With commercial cost cutting measures becoming more necessary during the current recession, companies are often faced with the difficult decision of whether or not to lay off employees. If your company has recently experienced layoffs and may possibly experience more, then you are probably wishing that there were a better way to save money instead of sending your valued workers to the unemployment line. There is, and it rests within the green building industry in the form of energy efficiency.
More than just a buzz term among environmental activists, energy efficiency is the objective practice of dramatically reducing companies’ energy costs on a long-term basis, with some companies realizing energy savings that reach seven figures on an annual basis. HVAC systems and lighting systems are two operating systems that energy efficiency consulting commonly focuses on.
With most HVAC systems and lighting systems accounting for 40-60 percent and roughly 30 percent of a commercial building’s electrical costs, respectively, it is easy to see how retrofitting a building’s operating systems to achieve energy efficiency could end up reducing energy cost by a sizeable margin. The first step in reducing energy cost is energy efficient consulting, which begins with an initial meeting to discuss the client’s goals and set project timeframes.
The second step in the consulting process commences with a detailed assessment of a building’s interior spaces and characteristics, including hours of operation, square footage and current electrical costs. Throughout the assessment process an energy efficient consultant will perform a variety of technical measurements, including T12, metal halide and HPS measurements.
The third step in the consulting process is a detailed project analysis. Using the information recorded by the energy consultant, a program manager will meet with the client to discuss project goals and then determine the appropriate installation measures that will lead to energy efficiency. If State or Utility rebates are available for the project the project manner will determine the rebate amount and factor it into the project’s final cost analysis.
The fourth step in the consulting process is the presentation of the project proposal. Upon reviewing the project manager’s financial, environmental and work analysis of the project, the client decides whether or not to proceed. With the decision to move forward, the project manager begins implementing the project by conducting a pre-construction review. Then, when the project is complete, a post-installation review is conducted, after which the project’s paperwork is finalized.
If your company needs to cut costs during the current recession, energy efficient construction provides a way to cut costs right now and in the future. In many cases, the cost savings that result from energy efficient construction pay for the construction costs within two years, and after that the cost savings increase a company’s bottom line year after year.