How understanding EUI can transform your building’s performance

One of the most powerful tools in the pursuit of energy efficiency in commercial buildings is the Energy Use Intensity (EUI) metric. This standardised benchmark provides invaluable insights into a building’s energy usage and is essential for achieving decarbonisation goals. Let’s delve into what EUI is and why it plays such a crucial role.

What is Energy Use Intensity?

EUI benchmarks are standardised benchmarks that provide invaluable insights into how efficiently a building uses energy. EUI is calculated by dividing a building’s total energy consumption by its total floor area. It gives us an EUI value that represents the energy used per square foot or square meter. The lower the EUI value, the higher the energy efficiency – it’s as simple as that!

The importance of EUI in decarbonisation

As sustainability and energy efficiency take centre stage in the commercial real estate industry, EUI plays a vital role in decarbonisation efforts. It serves as a vital yardstick for evaluating our sustainability initiatives in commercial properties. By accurately assessing a building’s current energy performance through EUI, we can identify areas for improvement and implement strategies to reduce energy usage.

High EUI values may indicate outdated or inefficient systems lurking in properties, which could result in repairs and renovations down the line. The better the EUI ratings, the more attractive buildings are to potential buyers or tenants. Lowering the EUI values contributes to reducing greenhouse gas emissions and combats climate change. But just as important, it will lead to substantial cost savings as utility bills and operational expenses are significantly reduced. 

Understanding (and utilising) EUI benchmarks

As sustainability and energy efficiency gain prominence in the commercial real estate industry, understanding and utilising EUI benchmarks has become increasingly important. Investors now place greater emphasis on these factors when making investment decisions. By comparing a property’s EUI value with industry benchmarks, investors can make informed choices that result in financial savings, reduced risk, and a positive environmental impact.

Using these benchmarks is pretty straightforward. 

A comparison helps put the number into context. There are no clear-cut “good” or “bad” numbers when it comes to energy use. Instead, using this benchmark means you rely on the collective wisdom of what others are doing. It can still be valuable as the comparison helps to give you that bit of needed context. 

Detailed data to support EUI score

It’s important to remember that the EUI score alone can only be evaluated by considering other factors. To effectively identify areas of improvement and develop strategies to address them, you’ll need detailed data about your building’s daily energy consumption.

Collecting real-time information about energy usage from specific machines or systems (think lightning and HVAC for example) is an important first step. By understanding a building’s performance and assessing its energy systems and infrastructure, you can identify areas for improvement or upgrades, ultimately leading to lower EUI values. Having the right information means gaining a better understanding. Armed with this information, you can set and reach targets.