Commercial Energy Consumption

The amount of energy used within each end use varies greatly by building use, building size, climate, building age, and other factors. Each type of building-use in your community has different energy needs, and as a result can benefit from implementing different energy efficiency measures. For example, a food service building often uses a lot of energy for cooking and could benefit substantially from installing more efficient cooking equipment. In contrast, an office building uses a lot of energy powering office equipment and lights, and could benefit substantially from installing more efficient office equipment and lighting equipment. (Consumers can potentially save 15-30% of usage).

HVAC and Building Shell

Space heating, cooling, and ventilation typically accounts for about 42 percent of the energy used in commercial buildings but can vary depending on the type of building. For example, it can be as low as 22 percent for food sales buildings or as high as 56 percent for public assembly buildings.

Many things contribute to the HVAC bills in a building: the building’s orientation; the climate where it is located; the types of heating, ventilation, and cooling systems; the efficiency of those systems; the efficiency of the building’s windows; the size of the building; and more.

Water Heating

Water heating typically accounts for about 15 percent of the energy used in commercial buildings but can vary depending on the type of building. For example, it can account for as low as 4 percent in food-sales buildings or as high as 40 percent for lodging.

Many things contribute to the water heating bills in a building: the efficiency of the water heater, washing machines, and dishwashers; the type of water heater (instantaneous, solar, etc.); the amount of heat loss in hot water pipes; showerheads and faucets; etc.

Lighting

Lighting typically accounts for about 23 percent of the energy used in commercial buildings but can vary depending on the type of building. For example, it can account for as low as 15 percent in food-service buildings or as high as 30 percent for retail and service buildings.

Many things contribute to the lighting bills in a building: the type and efficiency of the lights used; the design of the lighting system; the lighting controls used; the efficiency of the exit sign lights; etc. (Consumers can potentially save 15-30% of usage).

Office Equipment, Refrigeration, Cooking, and Other

This group typically accounts for about 21 percent of the energy used in commercial buildings but can vary depending on the type of building. For example, it can be as low as 8 percent for education buildings or as high as 59 percent for food sales.

The sub-category ‘other’ represents commercial energy systems that do not specifically fit into any of the other categories. For example, washers, dryers, toilets, showerheads, and faucets would fall in this list.

The commercial sector presents a unique set of opportunities and challenges for energy savings. Potential savings vary from 15—30% of usage.

Furthermore, The amount of carbon dioxide emissions from energy used by the commercial sector has increased by almost 30 percent since 1980 to 230.3 million metric tons. This is the fastest rate of increase in carbon dioxide emissions for any sector in the United States.

SMOC Energy Services has the programs and resources to improve the energy efficiency of commercial buildings.

Appliance Standards and Labeling

Energy efficiency standards and labels for appliances, equipment, and lighting products are very cost-effective and powerful policy for conserving energy. By forcing a shift to more efficient technology, standards "raise the floor" for efficient use of energy.