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Improving efficiency in commercial buildings

According to a recent industry survey that interviewed nearly 4,000 building owners and operators in 24 industry segments, business owners cite four main barriers to improving energy efficiency in commercial buildings:

  • A lack of funding to pay for improvements
  • Insufficient payback or return on investment
  • Uncertainty of savings and performance
  • Lack of technical expertise to evaluate or execute projects

Fortunately, these barriers are simple to overcome with a common-sense approach to the bigger energy savings picture, and the help of a well-trained industry expert. Here are three factors to consider when you are making energy spending decisions:

1. Increased utility savings

    Lower energy bills are the number one driver of energy efficiency spending decisions in the U.S. and Canada. Over time, simple changes such as upgrading lighting systems with energy-efficient light sources and fixtures, installing high-efficiency HVAC units or even adding solar panels to the mix can have a big impact on a company’s bottom line. You’ll start to save immediately on energy bills, and enjoy a greater return on investment over time, thus helping offset the upfront financial commitment.

2. Government utility incentives and rebates

    There are many incentives available to businesses that invest in energy-efficient products. Government incentives and rebates can further decrease initial costs. In some areas, reduced-rate loans for energy-efficient investments can offer another incentive to help overcome financial obstacles.

3. Enhanced brand or customer image

    Customer attention and retention are two great reasons to invest in energy efficiency. Environmentally conscious consumers take note of businesses that take measures to increase efficiency and lower their carbon footprint, often rewarding them with additional purchases and higher loyalty rates.

Source: Energy Management: "Driving Efficiency," Chain Store Age, October 2011

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