3 Steps To Better Energy Efficiency For Your Older Building Operations March 3, 2016 | Kelia Cowan

When assessing your portfolio, which properties do you select to upgrade in your next project?

Many property and asset managers want to improve energy efficiency in buildings, so they choose newer buildings to make them even better and more attractive. When older buildings are overlooked, they are left further behind until mechanical and operational updates are costly and time-consuming.


What many property managers don’t realize is that older buildings actually offer a high return on investment (ROI) because improving efficiencies in old facilities can be done easily with little to no capital investment. Here are 3 easy steps to make your older buildings more energy efficient.


Step 1. Choose Your Building Goals & Key Performance Indicators

Before taking action in your building, decide what you want to achieve and how you want to measure success. Choose your goals appropriately for your building or portfolio, then find the best metrics to identify progress. If you are trying to improve the sustainability of your building, here are 5 sustainability key performance indicators (KPIs) you can track. You can use city or county, Energy Star, or GRESB benchmarking to see how your building or portfolio stacks up to the competition, or use these submission deadlines as milestones for your projects.

With the rise of importance in data-driven operations, tracking progress will be very important to determining success. Measurement and verification helps you quantify the value of energy efficiency investments. Understand how much your building consumes now and how much you spend on it. Speak the language of decision-makers – metrics go much further than words.


Step 2. Submeter To Get Accurate Energy Data

Never walk your building with a clipboard and pen again – automated meter and submeter readings are necessary for all building operations in today’s data-driven world. Web-enabled, wireless meters extract energy data out of the basement in real-time, and can centralize this information on an easy-to-read energy management platform. By submetering your building, you can break down electric, water, and gas consumption by equipment, space, tenant, panel, or the entire building.

Manual meter reads are prone to inaccurate data and, therefore, inaccurate billing. Knock out these two challenges with a good submetering system to make tenant billing and utility consumption data as simple as a few clicks. Plus, you’ll be able to use this investor-grade data in other projects, such as sustainability reporting to Energy Star, GRESB, or reports for key stakeholders.


Step 3. Analyze Your Real-Time Energy Data

With all of this data on one platform, you’ll be able to easily analyze which areas of your building or portfolio need the most attention. Quick operational improvements and scheduling adjustments are one of the most effective ways to dramatically improve operational efficiency.

With these easy fixes, you can quickly save on your energy bills regardless of the age of your commercial buildings. Particularly in older buildings that have been overlooked for years, property managers have seen a reduction of 20% to 30% on utility bills with simple adjustments. The initial savings are just the beginning; continuously monitoring a building will ensure you get the most from your energy management system. By taking a few easy steps, you can have a huge return on investment and improve properties that have needed attention for years.

There you have it! Making an older building more energy efficient is easier than you’d think.


I Want To Operate My Older Building Better

Energy Efficiency, measurement and verification, real-time data, ROI

About The Author As the Digital Marketing Specialist at Aquicore, Kelia Cowan manages the company’s content and events, including the company blog, social media channels, resources, email marketing campaigns, webinars, and conferences. Simultaneously, she fields questions on how to “properly” pronounce her name. Previously, Kelia was the Marketing and Communications Fellow at Cleantech Open Northeast, where she focused on digital content and event coordination. As an undergraduate student, she worked in various communication roles at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, The Green Party of Aotearoa New Zealand, and Energy Excelerator. Kelia left the paradise of Honolulu, Hawai’i, to attain a B.S. in Journalism and a B.A. in Environmental Analysis & Policy from Boston University.