The following article is a guest post.
Building managers are one of many groups of professionals that can benefit from a “green retrofit” — a total overhaul and reevaluation of the energies that they use, eventually ending in the replacement of fossil fuels with green energy. There are a lot of benefits to considering solar energy and other renewable resources to power your building, and making your building “green” will not only save money, but it will also be good for the environment. In this article, we will talk about common strategies that business owners can use to execute a green retrofit, as well as solar solutions and their practical applications for both new and existing buildings.
The growth of green energy and the potential for a green future
Green energy is an industry that is slowly-but-surely growing larger. According to the Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory, it is possible that a future will exist in which 80% of our energy comes from renewable sources. Wind turbines, hydropower, bio-power, geothermal, and solar energy are all sources that will make up this 80% by the year 2050. Solar energy will be on the forefront of this, and as a building manager you should join the advancement as well.
Strategies for greener buildings
There are many ways you can make your building more energy efficient. Reduce your building’s electricity usage by plugging appliances into a “smart power strip.” This smart power strip will turn off the appliances at the same time, ensuring that you aren’t wasting energy by keeping things on when you don’t need to. Also, turn off heating and cooling mechanisms when no one is in the building, and, during the summer and winter months, make sure that your windows and doors are insulated and sealed against the weather, preventing energy loss. These are just some of the beginning steps to a green retrofit that you can start doing immediately.
Solar solutions for your building portfolio
Solar energy should be a central part of your green retrofit, and solar panels, air conditioning, and water heaters are several examples of specific technologies you can install. Solar panels create, deliver, and store energy from sunlight to power your building. Solar panels also cut costs for your building. In fact, if you are near the Orlando, Florida area, local power companies often will encourage solar-powered buildings to “sell back” their energy. Solar solutions aren’t just in your best interest environmentally — they’re also in your best interest financially.
Solar air conditioning and water heaters are two other appliances to consider for your green retrofit. Particularly if you live in a hot climate, you’re going to use air conditioning frequently, and that AC bill can cost a lot of money. Solar-powered air conditioning uses the same panel technology to power the AC unit. The long-term benefits include much lower energy costs, as well as very limited electric consumption. A traditional AC unit does not only tend to be costly; it also is noisier. Solar-powered AC units, by comparison, are much quieter. If the building you manage requires a water heater, that appliance can also be provided by solar energy. In fact, a solar water heater can cut between 85 and 90 percent of your costs. The advantages are the same as other solar-powered appliances: less fossil fuel dependence, environmental benefits, and financial savings.
Even if your building is not new, you can retrofit it to use green energy, and taking the small steps listed in the first section will save you money as well. Green energy isn’t something that can only take place in new places; it’s a technology that can be applied to any building and benefit any building manager looking to try innovative new energy sources while also saving money and helping the environment.