Now that it’s summer, commercial property managers in most areas should begin thinking about the maintenance requirements of cooling the building and other “seasonal” concerns. If your property has a pool, for instance, there are additional items to consider as it’s time (or past time) to open it again for use. Keep in mind some of the following as the weather gets hotter and you find yourself sweating as a result of a growing to-do list: you’ll find that when you save energy and time, you save money, too.
Commercial Property Tips to Save Energy
Depending on what kind of commercial property you manage, you will obviously have different tasks, responsibilities, and costs. Generally, though, there are some items which find themselves onto the lists of most managers. There are also a number of “quick fixes” that can make your day to day all the more easy if they are implemented. As an example, just remembering to turn things off can make an enormous difference in energy usage, and as a result, energy bills. “For every 1,000 kWh that you save by turning things off, you save $100 on your utility bill, assuming average electricity costs of 10 cents per kWh.” The numbers may vary depending on where you are and who provides your power, but the concept is the same and its message can be easily applied across the board.
If you or someone working with you offers newsletters or something similar to tenants every so often, introduce tips and suggestions to them in this memo to encourage them to save energy. If they can be persuaded to be conscious of turning off lights when they leave the room(s), that is the best option. Otherwise, “occupancy sensors and timers” can be installed to do the job automatically, though you’ll obviously need to invest in them for most of the rooms, which is an added cost. Still, it’s better than thinking that tenants are conserving power when they can’t remember or can’t be bothered to switch off the office lights.
Something that has gone by the wayside is computer’s screensavers or just utilizing sleep/hibernation mode. Many people keep their computers on and running even after they leave the office, which can be an additional power drain, particularly if this practice is continued over a long time. Ask that tenants utilize these “energy-saving features” which, honestly, are not very difficult to activate or use.
If people don’t seem to want to turn things off, then turning them down is another helpful option. As with putting computers into sleep mode rather than turning them off completely, it helps to make small adjustments in order to save energy. In this case, the changes are more to the building itself by, likely, your maintenance crew rather than switches that should be made by tenants. After regular business hours, auto-set, or manually adjust, the temperature in the building to be higher than would be comfortable during the day. You can keep it warmer while there aren’t people on site to complain to cut costs. While they are there, you can try and dim common area lighting slightly to save big, though make absolutely sure the level of lighting is still safe to avoid accidents and liability.
Regular cleaning of the property’s HVAC system can help to avoid huge repairs or completely overhauls later. An economizer, which is a part of the A/C system, can help to save energy by pulling in cooler air from the outside when it’s possible, so “have a licensed technician check, clean, and lubricate your economizer about once a year, and repair it if necessary” to help it do its job. Checking other areas in the system, such as the filters and the general airflow, can make a big difference. If you aren’t completely sure what to look for, check online for step-by-step guides, or simply put your maintenance team on the job to ensure it’s done well.
How much do you think about the lighting within your commercial property? This should be one of the first considerations you have in working to keep energy costs down. Energy efficient fixtures and bulbs have been a hot topic lately with development of better bulbs cropping up fairly frequently in the news. There is a variety of options available and each have advantages and disadvantages, but simply switching what are likely years-old bulbs with newer models of the same type can make a significant difference when it comes to conserving power.
Just because some changes need to be made in your building doesn’t mean that you need to go at it alone. SKYLINE software has a facilities maintenance and work orders processing module so that it can aid in all of your building-wide, energy-saving needs. Maintenance management has never been easier with this powerful technology which can keep track of and speed up all work orders and needs from start to finish. See what SKYLINE can do for you this summer to lessen the load of energy-saving switches!