Washington State is home to no shortage of commercial buildings. Home to cities like Seattle, with a population that pushes three quarters of a million, commercial real estate is plentiful and power consumption is high. Over the last decade, Seattle has worked to improve its energy efficiency and lower overall power consumption and carbon emissions. We can learn from some of their successes!
Understanding Power Consumption in Commercial Buildings
It may come as no surprise that in commercial buildings, lighting, ventilation, heating, and cooling systems use the most electricity. All of these are, of course, essential components of a usable indoor space. It should also be no surprise that commercial buildings use more electricity than residential buildings. More space and more people means that your HVAC system has to work harder to get the job done: both from circulating more air through a larger space, and from regulating the temperature of more open spaces with more bodies inside. Furthermore, energy rates are not calculated linearly. The more you use, the more you’ll pay per kilowatt. Before you rent or buy a commercial space, it’s important to know what your energy consumption will look like–and what that will cost you.
Smart Energy Use in Commercial Spaces
While there is no getting around the electrical needs of your commercial space to run, you can take steps to reduce your overall consumption and power your building smartly. First, consider a smart HVAC system (hint: we can help with this!). Smart HVAC systems use sensors to automatically adjust spaces as they’re used. A room that has little to no traffic, for example, may need less ventilation or less temperature control than the lobby of your business. By using a system with sensors and automation you can reduce the overall energy used to heat and cool your building. Likewise, smart lighting systems that shut lights off when no one is present can save on those precious kilowatts. Of course, in addition to this, remember that not all HVAC systems are created equally! Talk to us about smart choices for your building!
Rethinking Your Current Electrical Situation
Especially if you operate out of an older building, it can be beneficial to rethink your electrical situation to reduce consumption and carbon footprint. In fact, if you’re building in Seattle, the city requires you to follow new guidelines for energy efficiency. To start, take an audit of your current electrical consumption, year over year. Then talk to us or a licensed electrical contractor about making changes! You may be able to make small improvements, or it may be time to put in a new system. Electrical systems need to be replaced every 50 years or so anyways, so if your building is pushing that age, you should consider starting with a new, better, more efficient system!
Whatever situation you find yourself in, whether a new purchaser or renter, a long-time business owner looking to reduce costs, or someone building a new building that has to adhere to Washington’s new energy guidelines, commercial electricity comes with an array of options. We love working with business and home owners alike to find good HVAC systems, and we can recommend a good electrician in the process! Visit our promotions page to get started. We offer discounts for those who serve our community and country, and will be honored to help!