World Green Building Week – how can tenants play a part?

Written by Beth Worrall

During World Green Building Week, it’s worth reflecting on why green buildings are such a big deal. Buildings represent a third of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions, consuming enormous amounts of energy and water on a daily basis. In the US, buildings produce 39% of the nation’s carbon footprint. And in the Australian city of Adelaide, the build environment contributes a staggering 48% of the city’s overall emissions.

When it comes to taking practical action to reduce the environmental impact of your building, it’s hard to know what’s manageable, especially if you’re a tenant.

Our Adelaide office

When we floated on the Australian Stock Exchange in December 2015, we were quick to lease an office presence in Adelaide, South Australia.

For a growing technology company, our office is perfect – centrally located, well fit-out, and large enough to accommodate our growing team. There has only been one issue – the enormous energy bills received in the first year of operations.

Taking stock – just how is energy being used in this office?!

As a new company scaling up, we were so heavily focused on product development and customers, it took a little while for the energy costs to become an urgent priority. The relatively enormous quarterly $6500 bill received in mid-2016 certainly grabbed attention!

Working collaboratively with the landlord, we deployed an early stage Ohm system in early 2017 to identify some of the most energy hungry culprits and set about developing an energy benchmark for the office. Buddy Ohm required no drilling or long-term electrical changes, so the system was quickly and easily installed in an hour.

Putting Buddy Ohm to work

Buddy Ohm immediately provided the team with a greater understanding of how the office was using energy throughout the day and working week. With this understanding, it was possible to make immediate changes, including:

  • Making adjusting the office HVAC system. Maximising Adelaide’s temperate climate, it has been possible to use the fresh-air cycle (vs air conditioning) for the best part of the year.
  • Increasing the temp in the server room from 19 to 23C. This change is more than adequate to maintain IT systems in security and comfort, without turning the space into a fridge.
  • Implementing some basic office communications and encouraging behaviour change.  Sharing updates at team meetings, and displaying the energy consumption data in real time has been transformational in encouraging and reminding people to turn lights and appliances off. Buddy has also been able to work with cleaning and security staff to ensure they follow energy savings procedures.

Reinvesting the savings

In the time that Buddy Ohm has been deployed, the results have been more significant than expected – we have reduced monthly energy spend by 44% from 2016!

For a small technology company focused on growth, Buddy is projecting to save nearly $7000AUD on our annual energy bill – money that can now be reinvested back into the business

And these results have been achieved despite our business and team growing, and despite energy prices going up in the interim period.

Taking environmental action is easy and affordable for office tenants

Understanding your energy consumption with Buddy Ohm is the first step towards reducing the environmental impact of your office.

Regardless of whether you are a building owner or tenant, Buddy Ohm is quick and easy to install. Let us help you take action today!