Shopping centers use a lot of energy on a day to day basis. Stores need lighting, air conditioning, refrigerators and many more that consume a lot of power. Utility bills are always viewed as uncontrollable expenses, but you can actually control consumption and spend less on those bills. There are many ways you can monitor energy usage and cut your expenses significantly. That money could be channeled into something else like renovation. Let’s explore a few ways on how shopping malls can cut down energy costs.
Use The Air Outside Instead Of Cooling
Air conditioning in a shopping mall is costly. If you can minimize it, go ahead with it. Shopping malls like San Diego mall embrace this idea and save on energy. You should take advantage of the natural air flowing through the building by directing the air towards the ceiling vents and exterior doors. It will help regulate the temperatures in the stores and offices according to the conditions outside.
The aim of trapping that air is to minimize the use of air condition system and use exterior air to cool the building. You can encourage the tenants to open the windows instead of depending on air conditioning in hot season, or vice versa.
Save On Lighting
You can design the lighting in a shopping mall to save energy. If the building has double capped florescent tubes, it’s about time you replace those with LED. Even though LED is expensive, it is more efficient, produces less heat, and lasts ten times longer than fluorescent.
If some areas are over-lit, and you can consider de-lamping. It can be rooms or stores that are lit beyond their luminance levels. Hire a professional to measure that. Removing unnecessary lighting could be one of the ways you can reduce the energy consumed by the lighting.
At daytime, some stores enjoy the benefits of natural light, and they should be encouraged to switch off the lights during that time. Curtains should be pulled and sunlight allowed to penetrate the offices. Implement motion detectors to ensure lights are off whenever the tenant or person leaves the area.
Retrofit Outdated Equipment
If the mall has been around for a long while, then you need to change or tune almost every energy consuming equipment to make them use less power. You might have to schedule, update program control, or optimize set points. You might be wondering what equipment you can retrofit.
In areas where fewer people come in and out, you can reduce ventilation to cut expenditure. Also, check and repair ventilation dampers that aren’t working well. Remember to match boiler and chiller operations with building loads.
Other ways to retrofit is by rebalancing systems which includes cutting down on supply set-points of air pressure, and alignment of zone temp set points to match up with operation schedules. In some cases, retrofitting can be expensive, but you will get your money’s worth after two years or less.
Save Energy On Water
Water pumping uses energy, and there are ways you can ensure that water usage takes a smaller chunk of your utility bills. Not many people are aware of the amount of power used to pump water into overhead tanks.
To start it off, equip taps with infrared sensors so that they won’t be left running. You can also fix leakages and tighten couplings in the pump.
You should also consider the size of the pumps when creating a pumping system. Consult an expert to offer you better advice. Will it be necessary to use an oversized pump for a smaller task? Not at all! Moreover, it’s advisable to pump water at night when other loads are off.
Saving energy should be everyone’s priority. Not only will you save some bucks, but someone else will use the energy you saved. It’s time you consider cutting back on energy use.