In his recent State of the Union address, President Barack Obama raised the significant threat of climate change, highlighting the progress our country has made toward increased energy efficiency and renewable energy production, and described what we must do to further our investments. In addition, at the local level, many states have made considerable progress in developing regional and municipal incentives that have been a solid foundation on which to build upon. These important federal and state policies are important steps for paving the way forward for renewable and energy efficient developments.
Many commercial building owners and developers around the nation have taken note of the advantages in investing in these technologies. If you’re like most business and property owners, budgeting for energy and facility costs is a significant part of your financial planning each year and any opportunities to save are welcome, especially given how volatile energy and electricity prices have been historically.
These days, there are a number of options when it comes to advanced systems for supplying and managing energy in commercial buildings and facilities. This includes investing in energy efficiency and lighting upgrades, quality management tools, solar power, and wind power credits. The challenge is figuring out what makes the most sense for your business as many facilities have lost the expertise in-house to perform the necessary analyses and diagnostics to optimize their operations and management (O&M).
Comprehensive and effective maintenance can include:
- O&M plans for each piece of equipment
- Equipment and system surveys, audits, and assessments (performance measuring and benchmarking)
- Troubleshooting strategies
- Preventive maintenance (procedures and schedules)
- Considered improvements and capital investment options (solar or other sources of renewable power)
Many buildings owners might not even realize the amount they could be saving on the operating costs associated with their businesses, and for this reason it is wise to conduct an energy audit in order to find ways to yield significant savings. Investing in renewable and efficient infrastructure can help extend the life of energy supplies and assets, generate savings, minimize the risk of equipment failure and reduce the building’s environmental impact, which in turn provides building owners with the time and concentration they need to focus on the rest of their responsibilities.
In short, businesses do not have to play a passive role in the energy revolution. In fact, taking proactive steps will likely benefit them in more ways than they could have predicted. With widespread adoption of renewables and efficient power sources, we can make energy prices more predictable while helping the environment at the same time.
Matthew Guarracino is the Business Development Manager at J.M. Electrical Company in Lynnfield, Massachusetts