While city skylines tend to be dominated by tall skyscrapers and large office buildings, those don’t reflect the vast majority of buildings across America. In fact, almost 94% of the U.S. commercial building stock consists of properties under 50,000 square feet. And while the average commercial building wastes 30% of the energy it consumes — representing a prime opportunity to invest in cost-cutting energy-efficient measures — it’s often the case that owners and operators of these smaller properties have limited time and resources to dedicate to these efforts.
The information and resources below were designed to help owners and operators of small- and medium-sized office buildings capitalize on the benefits of energy efficiency, by implementing cost-effective solutions and maximizing the return on investment through a streamlined approach.
Why should you seek to improve your office building’s energy efficiency?
By taking measures to improve the energy efficiency of programs and operations in your buildings, you can:
Increase tenant attraction and retention rates. Aside from financial savings, tenants of sustainable office buildings can potentially benefit from opportunities to improve organizational branding, community relations, and employee health and comfort. For example, high performing, energy-efficient buildings are more likely to have improved indoor air quality, temperature management, and occupant comfort than their peers.
Reduce energy-related costs and generate savings. Reduced energy consumption can lead to increased savings on utility expenses. By implementing low- or no-cost measures, owners and managers can reduce the energy consumption of their buildings by up to 30%, considerably increasing energy-related savings.
Contribute to a cleaner, healthier community. Buildings are responsible for 18% of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions. Most of these emissions are derived from the burning of fossil fuels to provide heating, cooling, and power to commercial buildings. By reducing your building’s environmental impact, you can help support local sustainability efforts and a healthy environment in your community.
Prepare for upcoming energy reporting laws and regulations in your locality. Many cities and states across the U.S. are implementing mandatory energy benchmarking and reporting ordinances for commercial buildings as small as 20,000 square feet to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and meet local sustainability goals. Some jurisdictions also require buildings to achieve a specified level of energy performance, or they are subject to mandatory energy efficiency improvements. See an interactive map to learn more about benchmarking programs and policies in the U.S.
Ready to enhance the value of your office building and help the environment along the way? ENERGY STAR has the tools and resources to help you get started today.