Electrical energy is the main source of energy for commercial buildings even when there is growing emphasis on renewable energy sources. Energy efficiency has become an increasingly bigger factor for both business owners and homeowners. Whether you are constructing a new building or renovating an old one, it has become more important than ever to take energy efficiency into account.
Need for Higher Energy Efficiency for Commercial Buildings
Most commercial buildings consume more energy than they actually need. This means there is ample room for creating an energy efficient space. Electrical consumption has 2.5 times higher CO2 emissions compared to the use of natural gas. Thus, there is a great opportunity for energy efficiency in commercial buildings using electrical energy.
Energy Efficient Lighting
Lighting contributes to almost 35% of the energy consumption in a commercial building. There is much more you can do than just switching to daylight controllers and energy efficient light bulbs. The surprising thing is that lighting also affects other systems in your building including the HVAC system. The additional heat generated by inefficient lighting has a significant impact on the operational cost of your building.
It is recommended to follow these tips when designing an energy efficient lighting system for your building:
- Have a photometric layout created for all spaces where lighting is required
- The lighting system should generate just the required amount of light for the specific task
- The lighting should be distributed to prevent glare
- Controls should be installed to reduce the need for electrical lighting when natural lighting is available
- Use occupancy sensors so that lights turn off when not required
- The proposed lighting system in the plan should be the most energy-efficient solution available
- Choose automatic or manual dimming for specific areas
While making the most of the available daylight, it is important to avoid direct sunlight because it can have an effect on your building’s energy efficiency.
When creating an energy efficiency plan for your building, make sure to determine the baseline of energy usage. You can use your building management system or utility and fuel bills to come up with estimates.
As part of the reorganizing effort, you should determine whether you are using your building to its full potential. It is highly likely that a significant amount of office space remains empty for hours during the week. Rearrangement of work space and reducing office space can further help in saving energy.
Plan Your IT Systems
All businesses require IT systems for almost all their operations. And IT equipment consume a significant percentage of electricity in your building. In addition to lighting, this is another area where you can save considerable amount of energy.
- Make sure the computer systems are set in the most efficient manner
- Computer systems should be switched off when not in use
- Switch to thin client systems so that there is no need to have a desktop for each employee
Thus, there are many ways in which you can reduce electrical energy consumption in your building. The areas where you can make improvements vary depending on the kind of systems and equipment you use. Choosing the right electrical contractor can make a huge difference in the energy conservation and cost reductions in your building.