Commercial Property Managers – Taking Essential Steps to Create Energy Savings in Commercial and Retail Investment Properties

In any commercial property under management today, there will be issues with energy and energy consumption.  In most cases the energy consumption of a building can take up 20% approximately of overall outgoings costs.  Any savings that you can make with energy will have a dramatic impact on property performance, rental structures, and net income.

These are the Energy Facts

Here are some important energy facts to remember:

  • Tenants today expect energy to be carefully managed. They want the landlord and the property manager to put in place energy saving strategies that reduce occupancy costs.
  • Energy costs will always go up so any small change you can make will help the future of the property financially.
  • There are plenty of ongoing changes to building technology and the operations of plant and equipment that will help you reduce power costs.
  • The energy that you save in common power will have a reducing effect on overall tenant outgoings contributions, hence making the property more attractive from a leasing perspective.
  • The use of outside air and seasonal climatic changes will also help you reduce building air conditioning operational costs.
  • The designs of tenancy fitout today allow for the more efficient use of space, cutting down on extra lighting, unnecessary air conditioning, and inefficient work spaces.
  • Building Automation Systems (BAS) should allow the constant monitoring and adjustment of comfort conditions for the tenants and occupants of a building in an efficient way.

So every managed and leased property should have an energy strategy to help maintain power costs.

Create Savings in Energy

What can you do to get started in implementing such a cost savings system?  Here are some ideas:

  1. Contractor comments – The contractors that maintain the plant and equipment in your building should be approached to help you with identifying plant efficiency and changes that will benefit the building and the occupants from an energy cost perspective.
  2. Seasonal climate cycles – The outside air can be used to ventilate tenant space at different times of day. That assumes you do not have an air pollution problem to address in your town or city.  Understand how outside air cycles can be merged into the building air conditioning plant functions.
  3. Time clocks to control Plant and Equipment – The simple use of time clocks will help control the bigger plant and machinery and the associated operational hours. Throughout the year the time clocks should be adjusted for changes in property operations (start times and end times), people in the building, and climatic conditions.
  4. Lighting efficiency – Today we have an array of lighting alternatives to work with. LED lighting, and a strategy of retro fitting the new equipment in common areas and tenant areas will help greatly with energy consumption.
  5. Air conditioning use – Most buildings require air conditioning to be supplied in some way or form; that can be a tenant or landlord cost depending on property design and the conditions of leases. Consult with your air conditioning maintenance people to see if valuable operational changes and cost reductions can be made with heater banks, cooling towers, supply air fans, and economy cycles.
  6. Energy purchasing alternatives – Today most towns or cities will have a few alternative suppliers of energy that you can approach and potentially use for the supply of power to your building; in saying that to negotiate a change in energy supplier you will need to have all your facts about building power demands, tenant power, and current efficiency (or inefficiencies). You can approach alternative suppliers to reach new agreements on the supply of energy to a property, however you will also need to understand your peak and off peak energy demands.  The time of day and the days of the week have a lot to do with energy consumption costs in your building; the same can be said for the number of tenants, visitor numbers to the property, and the seasonal conditions.  Negotiate the best (lowest) energy supply costs that your consumption cycles will allow.

So these simple strategies will help you understand where you can start to achieve savings in operational plant and equipment in any managed commercial or retail building today.  When you can save some money operationally, the tenants and the landlord will reap the benefits.

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