- Nov 16, 2022 12:05 am GMT
Did you know that commercial buildings generate 826 million metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions each year, according to the U.S. Department of Energy? That's 16% of all carbon dioxide emissions in the U.S.
Encouraging and empowering business customers to decarbonize their buildings and businesses is crucial for the future of the planet. Utilities should approach these companies with helpful information about how to reduce emissions and how decarbonization can benefit them.
Focus on these key points:
Before making any large upgrades, facilities should focus on reducing energy consumption. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, an average of 30% of the energy used in commercial buildings is wasted.
Provide a detailed guide that includes steps companies should take to improve their building’s energy performance. They should use portfolio management assessment tools to benchmark their energy use, bring in a qualified energy auditor to inspect the facility and implement the efficiency measures highlighted in the report’s recommendations.
Though electric processes still produce some emissions, they’re much less than what is produced by fossil fuels, and none are emitted onsite. As the grid becomes greener, electricity will only get cleaner.
Switching key systems and appliances from fossil fuels to electricity is better for the environment — and the health and safety of the building’s occupants. Highlight benefits like these throughout the conversation to keep business customers invested in the practical advantages of these upgrades.
Give them specific examples of upgrades, too. Heat pumps can electrify space conditioning and water heating, and induction cooking equipment can bring many benefits to a kitchen. Organizations that utilize forklifts or vehicle fleets can also see reduced carbon emissions after electrification.
Renewable power sources — solar, wind and more — are another key to decarbonization. These green resources produce no emissions and can even be used on-site to reduce your building’s reliance on conventional energy sources.
Upfront installation costs for these systems aren’t necessarily low, but they more than make up for themselves over time. Ensure business customers understand all the benefits and resources available to help them finance this investment. There are federal, state and, sometimes, utility-level programs and incentives for renewable energy investments to make it more affordable.
Facilities are large, and it’s not easy to monitor all energy sources and human activity throughout the building. Smart devices and sensors make it possible to track everything from temperature and humidity to noise and motion, easily identifying areas where further efficiency improvements can be made.
Smart thermostats regulate HVAC controls to meet the needs of building occupants, demand control ventilation ad occupancy-based sensors can manage airflow and ventilation according to real-time need and smart lighting systems can automatically adjust based on occupancy to save energy. Inform customers of all possible upgrade opportunities and any incentives or coupons your utility may offer to finance them.
Providing your business customers with all the information they need – benefits, available aid, costs, etc. - incentivizes them to build a decarbonization plan and put it into action.
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