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Five Steps to Energy Efficiency

Feb 16

Written by:
2/16/2012 7:59 AM  RssIcon

What makes it difficult for you as a facility manager to achieve energy efficiency goals?

Is it a lack of time to evaluate your facilities and determine strategies and solutions to become more energy efficient? A lack of capital to invest in energy efficiency solutions you have identified but cannot get the budget to implement? Or is it a lack of energy efficiency goals altogether?

According to the July 2011 results of the Sustainable Asset Management Survey by Gartner and TRIRIGA, an IBM company, only 8% of their 130 respondents in large corporations and public sector organizations indicated that they did not have an energy and environmental strategy. However, I suspect that this problem is more prevalent in medium and small organizations. So let’s start from the beginning and look at five fundamental steps you can take to set and reach energy efficiency goals.

  1. Set SMART energy efficiency goal(s) for your facility.
  2. Make sure your goals are: specific, measureable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound (SMART). For example, “We will reduce our electricity bill by 20% by January, 2014.”

  3. Create a cross-functional team to evaluate strategies and determine the best solutions to reduce your facility’s energy use.
  4. Be sure your team considers not only physical changes to your facility, but also building automation and software tools that can help you save energy.

    While the team is in the evaluation stage, they should gather as much data as possible about the facility and its energy use. In many cases, this data will allow them to make some predictions about energy savings that will result from different initiatives – and it will be a great tool for comparison to show actual energy savings after initiatives are complete. Don’t underestimate the power of real data. If you have one successful project under your belt, proving it to executives will go a long way toward getting funding for future initiatives.

  5. Instruct your team to focus on energy efficiency rather than renewable energy (solar, wind, etc).
  6. Energy efficiency improvements are generally less expensive and have better return on investment (ROI). Take a look at this presentation, The Economics of Energy Efficiency vs. Renewable Energy, if you have doubts.

  7. Calculate expected savings and ROI for each potential initiative and compare them to choose the best solution for your facility.
  8. Vendors should be able to provide at least a general expectation of energy savings for you to work with for estimates. The presentation linked in #3 above provides some good examples of ROI calculations.

  9. Research federal, state, local and utility incentives, rebates, and payment options for energy efficiency improvements.
  10. Use the DSIRE website to research federal and local programs. But also call your utility company directly to inquire about possible rebates or payment plans. Some utilities offer on-bill financing, or there might be a property assessed clean energy (PACE) financing program available in your area. And remember, you can always ask the vendor to work with you on pricing. They may or may not agree to your terms, but it doesn’t hurt to ask!

Energy efficiency is the “low-hanging fruit” for most facilities when it comes to saving money. Don’t let the opportunity to start saving pass you by for another year. Make 2012 the year you start achieving your energy efficiency goals.

1 comment(s) so far...


Re: Five Steps to Energy Efficiency

we are looking for suitable software to measure actual Energy Savings

By P.K.Shanmuga Sundaram on   3/6/2012 7:46 AM

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