In an increasingly eco-conscious world, reducing energy consumption is not only the ecologically responsible choice, but it’s also good business sense. Commercial properties are complex creatures and many landlords may be reluctant to ‘Go Green’ because of the initial costs involved.
We’re not going to lie, asserting your environmental credentials can be an expensive business. In some cases, there will be significant up-front costs required to retrofit your property or install the necessary equipment. Either way, you are going to have to put up some cash. On the other hand, many enviro-upgrades can also have significant long-term financial upsides. For example, the money you save on reduced energy bills will outweigh any investment in alternative lighting options and by a huge margin. Here are 5 tips to achieving a more energy-efficient commercial property to cut overheads and reduce your business’ carbon footprint:
1. Maximise Natural Lighting
Lighting can account for up to 40% of a business’ energy costs. The easiest way to reduce that is by maximising natural light. Properties with large windows and skylights allowing loads of natural light are always much sought after. Renters pay premium prices for attractive offices with plenty of natural light and lovely views, and the lower energy bills are a nice added bonus. Where natural is scarce, installing skylights in an office, factory or warehouse can be the perfect option.
Another way to maximise natural light (and reduce the need for artificial lighting) is through decoration. Lighter colours used for floors, walls, and ceilings reflect natural light far better than darker shades.
2. Bright Idea: Switch to LED Light Bulbs
LEDs are more energy-efficient using up to 80% less energy than the traditional incandescent or halogen bulbs. They help reduce your business’ energy consumption, which translates to lower energy bills for your business. These longer-lasting bulbs also mean fewer replacement bulbs and a reduction in waste.
If you’re the proud owner of a large commercial property and are feeling concerned about the expense of replacing all your office lights, keep in mind that according to most calculations, the cost of purchasing new bulbs will be recovered well within 2 years with normal use. Given that LEDs typically have a working lifetime for 25,000 hours you’ll continue to save money long into the future. Additionally, they make your property significantly more attractive to energy and cost-conscious potential renters.
3. Use Sensors for Heating and Lighting Systems
It safe to say that not all of your commercial building is used all day every day. Occupancy activated sensors for lights and temperature control is a great way to reduce unnecessary energy waste and expenditure of heating and lighting areas that are not in use.
4. Upgrade and Maintain HVAC Equipment
I know what you’re thinking… Your old noisy heating, ventilation and AC equipment has another few years left in it yet. However, it’s probably costing you more money than it’s worth. Upgrading HVAC equipment may seem like a burdensome expense but the savings in terms of energy efficiency will soon offset the investment.
Modern HVAC equipment has been specially designed with sustainability in mind. Those improvements alone could save you up to 30% off your energy bills. Regular maintenance also means you’ll be able to identify any issues before they become power wasting problems, saving you even more money in preventable repairs.
5. Conserve Energy
According to recent studies the majority of commercial properties lie empty 72% of the year yet consume 55% of its’ energy usage during that same time. Make sure you power down during holidays, weekends and out-of-office hours to avoid energy waste.
Other conservation tips include making sure windows are double glazed, walls insulated, and all doors and windows suitable sealed. Ill-fitting doors and windows could be adding up to 25% to your bills.
Whether you’ re looking to purchase a commercial property, or upgrade an existing investment, environmental sustainability is no longer a luxury or ideological choice. Rather, reducing your property’s ecological footprint is a sound business strategy. To find out more about how to maximise the value of your property, contact MCO today.