Your tenants will tell you some of what you need to responsibly manage your building: it’s too hot, it’s too cold. But there are so many more energy savings hidden in your building, from not putting air pumps into overdrive to coolant at the right temperature, that we’ve given them a name: Efficiency Reserves.
At nearly 150 years old, Alexander & Baldwin Inc. (A&B Inc.) knows something about longevity. The largest owner of grocery/drug-anchored retail centers in Hawaii was founded as one of the first ever corporations in the state. What started as a small sugar cane growing enterprise quickly expanded into an agricultural, shipping and real estate powerhouse.
There are two fundamental concepts related to how much energy cooling systems must use: sensible heat and latent heat. So which type of heat, sensible or latent, requires more energy to remove?
Electricity costs for most commercial buildings are based both on the maximum power and the total amount of energy you use. Power and energy are different concepts, with very different costs, yet financiers, journalists, and pretty much everyone struggles to differentiate them.
There is another way to achieve carbon neutrality that is little know about in business circles but well regarded in the energy and environmental community. They care called carbon allowances. Like Renewable Energy Certificates, carbon allowances have as a strong suit that they are verifiable. They are also limited in number, and cleared through the government and therefore much less susceptible to fraud.
Using the principles of thermodynamics, we can keep people comfortable in a building while using energy in smarter ways. Thermodynamics teaches us numerous tradeoffs and rules that allow us to get the right temperature in the right place at the right time for the least amount of energy.
The difference between efficiency and efficacy is representative of the many issues that get ignored when discussing lighting and energy. But failing to understand this difference or the other nuances of lighting and energy, can turn what looks like great energy savings in theory into a poor investment.
From our experience working in buildings, it’s not surprising why measures may not perform as expected. It takes rigorous management to maintain performance.
It can be hard to discern what is actually best for managing energy usage in your particular building, especially because all tools come with real costs and limitations. Products should match the complexity of the building you run and the resources you have.
If you have ever worked with an energy efficiency consultant to study your building, you may know how deceptively simple the advice can be. Actually achieving those energy reductions is a messy business.
For decades, “full-spectrum lighting” has been a popular but misunderstood topic. While the marketing of “full-spectrum lighting” has been successful in convincing many buyers than it offers improvements over traditional fluorescent lighting, the reality is it does not. And it’s generally a waste of money, too.
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