Rising energy costs are becoming more and more of a concern for many executives, with energy making up 30 percent of operating costs for the average company.
This means it’s a great time to initiate an energy efficiency program at your facility. Such a program can help you gain control of your facility’s energy use and result in sizeable energy savings.
But before we jump into how you can reduce facility energy costs, let’s first take a look at how much energy is really costing you.
The Cost of Energy
Here are some energy cost figures and findings from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for the following industries.
- Commercial Real Estate: “Energy represents 30 percent of the typical office building’s costs and is a property’s single largest operating expense.”
- Education: “The annual energy bill to run America’s primary and secondary schools is a staggering $6 billion–more than is spent on textbooks and computers combined.”
- Health Care: “Health care organizations spend over $6.5 billion on energy each year to meet patient needs. Every dollar a nonprofit healthcare organization saves on energy is equivalent to generating new revenues of $20 for hospitals or $10 for medical offices.”
- Hospitality: “On average, America’s 47,000 hotels spend $2,196 per available room each year on energy. Reducing energy use by 10 percent across the hospitality industry would save $285 million.”
To help you start cutting those costs and saving money, you should check out and use some of these useful tools.
The EPA’s Target Finder, an online calculator, can help you assess the energy performance of your facility. Use the Target Finder to set a target and “see what this target means in terms of energy use, cost, and greenhouse gas emissions.”
On the other hand, if you already have a retrofit project on the horizon, you can use Target Finder to calculate efficiency metrics, projected costs, and greenhouse gas emissions based on the project’s estimated energy use.
Other uses for Target Finder include estimating the impact of upgrades or improvements before making them, and learning how much energy you need to use in order to earn a certain Energy Star score.
The EPA’s Energy Star Portfolio Manager is “an online tool you can use to measure and track energy consumption, as well as greenhouse gas emissions.” Unlike Target Finder which is utilized to set and reach targets, Portfolio Manager allows you to benchmark the performance of one building or a portfolio of buildings.
By using Portfolio Manager, you’ll be joining 40 percent of the U.S. commercial building space that’s already using this tool to benchmark their energy performance.
Cash Flow Opportunity Calculator
The Cash Flow Opportunity (CFO) Calculator can help actually get your energy efficiency program off the ground. According to Energy Star, “it was developed to address the ‘we don’t have the money’ objections that many organizations face when trying to implement energy efficiency projects, and to help you translate energy savings into ‘financial speak.’”
The CFO Calculator uses simple financial arguments and other resources that “have been used to sell energy efficiency projects to decision-makers around the country.” Furthermore, it can accelerate the installation of projects by addressing common objections and quantifying costs to help create a sense of urgency.
Not only will instituting an energy efficiency program help you reduce facility energy costs, it will also bolster your sustainability efforts and improve worker productivity and building performance. Use these tools to start planning the best way to reduce facility energy costs at your organization today.
What tools do you use to measure, track, and benchmark your facility’s energy consumption? Let us know in the comments.