Wasted Energy in Commercial Buildings

Office buildings are one of the top five energy-intensive sectors of the UK building stock, accounting for 27.6 GWh, or 68% of total domestic electricity consumption per year. Commercial and real estate use account for 40% of the world’s energy consumption and more than a third of its carbon emissions. In the UK, London alone has 300 million square feet of offices and emits over 3 million tonnes of CO2 per year.

New research by eEnergy reports that 30% of all energy that is currently wasted comes from commercial buildings, warehouses, and educational facilities across the UK. This is equivalent to the energy required to power Greater London for more than seven years and costs businesses £33.9 billion annually. Heavy energy users, including manufacturers and hospitals, could save energy and as much as £3.1 million per annum by implementing smart technologies, as the report suggested. In addition, 24.2 million tonnes of CO2 could be saved annually by improving energy efficiency, which would help pave the way to a net-zero target and a greener future.

Harvey Sinclair, CEO of eEnergy, said: “The escalating energy crisis has served as a wakeup call for businesses, charities, and public sector organisations across the country who may be forced to lay off staff or take other drastic measures just to keep the lights and heating on.”

As businesses are unprotected by the energy price cap, reducing energy consumption and improving buildings’ efficiency can lessen the impact of soaring prices and benefit the environment. Smart buildings use technology to share information about what goes on inside the building, in order to optimise the building’s performance, which helps to conserve energy, reduce energy consumption, and save electricity, improving energy efficiency in the buildings.

On the other hand, the COVID-19 pandemic has redefined workplace functions, as well as occupancy patterns and office building operations. Flexible and remote working have all gained popularity around the world. Occupancy monitoring and energy monitoring systems can help identify unused office space. Companies can reduce energy consumption by about $1.5 trillion as space management requirements can be reduced by up to 30% for many businesses (unissu,2022).

DIREK solution provides businesses with real-time data to determine the number of employees in a building. The sensor’s accuracy rate, enhanced by types of sensors like CO2 monitors, indoor air quality monitors, and CO2 sensors, automatically identifies unused space by controlling heat and ventilation, highlighting busy areas, and turning off unused space. Companies will have control over the number of desks being used and can choose a hot desk, queue and flow management, and remote social distance monitoring in workplaces.

Employing smart building technology and smart occupancy monitoring can further assist in achieving more efficient energy use, thereby helping to implement energy conservation techniques effectively, leading towards significant cost savings and reducing carbon dioxide emissions.