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Energy Cost Containment

In 2018, office building owners spent an average of $2.14 on energy consumption per square foot in commercial buildings. It is estimated that about one-third of total non-fixed operating expenses go toward energy use in commercial buildings, and this is rising (see the EIA chart below). Plus commercial buildings contribute to nearly 20 percent of the nation’s greenhouse gas emissions annually.

Making changes to reduce the energy consumption of a commercial building can cut down on emissions and current operating expenses, and increase the property’s value, as changes to expected future operating costs for commercial buildings tend to have a positive impact on asset values.

To help contain energy costs, the first step is understanding how and where we are consuming energy in commercial buildings. Sourcing EIA data, we see the biggest source of energy consumption is the HVAC equipment which controls thermal comfort within the building. Getting these costs under control will have the biggest impact on energy consumption.

The key factors affecting HVAC energy consumption are:

  1. Equipment performance. Is the unit properly maintained and operating within manufacturer guidelines and specifications?
  2. Filters. Are they being replaced at the recommended intervals? Dirty or clogged filters will cause the HVAC unit to work harder to draw in the air prior to conditioning (heating or cooling), thus consuming more energy.
  3. Thermostat set points. Is the thermostat functioning correctly in accurately measuring temperature? If it runs on batteries, when were they last replaced? Is the thermostat constantly being adjusted?

Having a reliable service contractor to address these factors is key, but over 80% of small building owners do not have service contracts in place. This often results in costly repairs only when equipment breaks down, or multiple trips from the new service contractor as equipment type and service history are unknown. This has the potential to increase downtime and tenant dissatisfaction.

At Building Assure, our my Building Alerts solution provides the building owner, tenant, and service contractor with a ton of information such as:

  • Alerts and Notifications of conditions requiring attention such as energy consumption levels out of normal range, thermal comfort exceeding setpoints, and maintenance intervals.
  • Asset (eg HVAC) information such as make, model, when last serviced, and what was serviced
  • Service Check. Did the service performed achieve the expected outcome? (eg did consumption come back into line)

Building Assure has designed and developed my Building Alerts with the small building owner in mind. Our low-cost solution provides all the necessary data to monitor energy consumption and waste, air quality, thermal comfort (temperature and humidity), water leak detection, equipment maintenance, service quality check (was the service conducted, and did it achieve the desired results), and much more. All while providing full transparency to your tenants and service contractors.

To learn more contact us at

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