One of the first things that might come to mind when talking about energy-saving initiatives is day cleaning. The practice seeks to utilize daylight hours for cleaning services, thus avoiding the energy and electricity costs of a cleaning crew’s presence after-hours. It has been touted for years as a green or sustainable practice, and more BSCs are interested in offering the service.

Owner-occupied facilities are the most interested in day cleaning, Greenland says — particularly insurance companies, who are aggressively seeking cost cutting initiatives and also tend to be good corporate stewards.

There are direct and indirect impacts of day cleaning, says Greenland — not only for customers but also for Aetna employees and company culture.

“Even though we’re not seeing a huge savings on the cleaning side of things — maybe 1 to 3 percent — our employees have better uniforms, we’re paying them a higher wage, and they’re full time,” Greenland says. “The customer is picking up 15 to 20 percent savings in electricity, plus they aren’t paying for day porters and they may not need to have as much security at night, which is a big savings.”

Every building in which a day cleaning program has been implemented has shown a huge spike in tenant satisfaction, he adds.

When State Farm transitioned to day cleaning, engineers at one of its offices tracked energy bills for lighting throughout the course of a year. That building saved 7 to 8 percent on energy during that first year, Spencer says — and that number has been consistent throughout State Farm’s buildings. Customers who operate facilities in California or the East Coast may stand to save even more, since they pay more per kilowatt.

“We had an office in the Northeast United States that saved 7 percent on energy in that building. Not only did they save $120,000 in cleaning costs on that property, but they saved more than $250,000 on energy, just by turning the lights off at night,” Spencer says.

Since everyone gets an energy bill every month, every customer stands to benefit from energy-saving initiatives.

“People are definitely looking for any way to add value without cost, and using LEED principles, day cleaning and environmentally conscious programs that don’t cost additional money, those are great things for our customers,” Greenland says. “They can look great to their bosses and their tenants and customers without sacrificing quality, and saving money at the same time. I see it as a
win-win. They just have to be ready to try something different.”

Customers who are interested in day cleaning need to understand that it’s not simply night cleaning done during the day. It can create some challenges, so it’s important to get a minimum six-month commitment to the program so behavior and perceptions can change. Open, honest conversations about managing expectations are necessary for a day cleaning program to be successful.

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