Property Managers Can Generate Energy Savings

Article excerpt

Office employees are prone to ignore what has long been preached about energy savings, such as turning off lights in unoccupied rooms and shutting off idle computers. But when directives are specific, measures are applied consistently and savings are quantified, significant energy reductions are likely to be realized and sustained over the long term.

Energy experts at global real estate services firm Jones Lang LaSalle (JLL) disclose that its banking client in Metro Manila shaved off as much as P34.7 million from its energy bill in 2012 through the persistent application of practical measures. In fact, the company reduced energy consumption by at least five percent for the third year in a row.

Consequently, it was elevated to the Hall of Fame by the organizers of the Don Emilio Abello Energy Efficiency Awards, an energy conservation program organized by the Department of Energy.

Henry Torremonia, JLL head of property management, observed that because gasoline, electricity and water rates are expected to keep rising, businesses are now compelled to maximize their usage of these resources. In his firm, prudent facility and building management begins with knowing industry benchmarks.

As a rule, he said that in most offices, air-conditioning accounts for 34 percent of energy usage; lighting, 30 percent; office equipment, 16 percent; water supply, 9 percent. A building's performance is then subjected to a rigorous audit plan and measured against these widely-accepted standards. Only then is the quest for relevant solutions launched.

Often, savings are achieved by maximizing the air-conditioning. In addition to following a schedule, the weather and density of the building are monitored.

Torremonia related that in many JLL-managed properties, security guards are instructed to prompt the property manager when the skies turn cloudy or when density or the number of people in the building drop to unexpected levels. These serve as cues to adjust the temperature and lessen the load on the air-conditioning system. …