Your role in your firm’s smart energy usage


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It’s the beginning of a new year. Just as people develop personal new year’s resolutions for self-improvement which, we hope, we’ll stick to, people should develop company or professional new year’s resolutions, too. What can you do to improve your effectiveness for your company, which will, as a result, make yourself more valuable to your company (when hard decisions have to be made) and benefit your company to, at least in part, put off those potential hard times? Maybe more important, what can you do for your firm that has measureable value, so you can point to the effort and say “I saved the (company/department/facility) $X last year and here’s the proof.”? Working for big firms, that was always a stumbling block for me. I felt I had achievements beyond my goals to benefit my company, but had trouble putting it into undeniable dollars and cents metrics. What can you do to help yourself professionally this year? I maintain one area that meets these criteria is to work to improve the company’s energy efficiency, whether it’s your own or your department’s or entire company’s energy profile. You can demonstrate real gains and translate them into financial savings and other benefits.

An energy efficiency assessment of operations has many advantages – from a business point of view – for any company, big or small. Of course, one such advantage is cost savings. An energy efficiency assessment and implementation of “low hanging fruit” is just about guaranteed to save your company money. One way to achieve this is to work with your Purchasing Department to institute a policy that all new equipment purchased has the Energy Star label, if applicable. This joint EPA/DOE program ensures that you will be saving electricity or fuel use compared to the typical equipment of that type. A lighting study also has a strong return on investment.

But do note that while improving the efficiency of your operations vis-à-vis electricity usage is positive, another item to examine is conservation. Are there areas/times where operations using electricity can be eliminated altogether? While it is a pain to request people shut off lights or computers in areas they are leaving, look into requesting movement sensors that will turn off lights automatically if there has been no movement for a certain amount of time. Reducing usage by 20%, 50%, or more is great, but reducing usage by 100%, even for a short amount of time, is even more powerful.

Besides direct monetary savings, helping to institute an energy efficiency program for your company has other benefits, such as meeting greenhouse gas emission reduction, goals, raising employee morale, and improving the productivity of your company. After all, how does a company best beat the competition, by being more efficient?

CCES has the technical experts to assist you in assessing your energy usage and in recommending strategies to be more efficient and reduce usage. Our experts can also translate those strategies into implementation and into determining real financial savings and gains.

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