The building sector uses more electricity than any other industry in the world. It accounts for 42% of the global energy consumption (source:ResearchGate) and the number is expected to increase because of faster urbanization and higher population. There will be more and bigger buildings, with more people – and much higher energy costs.
Measuring and managing your business’ energy costs
This has a huge impact on the environment, and building owners’ operating costs. A study by the European Union found that commercial buildings consume 40% more energy than residential buildings (250 kWh/m2 compared to 180 kWh/m2). A huge chunk of this is used for heating, air-conditioning, ventilation and artificial lighting. In other words, electricity is critical to create a productive, comfortable and safe working environment.
Unfortunately, not all buildings use energy efficiently. According to Taka Solutions — which provides comprehensive energy solutions that help buildings manage their energy use and costs – several factors can have poor energy performance. These include:
- Poor design (65%)
- Subpar construction (40%)
- Bad operations (70%
- Inadequate technology (85%)
- Faulty equipment (20%)
These factors lead to daily energy waste – and unnecessary business costs. By improving energy efficiency, companies are able to reduce energy consumption while maintaining or improving their building services.
The importance of energy efficiency on profit and reputation
Today, “saving energy” isn’t just an environmental catchphrase. It has a real impact on business revenue and efficiency, and may even increase a building’s property value. Public concern about global warming and the increasing trend towards “green living” means that they expect and respect businesses who try to use energy responsibly.
Some of the biggest and most premium commercial and residential complexes in the world proudly declare how they are eco-friendly and energy-efficient. It is part of their brand equity, and enhances the perceived prestige of living or working in that building. So, not only does energy efficiency save on costs, but it can even increase sales and reputation.
Breakthroughs in building energy efficiency
Today, saving energy has gone far beyond reminding employees to turn off the lights after office hours.
Scientists are working on smart windows, which use nanotechnology to control the amount of light and heat that enters a building. Princeton researchers expect that once this technology becomes widely available, it can reduce energy costs by 40%. Special nanogel-filled polycarbonate sheets also provide better insulation, which improves heating/cooling. Another high-tech building material that’s on the way: green roofs, which shields the roof from the effects of UV rays while collecting rainwater for use.
Energy consultants like Taka Solutions also provide a combination of business, financial and engineering expertise to help companies save energy at every stage of the building life cycle: planning, construction, and maintenance. This allows businesses to take charge of their energy costs from the beginning. They can also provide energy audits, and customize solutions for a building’s age, size and use.
With energy efficiency become a real business and environmental concern, these advancements are set to change the way buildings use energy.