The places to make strides in emissions reductions and energy costs are large institutions and corporate facilities, according to JLL, who says the companies most focused on energy efficiency typically share five strategies:
1) Keep it simple—at first. Companies need to take small and immediate steps that produce immediate returns. An energy audit will reveal immediate steps that produce results, often at little or no cost. A simple recalibration of each building’s HVAC equipment and other systems will optimize building performance.
2) Get smart: install smart building systems and smart building managed services. Smart buildings operated with computer-controlled, automated systems save energy, streamline facilities management and prevent potentially catastrophic building equipment failures. With prices dropping, they often pay for themselves in a year or two.
3) Bring in the best Ideas: use third-party energy sourcing services. A third-party energy-procurement partner, who can review the corporate real estate portfolio, may identify multiple procurement options, negotiate supplier contracts and manage commodity price risks on a property occupier or investor’s behalf.
4) Light up the night—not the day: adopt energy-efficient lighting techniques. Up to 40 percent of the electricity used in commercial office buildings comes from lighting. Simple, no-cost management techniques can also cut costs, such as using motion detectors in stairwells, storage rooms, closets and other little-used spaces.
5) Get certified: pursue the Energy Star for Buildings and Plants certification. The EPA program provides benchmarking tools and information to set energy conservation goals. More than 6,200 buildings now carry the Energy Star label, meaning that they are more energy efficient than 75 percent of comparable US facilities.