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Creating a Culture of Energy Efficiency

Energy efficiency investments are often not implemented in commercial buildings due to a combination of various factors and barriers faced by the stakeholders involved. Even for buildings that are subjected to mandatory audits or regulatory deadlines, the recommendations are often only partially implemented. Energy behavior in buildings involves barriers that are not present in household settings, such as a lack of a personal stake in the consequences of energy use. In addition, there is often a lack of effective feedback on the impact of actions on the building’s outcomes.

Energy management for a building owner is a journey and not a one-time thing that is put into place. For example, don’t let inefficient equipment stop you from moving forward with any energy-reduction program.  Addressing energy efficiency is a long-term process, and even small changes can bring substantial rewards.

Building owners, tenants, and their service contractors need to work together to shift their mindsets around energy reduction and ways to provide a safe and comfortable environment with available equipment. It all starts with energy management and efficiency being a key objective for a building. To help drive success, set joint energy ground rules. For example:

  • building occupants are always first: employee and guest safety, building occupant experience and comfort, and regulatory requirements
  • we will use energy wisely and efficiently when it’s needed but also look for ways to minimize or eliminate energy use when possible
  • look at the facility needs, the opportunities, the available equipment, and think about how to make the most of what we have
  • everyone participates in energy hunting and is always bringing new ideas to the table, no matter how large or small
  • understanding the passions and skill sets of team members to maximize their contributions to the program

A building’s energy-reduction efforts will result in improved occupant satisfaction and fewer complaints. In addition to the energy and cost reductions, the prolonged life span of mechanical equipment and the decrease in needed repairs will result in additional cost reductions.

When milestones are achieved, celebrate success and recognize those who have contributed. Keeping everyone engaged and motivated must be part of the building culture.  External recognition is another way to foster a culture of energy efficiency. WELL focuses on people’s health and wellness, while LEED is a certification that focuses on environmental impact and sustainability.

Green leases are another way to unite building owners and tenants with joint goals and incentives. 

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.

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