Making Sense of Energy

Lower Your Commercial Building Energy Cost Per Square Foot — With Data

  • The energy situation with your tenants is untenable, and there are various high-power systems working away unnecessarily
  • If you read last week’s post on rising energy costs, you’re anticipating increased energy costs in your commercial buildings.
  • You can solve these problems and bring down your energy cost per square foot — but you’ll need some strong data on your side

What Energy Data Are We Talking About?

Gathering, evaluating, and reporting on your energy data starts with everything from the high-level information on your utility bills to fifteen-minute data that measures the intricacies of specific systems — like fans or lighting.

Every company’s accounting department has the utility bills. Whether they’re being tracked — for example, entered into a spreadsheet or filed somewhere meaningful — is another question. In many cases, step one is simply getting a procedure for turning these bills into helpful reports.

Some utilities  can provide fifteen-minute data on a monthly or annual basis. But if you’re really looking to glean deep insights on the state of your energy usage and see your changes bear results: install devices that deliver that data real-time at a detailed level.

Your Actionable Energy Consumption Reduction Plan

What is the most immediate benefit of tracking your energy usage? Knowing that someone is watching the numbers is often enough to trigger people to pay more attention. They’ll be more likely to ask, “Does this really need to be on?” or “Can this be done differently?”

Having and evaluating this data will help you to gain a deeper understanding of your energy use. This data can help you identify key areas of inefficiency. It helps pinpoint places where things like lighting, fans, and automatic motors are running all the time when they don’t need to be.

Here’s a few common energy hurdles that will sound familiar to many commercial building operators:

  • The lighting schedule was not put together properly and doesn’t reflect need
  • HVAC system control loops overshoot on heating, cool down too much, then turn off or repeat — rather than maintain a more efficient stable temperature
  • A faulty carbon monoxide meter that controls a parkade fan simply runs the fan all the time

Having access to data means you can zero in on these sorts of issues.

Your Energy Cost Per Square Foot: What Can an Energy Partner Do to Help Save on Utilities?

Energy cost per square foot is an easy calculation. Benchmarking it against other buildings in similar situations is the real test. Is your energy cost per square foot below the average? Awesome! Is it above the average? That tells you you’ve got work to do — and more room to save.

Then there’s the energy provider itself. Alberta allows for choices in energy suppliers — but it’s often difficult to understand the prices, plans, and terms available for large accounts. A building operator may even underestimate his or her own negotiating power.

Working with a partner like Solution 105 can get you that valuable information. We can also get your energy usage data to you via an app or browser. You’ll be able to see real-time usage and send out notifications to an operator via email or text — and your tenants can see their own usage too. Produce incentives for them to operate efficiently by showing how they compare to others in the same building — just as you’re working to lead compared to other buildings.

If you’re spending a ton of money on energy — but you’ve got a solid, data-driven understanding of that spending — Solution 105 can take that information and help obtain the optimal partnerships with the right energy retailer to further drive down the cost of energy. The advantages may seem incremental — but between minimizing your energy usage and obtaining the right contract, there’s the potential to create some truly significant savings over time that you can’t afford to ignore.

Want to learn more about what we do at Solution 105? We’ve helped companies across North America and Asia save $80 million on their energy. Get started here.