Businesses that monitor their energy use and work to reduce it can save hundreds of thousands of dollars on operating costs on Tucson commercial real estate.
Reducing utility costs, which can run 20% or more of total operating costs, can boost profits and make Tucson office space, industrial space and retail space more competitive in the commercial real estate market. That adds value for their owners or potential buyers.
Organizations that implement across-the-board reforms can cut energy costs by up to 25%. The key is having a goal that’s measurable, repeatable and sustainable.
Here are some ideas for controlling your costs through energy efficiency.
Start with knowing how much energy your building uses. Have a firm or your utility audit your energy use.
Make sure your electricity rate structure is correct for the building’s use. Do an inventory of all systems that consume energy.
A key element to trimming an energy bill is to analyze a firm’s peak usage. Most utilities base fees on the 15 minutes during which a business uses the most power use.
Learn your energy peaks and valleys. By flattening out your usage, you can still use the same amount of energy at a fraction of the cost.
With this information, you can then engineer, design, install and arrange financing for efficiency projects.
Determining Your Energy Savings
You can easily implement several cost-cutting techniques, including
- installing automated controls
- installing energy-saving lighting
- instituting policy changes on energy use for employees
- conducting an audit of energy bills to identify errors
- taking advantage of state- and utility-funded, efficiency-upgrade incentives.
But when you really start looking at it, making the right choices seems complex. It’s difficult for the average building owner or manager to assess true energy savings from a piece of equipment.
This complicates vendor bid evaluations and savings on cost. Not knowing what 50 cents a square foot in energy savings means, building owners sometimes see paying for efficient improvements as risky.
And with conservation potentially reducing the fees that tenants pay for escalating utility costs, the owner may not receive the entire benefit.
It pays to hire specialists in energy efficiency. They can suggest projects that make economic sense and help compare those projects.
Simpler Solutions to Energy Consumption
Boosting efficiency from your current utility systems is a simple first step toward cost savings. Here are some ways to get the most out of what you have with low- or no-cost adjustments:
- Don’t light 100% of the space when it’s occupied.
- Turn off all lights when the building is closed.
- Use efficient compact fluorescent bulbs.
- Replace magnetic ballasts with electronic ballasts for fluorescent bulbs.
- Increase maintenance of heating and cooling units, including regularly cleaning filters and adjusting fan belts.
- Seal air leaks in your building’s shell.
- Install electronic controls to vary air volumes and heating and cooling cycles to achieve the right temperature.
- Use all-in-one heating and cooling units that serve the entire building; get rid of individual office heaters and air conditioners.
Energy Management Systems
Investing in a pricey computerized energy management system can save money. The system reads thousands of sensors inside and outside the building and analyzes historical data to determine the best times to start and stop the building’s chillers, lights and other equipment.
While an energy management system can cost several hundreds of thousands of dollars, it pays for itself by automatically cutting energy consumption.
Efficiency incentives are readily available to firms that know where to find them. For instance, millions of dollars are available to spur energy-efficient new construction and equipment.
Even eliminating energy and money drains with simple strategies will create a brand new cash flow to get started with the bigger stuff.
Commercial Real Estate Group of Tucson specializes in representing tenants and corporate users across the United States, Latin America, Europe and Asia as a member of ITRA. For more information call 520-299-3400.