Working closely with your managing agent is a great start to cutting costs. The managing agent normally has a great bulk program for both electricity and energy purchases, providing an opportunity for their buildings to switch to ESCOs and reduce unit costs. In New York, switching to an ESCO also normally eliminates some of the sales tax imposed on electricity and energy purchased from their incumbent provider (about 4%). Although cutting the cost of something the building uses and considers a fixed cost is a great start, it is not even half the battle.
When it comes to the “fixed” costs of electricity and energy, the first place to start is consumption, or demand. How much does your building use and how can you reduce how much it is using? This coincides with GBCI’s recommendation, and is often considered “going green.” Although this is only a beginning, here are 10 ways that you as a board can reduce how much electricity and energy your building uses:
- Switch to LED
- Upgrade light fixtures
- Install motion sensors
- Insulate heating pipes & boilers
- Service steam traps
- Install an EMS or BMS System
- Implement a yearly inspection and insulation program, and winter removal of A/Cs
- Install solar PV
- Install solar thermal
- Install devices that make the boilers run more efficiently
Taking all of these suggestions would result in enormous savings. However, not every building can use all of these suggestions. Some may already have switched many lights to LED, although we have rarely seen buildings that have switched to 100% LED. There may still be some savings; there’s no reason not to switch every single light to LED.
This is only a short list of what buildings can do to reduce their electric and energy use or demand. However, implementing half of this list can often reduce the electricity and energy usage by 50%. Isn’t that what every prudent coop or condo board wants to do in order to honor their fiduciary duty as elected members of their community?
This long list has some major projects that most boards may not have time for in addition to their current work and obligations. Our services are separate and additional from what the board or managing agent is already working on. We can help with all the projects –including proposal, review and implementation- that you are too busy to get to on your own.
Let us know if you would like us to help you reduce the consumption of electricity and energy in your building and save you money! What have you got to lose?