Are you committed to using and purchasing energy in an efficient manner? And are you also looking to implement more effective energy management programs(s) in your facilities?
If so, keep reading to see several steps you can take to improve energy management practices in your facility or building.
Step one: Make the commitment to saving energy in your facility
One of the top ways to improve how energy efficient your building is getting commitment and buy-in from all those who would be involved in the planning and implementation of the program. You want people to be aware of the goals, how things will be tracked, and overall best practices and other relevant examples to help you bring the vision to life.
Consider building a team that can own the project. You need people who have the resources and bandwidth to take on the implementation and integration of your plan.
Step two: Assess where you are at today
It’s hard to know where you “should” go without knowing the performance of your building today.
You want to see where your system’s performance is at today, and where you want it to be. You may start to categorize your energy usage by type, too (1).
Remember that ENERGY STAR offers energy performance benchmarks for many commercial applications. These can be used to see how your energy performance compares to others, nationwide. ENERGY STAR benchmarks provide a score using a scale of 1-100. Facilities that get a score of 75 or over are eligible for the coveted ENERGY STAR Label (1).
Once you start collecting data that will help you create a baseline and that you can use with benchmarking, start to prioritize and focus in on the areas you want to start improving.
Step three: Create your action plan
At this point, it’s important to draft of some sort of “energy policy” even if you don’t call it that.
According to ENERGY STAR, consider expressing your goals in terms of:
- Defined reduction (meaning reduction in energy use)
- Comparison to other benchmarks (best-in-class)
- Efficiency improvement
- Environmental impact and/or improvement
- Goals beyond initial targets that could be described as “stretch goals” (1)
Step four: Implement your action plan
After creating the action plan and choosing partners to work with, you want to execute. Consider educating tenants so that they know the benefit and the “why” behind what you are doing.
You may or may not want to establish a formal communication plan to make sure key audiences hear the information they need to hear. They are more likely to not only be patient – but they will be more inclined to see value in cooperating and collaborating as much as possible to cut or minimize energy usage in the building (1).
Step five: evaluate your progress towards greater energy efficiency
After implementation, continue to evaluate your progress towards your original goals.
Not sure where to start? Consider a scorecard or dashboard. That kind of tracking system can go a long way in making sure your plan is performing as well as it should. It can also help you show ROI quickly, right when you need to.
You can also establish a base year which you can continue to use as the years go by. Don’t be afraid of publishing results to keep all those involved in-the-know (1).
Step six: Continue to monitor and maintain your system
There are many ways you can collect data to continually monitor (and then improve) your system. For the data you chose to use, make sure it is as timely as possible. Commit to monthly or quarterly reports, at minimum. Many tracking systems give you the ability to compare your performance with peers, so take advantage.
One of the top ways to keep your system performing efficiently is having your system properly maintained throughout the year. It seems obvious, but many facility managers wonder why their system isn’t maintaining the same performance levels after a few months or years (1).
The potential answer, in some cases, becomes clearer when you ask them about maintenance. In those cases, some haven’t kept up with it as consistently as they ought to, and thus, their systems’ performance isn’t as optimal as it once was.
Keep up with your regular maintenance to make sure all your gains can stay. You don’t want to make all that investment just to see your efficiency drop after a year or two.
Last, depending on the size of your system(s), changing air filters “only” twice per year may not even be enough proactive maintenance, so be sure you also change your air filters as often as we recommend. It seems like a small step, and it truly is—just be sure it gets done (1)!
Greater Comfort Is Here To Help You With Effective Energy Management
By its very definition, energy efficiency means using less energy to get the same amount of work done. The benefit of effective energy management: less costs for your business, less wasted energy, and a positive impact on the environment.
For all your energy efficiency needs, Greater Comfort is your go-to resource. We take pride in offering you commercial HVAC services, support, and regular maintenance. From install to repair—and from maintenance to innovative solutions—we’re here to help you with all your commercial heating and cooling needs.