When it comes to building energy efficiency, there are two ways to reduce energy usage: change the building itself with retrofits or change the way the building’s energy systems are operated. FirstFuel, a startup energy analytics company, recently published the above infographic on the low to no-cost operational changes that could potentially double energy savings in commercial buildings.
For commercial buildings operational changes can include things like scheduling heating or cooling systems to run less frequently during non-work hours, make sure heating and cooling systems are not running at the same time, or using intelligent lighting systems to turn off lights. These changes have little costs and fast payback periods.
The data in the infographic is based on the company’s virtual energy audits of 60 million square feet of a wide variety of commercial spaces. FirstFuel’s analysis stated that 51 percent of all energy efficiency opportunities from the sample could be achieved through low and no-cost operational improvements. This is approximately $12 in total savings in the 60 million square feet of sampled commercial spaces alone. If this is scaled up to the entire U.S. commercial building market, the total savings potential for operation improvements is $17 billion nationwide.