Commercial buildings are one of the largest contributors to greenhouse gas emissions and consume a substantial amount of energy. The US Department of Energy estimates that
commercial buildings account for 18% of total energy consumption in the United States.
With the growing concern over climate change and the push for energy-resilient communities, there has been an increasing emphasis on reducing the carbon footprint of buildings. Net zero buildings, which generate as much renewable energy as they consume, are becoming increasingly popular as a way to combat climate change and create energy-resilient communities. Retrofitting your building for net zero operations is not only good for the environment, but it has numerous financial and operational benefits as well.
Reduced Energy Costs
One of the most significant benefits of retrofitting your building for net zero operations is the reduction in energy costs. Net zero buildings use energy-efficient technologies and renewable energy sources such as solar panels and energy storage to generate and store energy. By generating and storing their own energy, net zero buildings reduce their reliance on the grid, resulting in lower energy bills. Although the upfront cost of retrofitting a building for net zero operations can be high, the long-term savings quickly show a positive ROI.
Improved Building Performance & Operational Efficiency
Retrofitting your building for net zero operations can also improve its overall performance and efficiency. Net zero buildings use energy-efficient technologies such as temperature setpoints, lighting schedules, LED Lights, and energy-efficient HVAC systems to reduce energy consumption. These technologies not only save energy but also improve the comfort of the building’s occupants and improve operational efficiency. For example, energy efficient HVAC systems managed with AI alert facility managers when problems arise so the issues can be addressed before they occur and therefore, prevent costly and uncomfortable outages. This reduces operational drift keeping occupants and your budget happy.
Retrofitting your building for net zero operations is good for the environment and helps to create energy-resilient communities. Net zero buildings reduce the amount of greenhouse gas emissions and fossil fuels consumed by commercial buildings. By using renewable energy sources and lowering energy usage, net zero buildings can reduce their carbon footprint and contribute to a cleaner and more sustainable environment. Additionally, retrofitting your building for net zero operations reduces the demand for energy from the aging and weakening energy grids.
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Customer & Employee Comfort and Health
Retrofitting your building for net zero operations can also improve the health and well-being of your employees and customers. Energy-efficient technologies such as energy management systems can monitor and improve indoor air quality and reduce the risk of health problems associated with poor air quality.
Building temperature setpoints also ensure temperatures remain at comfortable levels for both employees and customers. The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recommends a commercial building temperature range from 60 to 76 degrees. Building temperature and comfort are closely related to employee production levels and the amount customers will purchase.
Payments & Incentives
Governments at the local, state, and federal levels offer a variety of incentives to encourage building owners to retrofit their buildings for net zero operations. In addition, some states and local governments offer property tax incentives, grants, and low-interest loans to encourage the retrofitting of buildings for net zero operations.
Buildings moving towards net zero also have the opportunity to participate in demand response programs. Demand response programs allow businesses to get paid to reduce their energy consumption during peak demand periods when energy grids are under stress. By participating in a demand response program, commercial buildings can earn incentives for reducing their energy usage during these periods and not relying fully on the power grid for energy.
Retrofitting your building for net zero operations is not only good for the environment, but it also has numerous financial and operational benefits. By reducing energy costs, improving building performance, increasing property value, and providing environmental and health benefits, retrofitting your building for net zero operations can be a smart investment. Sign up for a demo today and see how GridPoint can help your company move towards being net zero.