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“The key to overall business success is a strong energy management strategy,” to quote James McPhail, the CEO of Zen Ecosystems and a Forbes columnist.

As the year comes to a close and you are thinking of new year resolutions for your business, using smart technology to optimize energy usage, should be first on the list. There are many benefits of smart commercial buildings. For starters, smart devices are instrumental in cutting costs by curtailing electricity usage and consequently increasing profits. Secondly, an energy efficient and sustainable business is a great marketing point. In fact, according to a Nielsen Report, 66% of people would pay more for a product that is socially responsible. Thirdly, smart technological devices make life more convenient. So exactly which smart devices should you be investing in for 2019?

Smart LED Bulbs
Lighting in commercial buildings consumes 38% of all energy output. Switching to smart lighting could help you save up to 60% of this energy. Smart bulbs are LED bulbs that can be scheduled, customized and controlled remotely as they are connected to the internet. They have built-in sensors which detect if an office, classroom, ward, or restaurant is occupied, and consequently switch on or off. They also have a dim feature. By dimming the bulb by 50%, a company can reduce its energy consumption rate by 40%. Smart bulbs change color, with some featuring up to 16 million variations. The change of colors creates a favorable ambience, which has been proven to boost productivity among workers. Additionally, some smart bulbs are capable of collecting data, such as room temperature or CO2 levels, and then relaying this information to other smart technological systems in the building.

The Electrolux Eco Cleaner
Intelligent technological devices have nothing on the Eco Dish Cleaner. If you run a restaurant, school, hospital or any institution where mass dish cleaning is done, then this is a device you need to invest in. Why? Aside from performing its function with zero hitches, it eliminates the use of any chemicals, which is vital as more people jump on the go-green bandwagon. Companies have been busy trying to come up with ways of cleaning dishes without using detergents, and Ahi Andy Mohsen finally succeeded. Instead of detergents, the Electrolux Eco Cleaner uses ultrasonic waves to cut through food particles and grease. It then converts this food residue, grease, and any gas produced into compost, which settles in a soil tank in the machine. This phenomenon makes it all the more green, as there is no waste and the compost produced can be used to fertilize gardens. The fact that it uses solar power, a renewable energy source, is another big plus.

Smart Thermostats
Just like smart bulbs, smart thermostats are used to remotely control a room’s air conditioning. They are made up of three parts: the application on your phone, a plug into the HVAC system and the thermostat control itself. Unlike traditional thermostats, smart ones like the Nest Learning Thermostat have built-in sensors which control how they work. Motion sensors, for example, monitor activity in the rooms in a buildings. Upon detecting movement, which signifies occupancy, the thermostat then starts heating or cooling the room depending on the room’s temperatures. Some smart thermostats have geo-fencing tracking, draught detection, and multiroom control capabilities. By installing these devices, you could cut down electricity bills by 20%, as they only heat or cool a room upon analyzing data relayed by their sensors, making them a great investment and means of optimizing energy usage.

It is high time business owners borrowed from the residential sector and invested in smart technological devices. By making commercial buildings smart, they stand to gain an increase in profit, living more convenient lives and working towards creating a safe, energy conscious world.

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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