Keeping tenants cool in the hot summer months often means two things:
1. They are happier with the property management team because they are nice and cool.
2. Your energy bills run up, and all of a sudden you are pouring money into cooling costs.
Achieving any sort of balance during this time is difficult. You’re caught between two important competing interests, and identifying solutions can be challenging because you tried different processes over the years andstill some are not happy with how the building is run.
While there’s no single solution to both making tenants happy and keeping cooling costs low, there is one thing you can focus on to make a big difference. Scheduling your building can make a huge difference in your monthly bills, so let’s get started on ways to make necessary improvements.
Optimize Your Startup & Shutdown Building Schedule
Analyzing the times that you turn the building on and off – the times that you startup and shutdown your building – can drastically affect energy bills. Try turning on your building later in the day and shutting it down earlier; the building does not need to feel like ice at 4am before anyone actually arrives in the building. Why not schedule the building to actually be up and running by 8 am – when the building is actually occupied?
Especially in summer months, when the outside temperature can be particularly high, many building engineers schedule the buildings to turn on hours before tenants arrive to make sure the building is nice and cool for them. However, the morning hours are usually cooler than midday; thus, starting up at a later time won’t make a noticeable difference for tenants. Your electricity bill, on the other hand, could be drastically lower by pushing your building’s startup time two hours later.
One client identified over $40,000 in potential savings by simply starting the building later and shutting the building down earlier. By reducing the hours per day that the building runs unnecessarily, the building operations are optimized to run more efficiently every day.
Avoid Weekend and Holiday Runs
Optimizing schedules is not limited to the work week. Often, buildings are run on the weekends much longer than necessary. If your building is open on the weekends, the same practice for work days can be applied to weekend hours. Make sure you are only running your building when it really needs to be on. Your budget will be happy about the adjustment.
Often, building automation systems are not adjusted for holiday schedules. If the building is shut down during holidays, adjust the settings on your BAS or BMS to reflect the changes in normal operating schedules.
Schedule adjustments have provided significant value for many building engineers and property managers. Since HVAC systems are in such high demand in the summer, minimizing the amount that you actually require them to run in your building can help reduce your electricity bills, maintain tenant satisfaction, and make your life easier.