Ten Tips for Reducing Energy Use in Leased Buildings

Aug 2nd, 2010 | By | Category: Climate Change, Sustainability

Are you leasing office, warehouse or manufacturing space and frustrated by your inability to reduce energy consumption and the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions emitted by that consumption? The United Nations (UN) understands your pain. It operates buildings and offices in more than 500 locations around the world. Because most of the buildings are leased, the UN has limited capacity to undertake major building renovations and investments that would improve energy efficiency and environmental performance. 

To assist its facility managers in conserving energy, the UN published Climate Friendly Buildings & Offices, a Practical Guide in May. The guide provides practical advice on reducing GHG emissions in leased offices through proactive energy conservation. It covers topics such as

  • baselining and benchmarking energy consumption
  • identifying GHG reduction opportunities
  • implementing improvement strategies

Tips for Reducing Energy Use

The “easy wins” summarized below were provided in the guide.

  1. Turn off lights when rooms are unoccupied or daylight levels are good
  2. Activate screensavers on all computing equipment
  3. Maximize daylight in the office while providing the ability to control glare and heating, for example, through use of blinds
  4. Turn off electrical items at the plug socket to eliminate phantom electricity that is consumed when equipment is in stand-by mode
  5. Change the current thermostat settings; consider increasing the temperature by 1°C in summer and reducing it by 1°C in winter
  6. Eliminate draughts from windows and doors
  7. Ensure equipment and systems are not operating during periods of nonactivity, for example at night and on weekends
  8. Establish procurement policies to purchase only energy efficient equipment
  9. Ensure vents, grills and radiators are not blocked or obstructed
  10. Ensure regular and routine maintenance and inspections are undertaken of primary energy using equipment

About the Author

Michael Bittner, CPEA, is an associate partner in the Boston, U.S.A. office of Environmental Resources Management (ERM) and editor of the EHS Journal. He has more than 20 years of experience in the EHS field, including 17 years of EHS consulting experience and four years as the corporate environmental manager for a U.S. Department of Defense contractor. Mr. Bittner specializes in global EHS solutions including

  • Compliance and management systems auditing.
  • EHS management systems implementation and design.
  • Sustainability solutions.
  • Strategic planning.
  • Mergers and acquisitions support.

Photograph: Sphere 3D 2 by Thiago Miqueias, Sao Paulo, SP, Brazil.

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One Comment to “Ten Tips for Reducing Energy Use in Leased Buildings”

  1. I like #1, especially since the side of the building that our offices are in has tons of sunlight. No need for lights on here, all that is needed is for someone to open up the blinds.

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