The last few weeks, I’ve been blogging about the different ways multi-site companies can save resources, while increasing their bottom line, using a four-step process. So far, I’ve covered two of the steps—today’s post is focusing on taking action once site outliers have been identified, the third step in the process.
There are a number of ways to take action when it comes to energy consumption—and some are low or no cost solutions, such as employee awareness programs or competitive programs between sites, where you provide the stores’ energy stats and pit the stores against each other (the element of competition can be very compelling).
The above chart shows a sample breakdown by energy usage for a small box retailer. As is common in the retail industry, a large percentage of energy is consumed on lighting and HVAC systems. With this in mind, here are some no and low cost lighting initiative solutions:
- Use of occupancy sensors in areas of low activity
- Verification of optimum start and stop settings to ensure your lights aren’t coming on too early or turning off too late, when natural lighting can be used instead
Some no and low cost initiatives in HVAC systems include:
- Maintaining temperature set points
- Verification of optimum “start and stop programming” to ensure that you aren’t unnecessarily heating or cooling an empty building
For those who have additional capital funds for investment, you might consider integrating Energy Management Systems (EMS) as a pilot program and then potentially throughout your portfolio.
Fortunately, for many of these energy efficiency measures, there are energy rebate programs available through your utility that you can take advantage of and that will help subsidize the cost of capital improvements—with lighting incentives being amongst the most lucrative opportunities. Upgrades to facility lighting systems, often deliver 25-35 percent reductions in lighting energy, with a simple payback of two-three years.
It will be important to consider the payback range when you evaluate each of these actions—also important to evaluate the Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) that are specific to your business and any planned changes to your portfolio.
You can view the webinar here (registration required) and for a deeper dive into each of the steps in the process, check back for the next step in the blog series, which will focus on monitoring the success of your energy management program.