Inefficiencies in the U.S. commercial building stock are having a grave environmental impact because many buildings are using outdated technologies that consume far too much energy. The EPA and EnergyStar estimate that on average, 30 percent of the energy consumed in commercial buildings is wasted. This represents an opportunity for owners of buildings and portfolios of buildings to leverage new technologies in order to save energy and money, and also make a positive environmental impact.
Software assisted energy audits and building management systems are a step in the right direction for building operators. These technologies can save up to 25 percent on energy costs according to Forbes. The American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy (ACEEE) has found that if energy efficiency investments increase by only 1-4 percent then the commercial building stock in the U.S. could save up to $60 billion collectively; a staggering amount of savings.
Buildings.com has identified 3 technologies that can result in the biggest savings in commercial buildings:
- Advanced Building Energy Management Systems (BEMS) - A properly installed BEMS can save from 13-66 percent on energy by itself. If connected with other smart devices a building can expect savings on the higher end.
- Smart Lighting - Human-centric lighting that uses both occupancy and daylighting sensors has been found to increase productivity and also save energy. Even low-hanging fruit like changing to LEDs can have great energy savings.
- Smart HVAC System - HVAC systems that connect to BEMS can maximize savings in commercial buildings. The ACEEE report New Horizons for Energy Efficiency found that the use of demand control ventilation and multi-speed fans can result in savings from 24-32 percent.
Building owners need to look to these new technologies to rid their buildings of vast inefficiencies. This will save them money, energy and most importantly, prevent devastating climate change.