Controlling Utility Costs in Your Industrial Facility
June 11th, 2021
“Wittgenstein’s ruler: ‘Unless you have confidence in the ruler’s reliability, if you use a ruler to measure a table you may also be using the table to measure the ruler.'”
- Nassim Taleb
One of the greatest qualities of entrepreneurs, investors, business operators, and high-performing people is how relentless they are in the pursuit of their goals. Whereas most would simply do enough to get by, the ambitious constantly improve themselves, their businesses, and their assets; including their real estate.
Frugal and savvy owners understand the value of investing early and proactively so as to anticipate any future shocks or ‘black swan’ events. They tend to value the absence of problems instead of celebrating the management of crises. In the context of commercial real estate, this could mean instituting property management processes, repairing and/or upgrading facilities, and installing systems to improve efficiencies.
All that this writer can say about this subject is this.
Implementing these strategic upgrades is appropriate. However, without the ability to measure changes in performance, are you really managing risk? Or just clearing a conscience?
As the above quote illustrates, when using an unreliable instrument to provide data, one is given more information about the instrument than the object being measured. Put simply, one must accurately understand the metrics in order to drive decisions, not the other way around. That is why, when it comes to saving energy in your industrial facilities, you may wish to consider a sub-metering system so that you know exactly where you stand in terms of these line items.
That is why, this week, we sat down for our third and final instalment with Utility Metering expert Alberto Quiroz of Intellimeter to provide us his thoughts on leveraging accurate sub-metering … as well as five simple ways to save energy in your commercial properties, starting today…
Here is what Alberto had to say…
Going green benefits everybody, from property owners to the environment. With a reduction in energy consumption, building owners save money while reducing their building’s carbon footprint. Not all buildings are the same, on an area benchmark, some buildings consume more energy than others – for example, commercial buildings that have 25,000-200,000 square ft account for 11% of all buildings in the US and 44% of all building energy consumed. Building operators must aim to improve building energy efficiency to reduce costs, avoid scrutiny from environmental regulators, and appeal to beliefs and lifestyles of eco-conscious consumers.
Let’s take a look at 5 bulletproof ways of saving building energy.
1. Measure Your Building’s Energy Consumption
By installing a submetering system in your building, you will be able to measure your building’s energy consumption. Benchmarking is one of the best ways to start seeing where energy efficiency improvements can be made. It facilitates comparing a building’s energy use to the energy use of similar buildings to assess opportunities for qualifying/verifying energy savings, as well as opportunities for improvement.
2. Building Insulation
Building insulation and making the property as airtight as possible, allows for lower cooling and heating needs. This can be done by using non-traditional wall systems and high-performance insulation that offer better results. Replacing windows and doors caulking and weatherstripping to avoid air leaks is always a smart investment.
3. Use Certified Equipment
When buying new equipment, be sure to look for ENERGY STAR certified products. They are top of the class when it comes to energy performance. They typically use 30-65% less energy than their non-certified counterparts. If your HVAC system is old, it may be inefficient, so consider upgrading it with a more energy-efficient model. Be sure to stay informed about new developments because these products evolve quickly.
4. Upgrade to LEED
In Canada, many buildings are either being built or retrofitted to the LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) green standard. The standard is designed to improve building sustainability in areas such as energy use, water efficiency, indoor air quality, materials selection, site planning, and design features. One of the critical components of LEED-certified buildings is submetering. A building with a submetering system can increase its overall LEED grade by being qualified for design innovation credits.
When compared to conventional buildings, LEED buildings cost only 2% more to build. With improved energy efficiency and a higher occupancy rate, the additional cost is recouped quickly.
5. Upgrade Your Ventilation System
Maintaining the best indoor air quality possible and preventing the buildup of moisture is essential for every building. Keeping the energy inside is also critical, that’s why you need a good ventilation system, such as one with a heat recovery ventilator that uses the outgoing air to heat the air coming from outside (in the winter). During summer days, the outgoing air can cool the incoming air.
The potential energy savings within residential and commercial buildings are enormous, especially when looking at how much energy is wasted. Building owners, operators, and managers who take advantage of the latest energy management and automation systems are seeing some incredible energy savings in multiple areas.
Overall, if you are an Investor, Landlord, Owner-Occupier, or Developer of commercial property in the GTA, then you must consult with a utility metering professional to measure and control your utility costs, including water, gas, electric, and thermal.
***Disclaimer: The information provided in this newsletter is for educational purposes only. Alberto is an expert, however, to receive the appropriate guidance for your unique situation, please consult the proper authorities before taking action. We are not liable for any damages – perceived or otherwise – as a result of your own personal decisions.***
On that note…
For further information on the subject of Commercial, Residential, and Industrial Metering in the GTA please contact:
Intellimeter offers a comprehensive line of sub-metering systems to provide detailed real-time information on Electricity, Water, Gas, and Thermal Energy consumption. Their i-meter-Energy Analysis cloud-based software is the gateway to intelligent information for their clients. Their greatest value is providing customers with energy information that strengthens conservation, accountability and helps to promote lean property management.
To read the original article on Intellimeter’s blog, go here.
Utility metering is probably a topic that most of us either take for granted or forget to think about when thinking about our properties. However, as they say, the quickest way to get someone’s attention is to hit them in their pocketbook.
Energy costs have been rising as of late – and – with many regions and nations pursuing long-term energy goals, it isn’t a stretch to think that we may be facing additional disincentives or taxes which may push prices up further in the not-too-distant future.
Further, Users occupying multi-tenant facilities may want to pay their exact ‘fair share’ of utility costs, as opposed to a proportionate amount based on the square footage they occupy. With the growing popularity of robotics, racking, and other material handling or manufacturing machinery… the energy consumption within industrial facilities can be significant… so why pay for your neighbours excessive use?
Finally, businesses in general are looking for ways to control costs and push down their bottom lines. What better way to do so than to first accurately measure all of your outgoing expenses? Here is one line item that has traditionally been taken ‘as is’ without question… well here is a solution that is simple to outsource and implement.
Alberto was kind enough to reach out and provide us with great, actionable content to share with you, our readers. So if you are looking for more detail on this or anything else related to utility metering, then please connect with Alberto directly (his contact info is above).
Until next week…
Goran Brelih and his team have been servicing Investors and Occupiers of Industrial properties in Toronto Central and Toronto North markets for the past 25 years.
Goran Brelih is a Senior Vice President for Cushman & Wakefield ULC in the Greater Toronto Area.
Over the past 27 years, he has been involved in the lease or sale of approximately 25.7 million square feet of industrial space, valued in excess of $1.6 billion dollars while averaging between 40 and 50 transactions per year and achieving the highest level of sales, from the President’s Round Table to Top Ten in GTA and the National Top Ten.
Goran is currently serving as Immediate Past President of the SIOR ‐ Society of Industrial and Office Realtors, Central Canadian Chapter.
Industrial Real Estate Sales and Leasing, Investment Sales, Design-Build and Land Development
About Cushman & Wakefield ULC.
Cushman & Wakefield is a leading global real estate services firm that delivers exceptional value by putting ideas into action for real estate occupiers and owners. Cushman & Wakefield is among the largest real estate services firms with 48,000 employees in approximately 400 offices and 70 countries.
In 2017, the firm had revenue of $6.9 billion across core services of property, facilities and project management, leasing, capital markets, advisory, and other services. To learn more, visit www.cushmanwakefield.com or follow @CushWake on Twitter.
For more information on GTA Industrial Real Estate Market or to discuss how they can assist you with your real estate needs please contact Goran at 416-756-5456, email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit www.goranbrelih.com.
Goran Brelih, SIOR
Senior Vice President, Broker
Cushman & Wakefield ULC, Brokerage.
Immediate Past President, SIOR – Central Canada Chapter