energy efficient buildings

Making the Case for Energy Efficiency Projects

Might sound crazy in this day and age, but according to the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy (ACEEE) less than one-fourth of commercial buildings adopt energy efficiency measures. Really? LED light bulbs are everywhere, and GREEN is no longer just a color in the crayon box. So how can it be that more than 75% of the buildings in the U.S. are NOT taking steps toward energy efficiency? Commercial buildings account for 19% of the energy consumed in the United States, and more than half the energy used by commercial buildings goes toward heating and lighting.

It’s well known that energy upgrades can not only save money in the long-term, but can also increase occupant productivity immediately. So, why are facilities managers hesitant to invest?

A recent article in Buildings magazine shared four key reasons behind facility managers apprehension to adopt energy efficiency measures… as well as four strategies to combat these objections.

Objections to energy efficiency upgrades:

  1. More efficient technology is often expensive and risky.
  2. Building teams are too understaffed and lack the expertise to implement efficiency upgrades.
  3. It’s challenging to convince senior leaders in organizations to buy in.
  4. Department lacks adequate financial resources.

Strategies to counteract these objections, along with some real-world examples of the benefits of embracing energy efficiency:

  1. Promote the non-energy benefits of energy efficiency… A Harvard study links worker productivity to indoor air quality and ventilation.
  2. Learn about easy-to-use and affordable financing… Newman Consulting Group was recently commended by the Great Lakes Renewable Energy Association for its work on preserving The Whitney Restaurant using PACE (Property Assessed Clean Energy) to finance the new building energy systems.
  3. Use policies (and technologies) that are already proven to work….Energy Star has been helping building owners eliminate high upfront costs for energy efficiency upgrades since its inception in 1998.  Aeroseal duct sealing from the inside is a proven and verified energy conservation method.
  4. Look for local incentives…Kettering Health Network in Dayton, OH recently earned 1 million in energy rebates through a custom rebate from Dayton Power and Light.

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Comment (1)

  • Callum Palmer Reply

    There really are a lot of benefits to energy efficient buildings and I agree that it is bizarre that 75% of building in the US have not upgraded. As you point out in the article, not only does it save money, but it increases productivity. There really are not a whole lot of reasons as to why building owners should upgrade to more energy efficient systems.

    January 3, 2018 at 11:38 pm

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