Over the course of the past two years NEMA has reminded its blog readers of countless opportunities for both themselves and their organizations to save money through energy conservation. Despite the benefits of individual implementation of these strategies, their combination can yield a far greater return on investment.
A commercial building can earn an Energy Star label, similar to the one found on home appliances, by meeting standards regarding emissions and energy use. In order for a building to meet Energy Star requirements it must be in the top 25% of the most efficient buildings in its building use category. This means that organizations not Energy Star certified may be at a disadvantage, or simply unaware of tax deductions already available to them. A systematic energy audit can help to identify the best ways to save energy, yet many are already listed here on the NEMA blog.
Water heating costs can effectively be reduced through the implementation of solar water heaters, which are most effective on south-facing buildings using 100+ gallons of hot water per day, and usually yield payback in 3-5 years. Pre-programmable thermostats can help manage buildings HVAC and are discussed in further detail on NEMA’s website. NEMA also provides a detailed look at the benefits of lighting upgrades through the enLIGHTen America campaign.
However some of the most fundamental benefits of receiving the Energy Star label on a commercial building are not financially based. By reducing a buildings overall energy use, owners can showcase their organization’s commitment to reducing impact on the environment, and according to the Energy Star website, “significant portions of our population prefer to work for or do business with organizations they perceive to be environmentally responsible.” Each year the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) informs the press on the buildings and manufacturer plants that have earned the Energy Star, effectively marketing many organizations to the public, and giving those selected a leg-up over competitors through energy savings.