The benefits of implementing energy efficient building solutions
Between the current global fuel crisis and the ongoing climate crisis, more companies than ever are looking for ways to optimize their energy usage.
In this article, we’ll take a look at some of the most effective solutions to drive energy efficiency, as well as the key benefits of implementing them.
What are the benefits of making buildings more energy efficient?
Whether you’re a building owner, landlord, manager, or occupant, improving the energy efficiency of your building provides a whole load of long-term benefits.
Combatting the climate crisis
Climate change is no longer an issue up for debate – it’s happening, and it’s happening now. With a recent IPCC report warning that global warming will exceed 1.5˚C without drastic and immediate cuts in greenhouse gas emissions, businesses have a responsibility to take action and reduce their energy usage before it’s too late.
Achieving ESG goals
It's clear that Real Estate is going to be one of the asset classes where the contrast between ESG winners and losers will be the starkest, as ESG is a measure of both impact and risk. 'Brown' assets and portfolios risk becoming obsolete, while 'green' assets will continue to increase in value.
It goes without saying that energy efficiency and cost efficiency go hand in hand. The most basic example of this is that using less energy means lower utility bills, but there are other ways that energy efficiency can minimize expenses. For example, optimized HVAC systems might require less maintenance, while low energy lighting will need to be replaced less often.
Meeting changing demands
The generation of employees currently rising through the ranks are advocating for change and setting high expectations for their employers. According to Deloitte’s recent survey, only 14% of millennials and 15% of Gen Zs strongly agree that businesses are taking substantive action against climate change. This means companies are under increasing pressure to meet the changing demands of their employees.
Improving asset value
Occupier demands are increasingly shifting towards high-quality buildings that are both healthy and efficient. Sustainable buildings have 23% higher occupancy rates and 8% higher rental yields, so building owners and managers focusing on energy efficiency will benefit from above-average performance and improved asset value.
How can we make buildings more energy efficient?
There are many ways we can optimize the energy efficiency of buildings from the outset, including sustainable design, natural ventilation, and green construction methods.
However, 80% of buildings that will exist in 2050 have already been built, so retrofitting existing buildings to optimize their energy usage is absolutely key.
One of the technologies rapidly gaining traction is real-time energy monitoring. This software can compile data from multiple sources to provide a comprehensive view of a building’s energy usage. From here, it goes on to:
- Monitor performance
- Detect inefficiencies
- Make automatic adjustments
- Facilitate better decision making
With companies under increasing pressure to hit net zero emissions by 2050, energy monitoring is one of the few non-disruptive ways of edging towards the target.
How does energy monitoring work?
Energy monitoring works on the principle that office space is often underutilized. This is the case now more than ever before, with the rise of hybrid working leaving two thirds of desks unused.
However, in a lot of buildings, systems haven’t been updated accordingly, with energy used in areas that are completely empty. Installing a real-time energy monitoring solution can get around this with a simple step-by-step process:
- Choose your sensor – select the right sensors for your needs
- Monitor usage – once installed, you can monitor energy usage at all levels, from individual devices to the entire building
- Optimize usage – real-time and historic data can be used to develop plans to drive energy efficiency
- Combine with other systems – connect to other data streams like occupancy and indoor air quality find more opportunities to reduce energy usage
Retrofitting doesn’t need to be costly or complicated. It all comes down to gathering, accessing and analyzing the right data about your building to drive efficiency.
What are the key elements of an energy efficient building?
The key elements of an energy efficient building include an optimized HVAC system, LED lighting, and effective insulation. Renewable energy sources and smart building systems also play an important part.
What are some popular renewable energy sources?
The most popular renewable energy sources for buildings are solar, wind, and geothermal energy, where heat is extracted from the ground.
How do building automation systems contribute to energy efficiency?
Building automation systems (BAS) contribute to energy efficiency by monitoring and adapting energy usage in real time.
What is a net zero building and how does it relate to energy efficiency?
A net zero building is one that produces the same amount of energy as it uses.
Are there any financial incentives available for improving energy efficiency?
Most countries offer financial incentives for implementing energy efficient building solutions. For example, in the UK, the government’s Climate Change Levy means that businesses can pay a reduced rate of tax if they hold an agreement with the Environment Agency to improve their energy efficiency. And in the US, businesses can receive federal tax credits for installing solutions to drive energy efficiency.
What are the long-term benefits of investing in building efficiency solutions?
Energy efficient buildings offer benefits for years to come. Aside from the positive environmental impact, they can also reduce energy costs, improve asset value and provide a head start in complying with future regulations.
How can I get started making my building more efficient?
Get in touch with the Metrikus team to find out how our real-time energy monitoring solution can help you.