The LLumar Window Film Blog

Unexpected Benefits of Energy Efficiency

Posted by Steve DeBusk on Aug 21, 2015

Energy-efficiency projects can undoubtedly lead to reduced energy usage and smaller utility bills. Who doesn’t like the sound of those commercial real estate improvements? Energy management has also been linked to improved employee productivity and increased building valuation. There are some other green building benefits you should know about, too – they are often unexpected, but very valuable!

Reduced Maintenance and Operations Costs

A recent study conducted by the U.S. General Services Administration and the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory found that green buildings cost less to operate – by nearly 20%.

Investing in the right energy-efficiency projects can help reduce maintenance time, saving on labor costs. For example, according to ENERGY STAR, energy-efficient lighting systems can cut maintenance time because lamps last longer – they don’t have to be replaced as frequently.

Improved Retention Rates

A 2012 study completed by University of Notre Dame management professors found that employees working in LEED-certified branches of a financial institution were more productive and engaged in work than employees working in non-LEED branches at the same institution.

Although they may seem like small improvements, giving employees, tenants, or occupants access to individual ventilation controls and natural lighting may not only save energy, but improve satisfaction levels. And the more satisfied an employee, tenant, or occupant is, the more likely they are to be productive and engaged in their work – which may lead to less turnover.

More Money to Invest

Think about all the things you could accomplish with the savings from energy-efficiency projects. The savings can become a source of capital for other green projects, or can fund other commercial building initiatives.

In an example from DNV-GL, one major U.S. hotel spent an estimated $184,000 on energy-efficiency improvements. The hotel is now seeing annual savings of $58,035, offering a 3.17-year return on investment. That money could be put toward new technology, guestroom improvements, water-conservation projects, or a wide variety of other initiatives.

Reduced Risk

Because energy is a commodity, prices can vary based on supply and demand. When energy-efficiency practices are put into place, energy can become a smaller part of your organization’s operational budget. As a result, you’re less likely to be negatively impacted by energy price spikes. The less energy your building uses, the more your organization will be protected from cost fluctuations.

Are there other unexpected benefits you’ve experienced after completing an energy-efficiency project? What’s missing from this list?

Steve DeBusk is global energy solutions manager for the window film division of Eastman Chemical Company. Steve has 30 years of experience in energy efficiency. He is a Certified Energy Manager, a Certified Measurement and Verification Professional, and a Certified Sustainable Development Professional. Follow Steve on Twitter @greenbldgs.

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