
  • Reduced Operations & Maintenance Costs: tenants do not want hassled with maintenance personnel always changing light bulbs or fixing the air conditioner. Moving to more efficient equipment reduces these needs and is a WIN-WIN for tenant & building owner

Stay tuned next week when we explore opportunities healthcare facilities can take advantage of, and don't forget to follow Direct Energy Business on LinkedInTwitter and Facebook

TEN has developed a proven way to help clients of all shapes and sizes make sense of energy efficiency. Visit www.tensaves.com for more information and follow them on Twitter @tensaves.

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