Because of our focus on protecting, preserving, and restoring our environment, it is only fitting that we invest in our future by taking steps to reduce our office building’s energy footprint. After the purchase of our building, MWA had an energy audit performed to assess the building’s current energy uses. This audit was used to come up with strategies to reduce energy consumption while maintaining occupant comfort. The energy audit was performed by Envinity, a company from State College, PA, that offers design, building, and energy services to create money saving, energy efficient homes and work places. It was funded by a grant from West Penn Power Sustainable Energy Fund (WPPSEF).
During the audit we found our office building as currently functioning is relatively inefficient. With this in mind, Envinity provided us with a few suggested improvements that could increase efficiency and decrease energy consumption and cost. Some of the improvements suggested are as follows:
- Converting all of our light fixtures to LED lighting could save us nearly $116 per year
- Installation of a Mini-Split Heat Pump which could be retrofitted to the current heating systems and would allow for one specific space or the whole building to be conditioned at any given time. These heat pumps are highly efficient due to their ductless design and could save us over $1,000 every year.
- Installation of a 10-KW Solar Photovoltaic Array (solar panels). These panels are specifically chosen for use on the roof and will allow us to use less fossil fuel and decrease our energy cost while generating approximately 12,500 kilowatt-hours of energy annually.
This figure shows our office energy consumption compared with an average home as well as our energy consumption once the previously described improvements are made. We’re quite pleased to see the substantial decrease in consumption!
Envinity estimates that if we make all of the changes suggested in the audit we could save over $3,000 every year. Not only does a green building save money, it is easier on the environment and on the people who work in them. Studies show that green buildings enhance the health of our surroundings—offices— and by doing so improves our own health.
To read the full audit click here.