Commercial Building Case Study

Challenge: The management company had recently built 2 new office complexes from the ground up and was set up with the utility for supply. The properties had an annual energy usage of over 2.7 million kWh. With the ownership being commercial real estate experts and not energy experts, it wasn’t a high priority to complete a detailed review and identify savings.

Solution: After reviewing multiple months of invoices and knowing the advantageous timing of the market, Diversegy determined there was cost savings and budget certainty by moving the customer from the fluctuating utility rate to a fixed product with an alternative energy supplier. Diversegy leveraged their nationwide portfolio of over 35+ suppliers to identify the single outlier that provided the best pricing and contract terms for this type of customer.

Savings: Through Diversegy’s negotiation efforts, the client was able to reduce their utility expenses by an estimated $30,000 annually, or $60,000 over the term of the agreement. That translated into more than a 15% reduction in their supply costs.


Small commercial buildings, or buildings comprised of 50,000 square feet or less, are responsible for an increasing share of the United States’ energy consumption and account for 90% of the total number of commercial buildings in the US. Americans use ∼30% of the world's energy, and in the US, small commercial buildings account for approximately 10% of the nation's energy consumption. As such, small commercial buildings became a focus of a $6 M investment by the US Department of Energy. One project included in the DOE's small building efforts developed a Small Commercial 2030 District Program and Toolkit. This toolkit helps small commercial buildings participate in Architecture 2030 Districts that have been proven successful at reducing energy and CO2 consumption, predominantly in large commercial buildings in urban areas. Part of this toolkit is a case study library that includes more than thirty small commercial building projects that achieved energy savings of up to 100%. The case study library includes small commercial building retrofits that address electricity, natural gas, and steam systems. This paper reports the end uses impacted from the retrofits and explores correlations with retrofit measures implemented, climate zone, end uses impacted, building type, and energy savings. In particular, we explore retrofit measures selected in different 2030 Districts and discuss why these trends may hold true. The paper concludes with a discussion of next steps in the research and possible implications of this project.

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