As electricity costs continue to rise, building owners and operators – and tenants with triple net leases – must keep a constant eye on energy use. To help you manage your efforts, consider the following recommendations for spot-checks you can implement right away, as well as strategies for long-term energy efficiency.
Owners/Operators should check in with end users to find out if they expect any upcoming changes to their working hours. Will they close during the holidays for an extended period of time? Do they anticipate any upcoming needs for after-hours HVAC use? Even if they pay a premium for night/weekend HVAC, additional run-time can impact your ENERGY STAR data. Being aware of any irregularities in advance may help you balance your overall energy use.
Tenants can ask similar questions of their employees. Find out whether upcoming deadlines may require teams to be in the office longer than usual. Investigate whether lighting and equipment is operating outside of typical hours, and find out if this is intentional.
An energy audit can help you identify opportunities to reduce energy use and operating costs. Basic audits offer suggestions for no- and low-cost improvements and include payback estimates and rebate/incentive information. More intensive energy audits can incorporate long range facility planning and capital expenditure forecasting.
Spend Someone Else’s Money
Look for rebates from utilities and other sources for help with project funding. There are grants and rebates available that can help you fund a portion or all of an efficiency upgrade. This can make an efficiency upgrade project with an extended payback period more attractive.
Plan for Later
Advanced Energy Tracking
As open building control system protocols have become more prevalent, there is more information available for tracking building performance with little to no upfront cost. Tenants can benefit from an energy dashboard, which is a consolidated, real-time graphic representation of building performance information. At GHT, a Periscope dashboard in our lobby offers awareness of real-time and historic energy consumption data, which helps us to track and adjust energy use to optimize performance and minimize waste.
Upgrade to LEDs and Implement Lighting Controls
If you are renovating your space, relocating, or retrofitting your building, consider upgrading to LED lighting. Payback periods are decreasing, and when used in conjunction with lighting controls, LEDs can help you earn significant LEED points.
Build an Energy Model. Developing a new building or planning a major renovation? Virtual energy models can predict performance, analyze energy study results, and help you set benchmarking targets.
If you need a partner to implement your energy management solutions, GHT can help. Our Operations & Energy Services team includes Building Energy Modeling Professionals, Certified Energy Managers, LEED Accredited Professionals, and Professional Engineers who can offer innovative solutions to achieve long-term energy efficiency. Contact us for more information.
As Section Head of Building Energy Services in GHT’s Operations & Energy Services (OES) studio, Jeffrey Salay, PE, CEM, LEED AP leads the firm’s efforts to provide ENERGY STAR benchmarking services, conduct ASHRAE energy audits and other energy studies, and design energy efficiency upgrades.