Smart building technology is producing energy savings of 8% to 18% in the commercial building sector, according to a new report by the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy.
While large showcase buildings have been the first to deploy smart building technologies, the potential for savings is great among other subsectors including Class B offices, small chain and independent retail stores, middle-tier franchise hotels, and regional nonteaching hospitals, the report says. Here’s how ACEEE assesses savings potential in these sectors:
· Offices (18% average savings) Occupancy sensors, smart thermostats, and HVAC and lighting controls can help reduce energy usage in unoccupied offices, conference rooms, and other spaces. Smart systems have been shown to improve worker productivity and even increase property value, ACEEE says.
· Retail stores (14% average savings) Smart energy management systems, thermostats, and lights can help reduce energy consumption and create a more comfortable and attractive environment for customers. Some occupancy sensors, like indoor positioning systems, can also provide a retailer with valuable data on customer behavior in the store.
· Hotels (8% average savings) Guest management systems and mobile check-in can work hand in hand with energy-saving smart technologies that control guest room HVAC systems and window shading. Smart controls can also help reduce energy from lighting and HVAC in conference areas and pumps in pool and spa areas.
· Hospitals (14% average savings) Smart technologies can help address the long operating hours and high equipment loads in hospitals. For instance, smart lighting systems can reduce energy use and increase patient comfort by better matching light output to occupancy and user needs. Without wasting energy, smart sensors and ventilation controls can maintain the ventilation needed to prevent the spread of diseases.