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How to make buildings more energy efficient
Becoming energy efficient is an ever-growing issue, with increases in energy prices predicted to rise by 30% in the next 5 years and the government introducing carbon reduction goals, many companies are feeling the pressure to become more energy efficient and fast!
Commercial buildings in particular are noted for their inefficiency. Take offices for example, they are vast open spaces that require a lot of heating to fill the space alongside an excessive amount of lighting. When you consider that the Co2 impact of electricity consumption is 2.5 times greater than that of natural gas, this is a highly inefficient way to operate.
Below are a few of our tips on how you make your building more energy efficient;
Implementing an energy monitoring solution is the first step to becoming more energy efficient because ultimately you can’t fix what you can’t see. Having an effective monitoring solution will allow you to gain full visibility over your current operations and benchmark current consumption. This is a great way to see where the greatest improvements in efficiency can be gained. Implementing monitoring technology means you can highlight a range of inefficiencies such as consistent lighting even when ambient light levels are high.
Heating, and cooling systems are a major energy draw, so to counteract this and reduce your heating and cooling needs, you want to make your building as airtight as possible. This can be achieved through high-performance insulation or non-traditional wall systems that offer additional installation. You may also consider replacing old doors and windows that are single glazed as they are poor insulators, with statistics showing 71% of heat enters while 48% of heating escapes through windows.
LED lights are a simple change that can make a huge difference, they have the ability to reduce energy use by 75% compared to iridescent lighting. Also, using sensors in infrequently used places like restrooms can further reduce lighting use.
Energy Efficient Equipment
After you have made adjustments to your building to make it as efficient as possible there is still a range of power-drawing equipment you need to tackle. Energy Star certified products tend to be in the top 15-30% of their class for energy performance, so replacing old-outdated equipment that may be losing energy through heat can be replaced with these more efficient models. However, if replacing equipment is not a feasible option, there is an alternative solution. Using real-time energy monitoring on all of your assets through IoT sensors means you will be able to identify anomalies to keep equipment running efficiently. If you take this one step further and utilise a platform that uses AI and ML like The Hark Platform you will be able to benefit from predictive maintenance alongside establishing optimum settings. A recent study from a manufacturing site showed that by simply reducing the speed of a motor by 20% halved its energy consumption.