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Home > By DEPARTMENTS > Buildings, Real Estate and Facilities > Facilities Investment > Property Management

Best Practices for Commercial Office Building Energy Management

Best Practices for Commercial Office Building Energy Management

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commercial office building energy management best practices

Energy Efficiency for Property Management

There's a battle quietly being fought by building OWNERS and building OCCUPANTS. It's over energy efficiency. The community and the customer are both losers. But the changing economy that is valuing green buildings is also turning the developer and owner into losers.

The solution is vision -- a greener vision with practical implementation.

Energy represents as much as 30 percent of a building's operating costs.

Energy Efficiency Can Send 30% Straight To Bottom Line

Now consider this: undertaking energy efficiency measures can reduce energy consumption - and thus, utility bills - by 30 percent or more. These savings add directly to the bottom line. A 30 percent reduction in energy consumption can lower operating costs by $25,000 per year for every 50,000 square feet of office space.

No Cost and Low Cost Energy Efficiency Projects

The best part is that these improvements to energy efficiency can often be attained through no-cost or low-cost projects that also enhance the indoor environment of commercial office buildings.

Stock Performance Enhanced by Energy Management

Besides energy cost savings, thoughtful energy management provides several less tangible financial benefits. An important one has to do with investor perceptions. Recent studies have linked energy management to stock market performance. Investors are discovering that management teams who are successful at grappling with the complexities of energy and environmental management tend to also have the internal capacity needed to safeguard the overall financial health of a company. This relationship can be seen in the recent pressure by investor groups on businesses to disclose environmental and energy performance as part of their annual reporting.

Asset Value Enhanced by Energy Efficiency

Increased asset value is another benefit derived from energy efficiency measures. For every $1 invested in energy efficiency, asset value increases by an estimated $3. That means that energy efficiency can be used as a low-risk, high-return investment.

Improved Comfort, Attractiveness and Healthy Work Environments by Energy Efficiency

Finally, most energy efficiency measures also improve the comfort and attractiveness of the indoor environment. This is common sense. Lighting retrofits, for example, reduce energy consumption and improve visual acuity. Better vision, in turn, helps workers complete tasks and reduce eyestrain. Likewise, upgrades to heating, ventilating and air conditioning equipment reduce energy costs and improve indoor air quality. At a minimum, this prevents risk of and liability for health problems like sick building syndrome and building-related illnesses. Across the United States, for example, tens of billions of dollars each year could be saved by reducing indoor air pollution.

Income Properties Benefit from Energy Efficiency

For income properties, tenant recruitment and retention is positively affected. Building owners can even explore cost-sharing arrangements with existing tenants so that both parties retain the cost savings of energy efficiency. For owner-occupied buildings, a better indoor environment may increase worker performance, resulting in a quicker return on investment.

Employee Productivity, Retention and Recruitment can Benefit from Effective Energy Management

Studies suggest that many energy efficiency measures can boost productivity, reduce absenteeism due to health issues, and help prevent onsite accidents. In some cases, the physical work environment may actually help attract the best and the brightest workers - not surprising since up to 90 percent of our time is spent indoors.

Chapters in the Best Practices Guide for Commerical Office Buildings

  • Planning and Energy Program
  • Funding and Approval
  • Lighting
  • Building Envelope
  • Central HVAC System
  • Distributed Generation
  • Demand Response
  • Commissioning
  • Procurement Policy
  • Water Use
  • Education
  • Energy Efficiency in Telecommuting
  • Resources and Appendices
  • Lessons Learned

Sustainable Office Buildings -- Best Practices

Edited by Carolyn Allen, owner/editor of California Green Solutions
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