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{Funnelist Market Watch} Commercial Building Utility Expenses Can Be Reduced With Retrofits and Harvesting

jeffrey weil, jeff weil colliers, colliers san francisco, office leasing

Commercial office building owners can find energy efficiencies and cost savings by utilizing the latest technology, according to Buildings magazine.

Electric vehicle charging stations -- be the office or retail building that doesn't offer this and you may be the building with fewer tenants and higher vacancies. As electric cars become mainstream, employees need to be able to plug in while at work. One advantage suburban offices have is land on which to put solar canopies. These solar stations turn sunlight into electricity and a "smart plug" sends a text to the user when the charge is finished, while another app tells where the nearest available charger is. 

Commercial building utility expenses are down 10 percent, according to recent BOMA report based on study of 2,000 private sector buildings. However, at least here in California with our drought and anticipated cost spike in hydroelectric power, cost savings are expected to be short-lived. 

Speaking of building expenses, cost-effective lighting retrofits can lead to huge savings: Occupancy or vacancy sensors are valuable as conference spaces are occupied 30 to 70 percent of the time, offices 35 percent of the time and restrooms 10 percent of the time. This provides an estimated payback of two years.

Daylight harvesting ($65 to $180 per workstation for sensors and wireless controls): ROI 5 years while daylight harvesting can save 10 to 35 percent of lighting energy

Task lighting, reduced ceiling lighting, de-lamping costs $32 per employee, and LED task lighting at $164 comes to a 40 percent of total lighting energy savings

For more tips and info, check out United States Green Building Council (USGBC)'s website,


By: Jeffrey Weil

Executive Vice President | Colliers International - Walnut Creek

Jeffrey Weil is an executive vice president for Colliers International Walnut Creek. Mr. Weil has specialized in the sale and leasing of commercial properties for 38 years and has achieved CCIM, SIOR and NACORE’s Master in Commercial Real Estate Services with Honors (MCR.h) designations.

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