14C —April 24 - May 14, 2020 — Spring Preview — M id A tlantic Real Estate Journal


E nergy E ngineering

By Rob Holdsworth, Evolution Energy Partners Moving Forward: Finding Opportunity in Today's "New" Energy Market

the team at E v o l u t i o n Energy Part- ners has seen their share of market ups and downs. The uncer - tainty of to- day’s world W

ith over 30 years of experience in the energy industry,

the energy industry responds greatly to fluctuations in the financial markets. With the stock market in distress and international relations on high alert, the price of energy has hit rock bottom. In mid-March, energy prices hit a 20-year low, a result of historically warm winter months and COVID-19 reducing both commercial and industrial demand for energy products. Experts have ex- pressed concern that the cur- rent downturn could be disas- trous to the industry, leaving the market forever changed. Finding the opportunity

With so many unknowns, let’s not lose sight of opportu- nity. Finding savings is critical, especially for organizations that have felt the financial impact of COVID-19. With current energy prices at ex- treme lows, now is the time to lock in long-term contracts or renegotiate existing contracts. Our procurement team is see- ing 20% savings on electric and 18% savings on natural gas for clients that are leveraging today’s market. Tips for added savings The opportunity for savings does not end there. With all

non-essential workforce work- ing remotely, if able, many office buildings are vacant or at low capacity. Building owners and facility managers have a unique opportunity to implement energy efficiency measures by completing a “low-occupancy energy audit” to determine what loads can be turned off, set back, etc. Below are some no-cost to low-cost practices to follow after com- pleting your audit. 1. HVAC Processes The first place to look is your building automation system or manual HVAC processes.

• Optimize start-up time, power-down time, equip- ment sequencing, and tem- perature schedules. Set tem- peratures back in the evening or weekends and other times when the building isn’t occu- pied. With most people work- ing from home now, lowering temperatures during weekdays can be a significant savings op - portunity. • Perform simple mainte- nance of your HVAC system. Change or clean HVAC filters and clean the evaporator and condenser coils on heat pumps, air-conditioners, etc. right away. Dirty filters are ineffi - cient, overwork the equipment, and result in lower indoor air quality. Dirty coils inhibit heat transfer which increases the workload on the equipment and wastes energy and money. • Adjust your ventilation systems. Look at your fans, VAV boxes, etc. and adjust ventilation in unoccupied and low-density areas to reduce the amount of outside air that is be- ing brought in and conditioned. • Lower boiler and chiller water temperatures. With no or low occupancy, less hot water or steam will be needed for comfort heating and, as we enter the spring/summer months, less chilled water will be needed for comfort cooling. For every 4°F the water tem- perature is reduced, energy savings of 1 percent will result. Therefore, if you lower the boiler set point from 180°F to 120°F, you’ll save 15 percent! 2. Lighting Loads There are a few easy ways to reduce lighting costs (which can account for more than 25% to 40% of your building’s elec- tric bill). • Consider a quick LED lighting upgrade. LED light- ing can reduce the energy consumption of your lighting systems by up to 70%, which along with free rebate discounts from utility programs, leads to very fast payback and high ROI. Financing an LED project requires no upfront capital and the savings will generate new positive cash flow, increasing NOI. Now is the perfect time to implement an LED light- ing project because the project can be completed very quickly with few or no tenants in the building. • Leave lights off in un - occupied BOH areas and reassess your janitorial continued on page 16C

Rob Holdsworth

is forcing businesses to adapt and reposition themselves so that they can make it through these challenging times. History has shown us that

Drive Your Corporate SustainabilityWhile Saving Money.

Efficiency. Risk Management. Data Management.

Contact Evolution Energy Partners today at 877-280-4655 or info@evolutionep.com

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