If you are like many companies, you might already be behind on your energy and carbon goals for the year. Maybe it was the sense of false security of having a full year ahead to perform. Perhaps this was the year half of your team simultaneously decided they were going to take that two-week dream vacation. Or did your company step up with ambitious new goals that you need solutions for in order to achieve?
Whatever the case, it’s April and that means the first quarter has come and gone. Catching up is still possible, but the time to move is now. Here are three strategies to get some quick wins to bend that energy use curve in the right direction.
1. Assess your Portfolio with Data
Many companies plan energy efficiency projects well in advance of implementation. But, if you didn’t do it already, prioritizing which buildings to target can dramatically increase the amount of savings you can achieve. In fact, the poorest performing sites can cost-effectively save 14 times more than the best performing sites. And if you did prioritize, keep in mind that building performance can change over time, so it might make sense to re-assess your portfolio with updated consumption and cost data. This exercise could support the case to transition a project slated from one site to another.
2. Tighten up Those Operations
Most companies have hidden savings that can be unlocked without ever turning a wrench. Operational savings, which include optimizing setpoints and schedules, can be a significant opportunity for low-cost reduction. Our data suggests that, on average, operational savings account for 30% of a site’s savings potential. Key to tackling the operational challenge is the right strategy—which can be implemented through centralized controls, behavior-based programs for employees and customers, or both. The answer depends on the specifics of your business needs, the building, and technology applicability to individual locations. Finally, with the hot summer months coming up and more temperate fall months to follow, consider stratifying these changes by end use to have the greatest 2018 impact. And if you are interested in learning more about how summer energy prices could impact your bills, sign up for our next Energy Market Update webinar.
3. Consider New Offerings in the Market
Businesses often cite key barriers—such as financing or complexity of implementing renewables—to hindering energy and other resource management efforts. Fortunately, change is happening faster than most businesses are aware. Market players are listening and using new business models and technology innovation to evolve solutions designed to address these traditional barriers. New financing models and energy-as-a-service offerings, as well as clean energy supply options, can help implement projects and reduce environmental footprints.
Taking action on one or several of these strategies can help get your programs back-on-track—quickly. You may even be able to take a vacation of your own by the end of Q2.