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The cost of commercial building operations is on the rise in the United States — increasing from $11.80 on average in 2019 to $11.90 per square foot per year in 2022, a recent report by Facilio reveals. With costs only set to increase, the need for smart, long-term money-saving strategies is ever-more pressing. Fortunately, there are a number of ways building operators can improve overall efficiency and keep costs to a minimum.

Harness the power of data

When it comes to slashing building operating expenses, assessing your year-on-year data on energy use (including water, cooling, lighting, and heating) is key. Once you have a clear breakdown of these costs, you can then take steps to mitigate them with money-saving infrastructure. A building automation system (BAS) can also help you do this: it continually gathers data from interconnected smart devices linked up through the Internet of Things and then uses analytics software to analyze it. As a result, you can find out the amount of energy your building consumes by season, time of day, and system, as well as predict future energy use. Even better, advanced software can also recommend various ways to enhance energy efficiency throughout the building. In fact, a BAS can help you save anywhere from 10%-60% in energy consumption.

Opt for tax deductions

Tax deductions related to your business operations are an effective way to lower your taxable income bill. For example, you may not realize business insurance expenses can be deducted from your bill, including coverage for your building, furniture, and equipment. Additionally, energy-efficient commercial buildings are also eligible for tax deductions of up to $1.80 per square foot. To qualify for this deduction, your building must be able to demonstrate a 50% decrease in total energy use that’s made possible solely via improvements to the ventilation, hot water, heating, cooling, and interior lighting systems. However, you may alternatively be able to qualify for partial deductions of up to $.60 per square foot for select qualifying measures.

Implement preventive and predictive maintenance

Advanced analytics software can also help building operators keep maintenance expenses to a minimum. Above all, this software helps facilitate a preventative approach to maintenance, which means you’re able to identify any issues before they have the chance to spiral into larger, and more costly problems later down the line. An avoided cost analysis, in particular, can determine whether total energy costs can be decreased either by increasing supply or lowering demand. In turn, smaller, immediate expenses may be revealed as necessary to prevent expensive future repairs that result from deferred maintenance. Preventative maintenance also helps eliminate the need for downtime as much as possible, which allows building operations to continue free from interruption.

The cost of commercial building operations is undoubtedly increasingly expensive. Fortunately, by harnessing the power of data, opting for tax deductions, and implementing preventative maintenance strategies, building operators can effectively improve energy-efficiency and keep  overall expenses to a minimum.

This article was authored and contributed by Jackie Edwards. Now working as a writer, Jackie Edwards started her career in Environmental Health in the Public Sector, but after becoming a mom refocused and decided to spend more time with her family. When she’s not writing, she volunteers for a number of local mental health charities and also has a strong interest in ecology, wildlife and conservation.

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