Killing Kilowatt Waste in Steel Buildings

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March 7, 2017

5 Ways to Slash Energy Bills in Commercial Metal Buildings

Since steel buildings now account for 65% of all commercial construction in the U.S., finding ways to decrease energy usage in a metal structure benefits the planet, the country— and the business.

Reducing energy consumption in commercial structures conserves energy resources, reduces America’s dependence on foreign energy sources— and fattens the business owners’ bottom line by cutting operating costs.

How to Save Energy in Metal BuildingsHow Much Energy Do Commercial Buildings Squander?

Commercial buildings devour 19% of all energy usage in this country. Homes and business combined gobble up a horrifying 40% of the U.S. energy expenditure.

Total electrical consumption in commercial buildings has almost doubled since 1979. Commercial buildings in the U.S. now consume 18.5 quadrillion British thermal units (Btus) of energy annually. Ninety-three percent of that total comes from electricity and gas.

Heating, cooling, and ventilation consume 43% of primary energy expended in commercial buildings. Lighting sucks up another 20%.

And most astoundingly, EnergyStar® estimates a commercial building wastes an average 30% of all the energy it uses.

How Can Businesses Cut Energy Waste?

There are many ways to kill the kilowatts squandered by existing businesses. The five cost-cutting tips below will have the greatest impact on preventing energy losses.

Some of these tips apply to existing commercial structures through retrofitting. New, green, energy-efficient construction should incorporate all of these kilowatt-crushing, money saving tips.

1. Minimize Energy Loss: Energy literally flies out the window— and doors, and seams, and roof— of poorly fitting commercial buildings. Aging wood buildings are particularly vulnerable to draftiness and air leaks, as the lumber settles, creeps, and twists.

Add insulation to present structures often cuts energy loss. Replacing older doors and windows with EnergyStar® insulated doors and windows saves energy, too. Even adding new sealing around existing doors and windows increases energy efficiency.

When ordering a new commercial structure, consider energy efficient prefab buildings made out of steel. The commercial-grade steel building systems create extra-deep exterior walls, providing room for thicker, more robust insulation. Be sure your building company offers a top-quality insulation system with thermal breaks, such as the Pro-Value Insulation Package from RHINO Steel Building Systems.

2. Choose Reflective Roofing: While darker roofs may be esthetically pleasing on some types of structures, the darker colors play havoc with utility bills. When buying a roof in a warm climate, remember: the lighter the roof, the cooler the building.

New reflective paint technologies bounce heat and UV rays back away from the structure. These new “cool coated” metal roofs cut summer cooling costs by 7% to 15%. When ordering a new steel building, ask about the availability of long-lasting cool coated steel panels. RHINO offers strong PBR panels in white and other of vibrant, reflective colors.

However, for commercial buildings residing in snowy, frigid, northern climates with mild summers, a darker, non-reflective roofing material may be the better choice for designing energy efficient prefab buildings.

3. Let the Light Shine In: Replacing all the bulbs in the building with compact florescent light (CFL) bulbs saves more energy— and money— than people realize. Not only do these bulbs expend less electricity to generate the same amount of light as ordinary bulbs, but they also last ten times longer.

Installing dimmer switches in offices and motion detectors for outside lighting reduces energy usage, too.

When ordering a new steel building, consider adding skylights to reduce the need for interior lighting in the daytime. RHINO offers skylights as an option. Made to match the profile of RHINO’s sturdy steel roofing, the skylights allow filtered, natural light inside.

4. Manage Energy Use: “You cannot manage what you do not measure,” according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). They have developed an energy-auditing tool called the Portfolio Manager®. This free software tracks a business’ energy usage through an easy-to-use online tool. By inputting last year’s utility bills, business owners get a startling look at actual energy spending, providing a benchmark to measure future effectiveness.

When purchasing new equipment, buy energy-saving electronics, office equipment, and appliances to further reduce energy loss.

5. Power Down What’s Not in Use: It seems like a no-brainer, but simply flipping the switch id often overlooked by businesses.

Teach your employees to turn off all the lights when they vacate a room. Unplug anything seldom used. Turn off all computers, peripherals, and other office equipment when not in use via power strips.

Most electrical products continue to draw small amounts of currents even when turned off. Avoid “leaking electricity” by unplugging battery chargers, electronics, and office equipment when not in use.

Buy Energy-Saving RHINO Steel Buildings for New Construction

The best choice for energy-efficiency starts with RHINO Steel Buildings.

RHINO’s strong, durable building systems create the right commercial structures for the right price.

Our Pro-Value Insulation System reduces heating and cooling bills by 50%.

Discuss your commercial building project with a RHINO metal building specialist today by calling 888.320.7466 toll free.

Get a fast, free quote on your next commercial steel building project. Feel free to ply our experts with questions. Their years of steel building experience can save you time and money on your project. Ask for more information on our energy efficient prefab buildings.

- by Bruce Brown,
CEO of RHINO
Steel Building Systems, Inc

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