As oil and energy prices continue to skyrocket, building owners and tenants continue to look for ways to reduce their energy consumption. Combined with regulations such as Local Law 87, there is more motivation than ever before to build an energy efficient building. What many companies need to realize, however, is how often becoming energy efficient requires an investment up front that ends up paying off in the end.
Solar energy is a popular source of renewable energy, but the price tag of buying and installing the panels can be very intimidating. Costs can run in the tens to hundreds of thousands of dollars. Even with energy rebates available from the government, the cost tends to be very high. The investor needs to remember, however, that the costs will quickly be made back in the energy savings from month to month. When the company spends a fraction of their previous bills on electricity, they will see how it was a wise investment.
As similar phenomenon can be seen with insulation. Buildings may be told they need to improve their insulation but are reluctant to make the investment. Without good insulation, however, the building will be wasting energy trying to heat and cool the area. The air will be able to easily escape. This will increase bills and be an enormous drain on resources. Properly insulating the building can help save thousands a year in heating and cooling costs.
Systems such as water heaters and HVAC units continue to be improved year after year. Units that are just ten years old can use many times the amount of energy to accomplish the same job. While it may be tempting to not bother replacing units if they are still working, units that are especially old could be an unnecessary money drain.
When it comes to energy efficiency, upgrading older buildings can feel like an enormous investment. When building owners actually sit down with energy professionals and run the numbers, they will quickly see that it will pay off in the end.
iAGEnergy recently conducted an energy audit and retro-commission for a 15-story, 135-unit condo building in Queens. What was unique about this property was the level of participation by the building’s board. This was a board that is very proactive in keeping costs at a minimum. When it came to local law 87, the board decided to go-all-in before they were required to do so.
The audit is designed to show building owners, and the city, where energy improvements can be made and to develop a plan that corrects energy deficits within the building. First, the energy audit requires special certification, which are outlined by the city. iAG Energy provides a complete energy audit, but the retro-commission is designed to provide the building owner with real cost savings. In the case of this recent audit. iAGEnergy provides energy savings options that are low cost, mid-range in cost, and major building improvements.
The focus off this audit was the low-cost repairs that equate to real world savings. By simply improving weatherproofing and adding weatherstripping to the exterior of the building, begins to save money on energy expenses. The repair costs of around $7,000, but the building will save $3,200 a year for years to come.
Read more about the project here.
In recent years, concerns about the production and use of fossil fuels have sparked many conversations about their use and has led many companies to become interested in developing ways to reduce consumption. In New York City, for example, most buildings are expected to be retrofitted with energy saving technology to reduce how much energy they consume. Buildings, unless otherwise exempt, are also subject to energy audits. People who find these procedures to be a way to waste time often do not understand how much an inefficient systems, such as HVAC systems, can end up costing building owners in energy costs.
How is HVAC efficiency tied to costs?
HVAC systems are typically calibrated to provide comfort by keeping the building at a particular temperature and humidity level. Regardless of the amount of energy needed, the system will continue to turn on and consume more power in a struggle to reach the preset conditions. If an HVAC system is excessively old or not well maintained, it can consume significantly more energy in an effort to reach this goal. As it consumes more energy, costs will rise significantly.
What affects HVAC efficiency?
Newer, more advanced HVAC systems tend to provide the same levels of comfort with much less energy. Therefore, some systems will simply need to be replaced to obtain desirable levels of efficiency. Newer systems can also be slowed down if they are not well maintained. Dirty parts, such as filters, can force the system to waste more energy as it seeks to reach the predetermined settings.
HVAC systems that are out of date or not well maintained can end up costing owners considerable amounts of money. Although it might feel like a big cost to replace a system or pay for yearly maintenance, it can actually end up saving money in the monthly bills.
Do you know when your energy audit is due? If you are going to be complaint with the new law, you need to.
According to Local Law 87, any New York City buildings that have over 50,000 square feet must perform an energy audit every 10 years starting December 31, 2013. The audit schedule is based on the last digit of the business’s tax block number. The last digit will match the last digit of the year the report is due. So, businesses with a tax block number ending in 3 need to have their audit report in 2013, 2023, and so forth.
When your audit is due, the team at iAG Energy will send engineers who to your business to perform a comprehensive evaluation of the energy systems. This data is used to make recommendations about steps you can take to make your building more energy efficient.
Next, the retro-commissioning engineer will identify any areas that require an upgrade to maintain compliance. These upgrades will optimize the performance of the systems you have without replacing them, in most cases. The energy audit and the retro-commissioning report will then be given to the city’s Department of Buildings to keep you compliant.
Remember, Local Law 87 was designed to help you save energy and money for your business by lowering energy bills, and iAG Energy is ready to help you stay compliant as you work to lower your environmental impact.
Own a building larger than 50,000 square feet? Local Law 87 requires all buildings of this size or larger to undergo periodic energy audits every 10 years and identify any efficiency issues in equipment. If any problems with the equipment are found, the building must be retro-commissioned to meet the requirements of Local Law 87.
iAG Energy assessed this industrial warehouse for Prologis at 150-10 132nd Ave, Queens.
Energy auditing may seem like an income sink, but the overall benefits achieved from maintaining peak efficiency make up for the costs incurred. Energy costs represent a significant amount of overhead costs, and every cut made helps with the overall operating budget.
Choosing a firm that understands exactly what changes the building needs to come into compliance also helps cut down on the amount of hassle experienced with compliance to Local Law 87.
Technological advances to create more efficient HVAC systems, assembly line machines, and other essential commercial building systems help keep the building running at the top of the curve. In addition to complying with local building code, staying as efficient as possible also provides a selling point over competitors. Green initiatives have a great deal of consumer backing as environmentally friendly options become more available. Using that as part of business marketing provides another way to make energy audits pay off.
Property managers and businesses throughout the New York City will soon be able to turn off their furnaces after the last of the snow melts and get their air conditioners or central air units ready for the coming warmer temperatures. If you are cringing at the amount of your energy bills this year, check out these simple solutions for saving energy this spring.
1) Get yearly service for your heating and cooling units to ensure the equipment works optimally.
2) Have an energy audit. Energy audits are performed by a qualified auditor who evaluates your energy systems and power usage. The auditor can then provide a thorough report on your energy usage and ways to make your systems more efficient.
3: Have retro-commissioning performed. Due to the recent Local Law 87 passed in New York City, if you have a building that is over 500,000 gross square feet, you will need to have an energy audit performed and retro-commissioning. Retro-commissioning allows engineers to evaluate your energy systems and decide — based on the information in the energy audit — whether you have the best equipment installed and it is working properly to provide optimal energy-efficiency.
Nobody wants to lose money from inefficient energy and heating/cooling systems. Get your equipment evaluated by auditors and engineers from IAG energy. Stay in compliance with the new energy laws with professional energy audits and retro-commissioning.
There are many types of insulation used in both commercial and residential buildings. Ideally, insulation should help make everything airtight, thereby saving on energy bills. A well insulated building will keep cold drafts out and hold in heat during winter. The most common insulation types include:
- spray foam insulation that include loose fibers and fiber pellets
- rigid board insulation
- blanket insulation
- loose-fill insulation
Different types of insulation may affect your heating bill. This is because such insulations differ in terms of their R-values. R-values are basically used in measuring how effective a particular insulation is. To arrive at an R-value, the following aspects of the insulation are considered:
It is important to consult experts like iAG Energy when doing insulation for your building, be it commercial or residential. At iAG Energy, we endeavor to make your energy compliance simple. We specialize in energy auditing, benchmarking, and retro-commissioning. All this is aimed at making sure you are in full compliance with Local law 84 and 87.
It is important to choose the right type of insulation for your building to save on energy bills. Of the four types of insulation, loose-fill insulation has been found to be the most efficient.
Trying to save energy as a building manager or owner of a corporate workspace can be cumbersome and difficult. There are a lot of sources of energy consumption in large buildings, but one of the most common to focus on is lighting. As lighting technology develops, new lighting options are becoming available to help reduce the energy cost of lighting further than many are aware.
The traditional example of an efficient lighting option is fluorescent lighting, which can serve the same purpose as traditional incandescent lighting while taking around 10% of the power and lasting 8 times longer. In addition, fluorescent light bulbs fit into the same sockets as incandescent bulbs, meaning no equipment or retrofitting is required whatsoever. However, even the energy cost of fluorescent lighting can be greatly improved upon, depending on the specific needs that your lighting solutions have to meet.
Certain types of lighting, such as LED lighting, are even more efficient than fluorescent bulbs, and better suited to certain purposes (though not to others). LED light bulbs can provide focused light much more efficiently than fluorescent ones, are much more durable, and last about three times longer. However in situations where spread lighting is needed it may take more than two LED bulbs to cover the same area as a single fluorescent bulb, making LED lighting’s efficiency situation dependent.
A firm like iAG Energy can provide services to help you adapt your lighting solution to match your needs specifically. Corporate analysis is more thorough than what you can do yourself, and helps to ensure that you are reducing the energy cost of your space as much as possible.
Energy costs are rising as environmental awareness becomes a bigger deal, and new energy efficient options for home and business owners are coming out every day. But identifying the most effective options to reduce your building’s energy costs and to ensure your compliance with local laws can be difficult and confusing.
Often, it can be difficult to identify the devices or appliances that are using the most energy, which makes it even more difficult to identify the appliances you should target to save energy. It is a fairly simple matter to measure the power consumed by a single appliance, room, or set of devices on a single circuit. However to effectively take action towards saving energy, you would have to identify the power consumed by each appliance or area individually, and then compare what each of these values is against what it should be.
One option to make this process more efficient is to target only the most out of date areas and devices, which are likely to consume the most energy. If you are a building manager, you can make use of the services of iAG Energy, which will help you analyze all of your energy consumption and also help with retrofits and replacements to help building managers meet local laws and standards.
As companies continue to seek new ways to achieve energy efficiency in their buildings, they can look to companies such as the New York based iAG Energy for innovative ideas and current information about energy consumption around the globe. While focusing on issues specific to New York, it is important to stay aware of exciting innovations and ideas from fellow business owners.
Keeping tabs on a few essential issues helps the company work toward achieving, as well as exceeding, its energy efficiency goals. Currently, the company monitors one of the pressing matters that is specific to New York.
Energy Audits and Local Law 87 (LL87)
In the continuing effort to make buildings more energy-efficient, LL87 will help to advance progress on this front. The law aims to make companies accountable by requiring an audit, which often lead to companies needing to make retrofits to achieve compliance with the mandates of the law.
The law states that companies that feature more than 50,000 gross square feet or more undergo an energy audit, periodically. If there are any aberrations from the mandates, the company must undergo retrofitting measures. Once the audit is complete, the professional conducting the audit submits an Energy Efficiency Report (EER), which they file electronically. Since this report is filedwith the city once every 10 years, New York is working toward uniform compliance.