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Controlling Energy Costs Starts with Controlling Your Building’s Energy Systems
Projections from the U.S. Energy Information Administration expect the cost of energy to climb over the coming years. Specifically, electricity costs are expected to rise with kilowatt hour prices increasing by around 2 percent through 2017 and another 2 percent in 2018.

The best way for building owners to mitigate this projected rise is to focus on their circle of control within the spaces they own and operate. Luckily that circle is vast as buildings require energy for everything from lighting, to heating and cooling, to appliances.

Digital Lighting Management

The most robust approach to achieving control over your space is to automate systems for maximum efficiency. Evolving energy codes, transformative lighting technology, and high performance buildings require powerful energy saving solutions. The adaptable Digital Lighting Management (DLM) technology platform provides control infrastructure at every switch, outlet, and lighting load for optimal energy performance.

Luckily, this cutting-edge technology is available to buildings both new and old. Wattstopper’s Digital Lighting Management Retrofit Kit brings intelligence and digital control to buildings with legacy systems, and allows building owners and managers to optimize energy efficiency throughout all their spaces.

Human Centric Lighting

Human Centric Lighting (HCL) is becoming the next big step in lighting. Not only can HCL provide good visual lighting quality, energy efficiency, and sustainability at a reasonable cost, it can also help us be more in sync with our natural circadian rhythms for improved short- and long-term alertness, sleep, mood, visual acuity, perception and productivity.

New Human Centric Lighting Logic Modules, such as the Blanco 2, Blanco 3 and Lumenetix araya5® offer a vast spectrum of dimming options, the ability to replicate the natural sunrise and sunset cycle based on a building’s geographic location, and integration with low-voltage switches and power-saving LED lights. The integration of HCL into DLM, and the combination of high quality LEDs with timer and dimmer controls, results in less energy being used throughout the day, as well as a higher quality of light for those within the building.

Further, the new wireless capabilities of the system cuts installation time in most environments by as much as 90 percent. This makes the new logic modules incredibly simple to set up both in the scope of less cabling and less man power.

Dim It Down

Aside from the HCL modules, dimming sensors and occupancy sensors can lower and turn off lights based on the detection of individuals in the room. That means your building is helping save energy automatically for those occasions where you – or others – might forget.

And if you aren’t ready to go to an automated environment quite yet, lowering lights through manual dimmers or timers is also an option to help reduce your kilowatt hours.

Beware of Vampires

Modern office spaces are wired to maximum levels with the need for everything from computers to coffee makers to draw power. But when a building is not in use, certain devices on standby mode can continue to drain power and your energy bill. One solution to this issue is to strategically cluster devices that don’t need to be on in the off hours and attach them to a power strip that can be powered down with one switch.

Stick to the Shade

Every building can benefit from a reduction in air-conditioning costs through proper shading, but if your building faces the east or west then properly implemented shades could reduce heat gain in a building by over 50 percent.

Automated Shading Solutions – potentially tied in to work with your other automated systems – or well-crafted manual shades are both options for reducing the heat within your building, and in turn, improving energy performance within the space.

Help Your Building Work Smarter

Existing buildings can be adapted with retrofit systems that provide energy savings and reduce carbon footprints. To fully optimize your building, the goal should be to make it perform smarter, as this results in better performance across the board.

As already discussed, smarter buildings can be achieved through simple means – such as power strips and dimming lights – or with large-scale retrofits that move into digital technologies which monitor and manage your energy output.

Even the smallest of changes can result in better operations, better performance and more comfortable conditions within your building.
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