Reduce Energy Expenditure With These 5 Green Ideas Property Management in Alberta

 February 28, 2018  11:26 AM

According to data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration, office buildings spend nearly 29% of their operating expenses on utilities alone, with the majority going towards electricity and natural gas.

Here’s a breakdown of the two:

Office Buildings Energy Consumption by end use in the US

With almost a third going towards utilities, improving your electrical energy efficiency and lowering your energy expenditure can produce the following benefits:

  • Vastly improve your profit margin, if you happen to be a property manager
  • Lower a tenant’s energy bill and in turn increase their satisfaction
  • Create a more  LEED-friendly property for developers.

In today’s blog, we’re going to continue discussing the “green building trend” and introduce you to five easy ways your building can reduce its energy expenditure.  

(If you haven’t done so yet, check out our last blog, The “Green Building Trend” — And How You Can Keep Up.)

Area Occupancy Sensors

Many areas within your building or property, like conference rooms, restrooms, and storage areas, are rarely used one hundred per cent of the time, but are often heated, lit, or air-conditioned as if they were. When all these unoccupied areas are needlessly added to your energy bill, it adds up. Room and area occupancy sensors will remove this unneeded energy expenditure.

Tip: if the initial cost of installing these in every room or area is too great, start with the most unoccupied areas and use the cost-savings from those areas to pay for the rest.


According to the initial chart we presented above, lighting is 39% of your total electricity bill, making it the biggest chunk of your energy expenditure. Here’s two ways to reduce the costs of your lighting:


  • Daylight controls or daylight harvesting

    When there’s a big, beautiful sun in the sky producing all the light you could ever desire, why waste energy lighting up spaces that don’t need it? The answer? You don’t have to. According to the Lighting Control Association, daylight harvesting can save between 50-70% on your building’s expenditure on lighting .
  • Wall switch dimmers

    This simple, often overlooked solution can both reduce energy usage and extend bulb life. When utilizing dimmers, some incandescent and halogen bulbs have been shown to last up to 20 times longer.


With submetering, your tenants—whether they’re professional or residential tenants—only pay for their actual energy consumption. Since their consumption habits impact their bottom line, it creates a monetary incentive for your tenants to improve their energy habits. It has been shown that pay-for-use billing can result in a 34% decrease in total energy consumption, while reducing the bill of 70% of the building’s tenants (30% of tenants may see an increase, but those are the energy-intensive tenants).

>> If you’re interested in saving energy and money with sub-metering, take 60 seconds to fill this out <<

Beyond submetering, Hamdon will handle the read, bill, and collection of your tenant’s utility costs on behalf of the property manager.

Ask us to tell you more.

Shading Systems

On the flipside of lighting, controlling the amount of heat and natural light exposure you get in an area can also reduce energy expenditures.

A report by the European Solar Shading Organization found that:

“[solar shading] can enable energy savings up to 60% for lighting, 20% for cooling and 26% for peak electricity.”

Controlling Plug Load

When we plug something into an electrical socket or power strip, there’s a phantom power run-off that’s occurring, whether we’re using them or not.

Investing in a plug load control device, which allows you to monitor your plug load and control for it, will save you money and reduce energy expenditure. 

Property Managers and Developers

What are the ways you reduce your building’s energy consumption? What are some overlooked areas that more developers and PM’s could utilize to reduce theirs?

Let us know my emailing me at and I may use your response, with a link back to your company, in an upcoming blog.

Otherwise, please feel free to follow us on Facebook and LinkedIn to learn more about the green building trend in Alberta.