As property managers, one of our primary goals is to ensure the properties we manage operate efficiently and sustainably. To support this, we recently had our operations and management teams complete the Energy Efficiency for Building Operators and Maintenance Staff (EEBO) certification program hosted by the Canadian Institute of Energy Training (CIET).
In this course, our teams learned how to conduct an Energy Hunt, the purpose of which is to identify low-cost energy-saving opportunities that can be implemented easily and quickly.
What is an Energy Hunt?
An Energy Hunt is a 1-to-3-day event that engages building operators in identifying low-cost energy savings opportunities within the building. These opportunities can stem from behavioral, operational, and maintenance actions and systems such as HVAC, lighting, and building controls are reviewed as well as the building envelope. By focusing on these areas, we can significantly reduce energy consumption in commercial properties without incurring substantial costs.
The Energy Hunt Process
Preparation: Before the Energy Hunt begins, we gather baseline energy data and perform an initial walkthrough of the property to identify potential areas of improvement.
Team formation: We assemble a diverse team consisting of property managers, building operators, maintenance staff, and, when necessary, external energy experts.
Training: To ensure everyone is on the same page, we provide the team with training on energy efficiency concepts, the goals of the Energy Hunt, and the roles and responsibilities of each team member.
Property walkthrough: During the Energy Hunt, the team conducts a detailed walkthrough of the property, inspecting all systems and equipment, including HVAC, lighting, and building controls, to identify energy-saving opportunities.
Data analysis and prioritization: After the walkthrough, the team analyzes the collected data and prioritizes the identified energy-saving opportunities based on their potential impact, feasibility, and cost-effectiveness.
Implementation plan: We create a comprehensive implementation plan that outlines the recommended actions, timelines, and estimated costs for each identified energy-saving opportunity.
Follow-up and monitoring: After implementing the recommended actions, we continuously monitor the property’s energy consumption to measure the effectiveness of the Energy Hunt and ensure sustained energy savings.
Short- and Long-Term Benefits
- Reduced energy consumption: By identifying and addressing inefficiencies, Energy Hunts can significantly lower energy usage and costs.
- Improved marketability: Reduced energy consumption can lead to lower operating expenses for tenants.
- Offset electricity consumption: By identifying ways to reduce electricity consumption, properties can help offset the cost of adding new electrified equipment.
- Enhanced asset value: Energy-efficient properties are more attractive to prospective tenants and can command higher rental rates.
- Compliance with regulations: By proactively managing energy consumption, properties can more easily meet local and federal energy efficiency requirements.
- Improved environmental performance: Reduced energy consumption leads to lower greenhouse gas emissions and a smaller carbon footprint.
In conclusion, Energy Hunts can be an effective tool to identify low-cost, high impact ways to improve a buildings energy performance. If you are interested in learning more about our Energy Hunt program, please reach out to Lynn Heaston at 343.882.0406 .