A recent report has found that most commercial and government buildings use the majority of energy when the building is empty. Considering that buildings account for around 40 per cent of the nation’s energy use, and electricity is costly, this is an expensive and highly polluting oversight, writes Emma Fitzpatrick, of RenewEconomy.

A sustainable monitoring software company, Greensense, found that for 72 per cent of the year buildings surveyed are empty, yet they use approximately 55 per cent of energy during this time. Half of energy usage in commercial and government buildings is used by ventilation, heating and cooling systems. Plug loads and lighting accounted for a quarter of usage each.

The report highlighted the importance of feedback on energy consumption to users in buildings. If workers are actively aware of energy consumption research has shown that it can amount to a 10-15 per cent saving.

Greensense found that even their best performing offices were spending over $100,000 on energy each year. In one case study, ‘Office C’, they used 63 per cent of energy after hours amounting to a cost of over $182,000 per year.

To read the article in full see the RenewEconomy website.