We Need to Talk About Wastage

Sydney

How much electricity, gas or water are your properties wasting? If there’s even a small doubt about how to answer the question, then there’s a big chance the end use of these finite resources may not be optimised. No real estate owner or operator would be comfortable with the idea that their property portfolio is wasting resources. 

In an ideal world the answer should be “zero”. This doesn’t mean all buildings should use a standard amount of energy or millilitres of water per square metre. Far from it. All buildings are different. It simply means that within the existing infrastructure, and according to the real demand from tenants, the energy and water consumed by the building is exactly what’s needed. This is what it means when we at EP&T Global use the word “optimised”.

If it sounds like a precision job, it’s because it is. Calculating exactly where, when and how much energy and water is needed in a specific building requires 24/7 monitoring and the use of advanced data analytics. Building operations are dynamic in nature, subject to a number of influences, including weather, occupancy, time of day, BMS type and age, and equipment load demands from things like lighting, air-conditioning, and lifts. Some of the building resources are consumed as per schedule, whilst some are not. Why? Building operations are anything but static.

The weather’s variable climatic conditions are a big factor. The energy that is needed to maintain a certain temperature on one day, in a certain region, in a particular year will invariably be different to an identical building somewhere else in the world, sometimes by a little, sometimes by a lot. Given these dynamics, it is only through the use of advanced data analytics that building owners and operators can accurately predict demand and thus provide the right amount of energy and water to their tenants in the places. And only by continuous monitoring can they adjust energy and water supply in real time.

EP&T Global is in the business of providing advanced analytics and monitoring to real estate owners, operators, and occupiers whose goal it is to reduce the amount of energy and water they use. Working with more than 400 commercial buildings across 22 different countries in four continents, we have amassed a vast pool of data and intelligence on the most efficient ways to use energy and water, and under numerous scenarios. Thanks to this experience, we know that energy and water use can be optimised for virtually all types of large commercial property.

Since using our technology, clients across our entire portfolio have reduced their energy consumption by 22% and their water usage by 11% on average. There’s variance within this average, but the point is that all real estate structures can realise energy cost reduction without having to rely on expensive Capex projects.

Eliminating energy and water wastage is not just about reducing monthly bills. It’s also an important contributor to the lowering of carbon emissions. By measuring the use of these resources, we can calculate a building’s carbon emission reduction to assist with their ESG reporting, or sustainability goal-tracking. Those clients who use our NABERS tracking technology have increased their star-ratings by an average of 0.8 and up to 2.5 stars.

Sustainability ratings such as NABERS, GRESB, LEED and others, are not just good credentials from an environmental perspective. They have also been proven to increase tenancy rates, rental income and increase asset value at sale.

If the ‘greater good’ is not a significant driver for real estate owners and operators, at least we can all agree that wasting electricity, gas or water as part of their running costs is not good for business. I invite you all not to waste any more of it; we don’t have to.

TK

A previous draft of this article first appeared on Futureplace.