Many may be surprised to learn that energy is a top-five operating cost for businesses.
Worse, 30 percent of energy consumed by commercial buildings and industrial facilities is wasted. Considering that $400 billion is spent annually on energy cost according to U.S. Department of Energy Better Buildings Program, potential savings are almost too big to grok.
This means energy procurement and utility service managers, as well as sustainability professionals have an outsized opportunity to lead in ‘16. Collectively, this group can turn energy savings potential into reality while advancing key sustainability initiatives. Win-win.
But three blockers stymie progress.
Let’s dig into each.
Managing disparate legacy building data is messy. The digital pile of spreadsheet files grows, often exponentially. Information may be stored in hard-to-reconcile formats with practices varying by location, team, and vendor-partner.
Layer in large and expanding data volumes from utility bills like electric, natural gas, and water.
Now consider myriad ways building data is described. Think: “you called it a swamp cooler, I call it an evaporative cooler”. Numerous codes and vocabularies need to be mapped in order to make data useful.
Next, track down the master list of building information with attributes like address, type, and square footage. Often this is managed elsewhere by yet another group. Overwhelmed yet?
Multiply this issue across a large building portfolio of 50 buildings or more. All this leaves scant room for value-added analysis, let alone action. Worse, data quality and accuracy emerge as major risks.
Why accept this as a “cost of doing business” when there is a better way?
A primary blocker to building energy improvement is the inability to credibly compare performance, either within a portfolio or within the context of a broader peer group.
Today there is no way to easily and quickly tailor benchmark criteria to assess performance against “like” buildings in terms of location, type, size, and use. As a result, questions like, “Is this building a poor performer, and if so, why?” and, “How much energy cost can we shave by implementing a targeted energy efficiency measure?” remain unanswered.
Not only does this make assessing relative performance impossible, but prioritizing projects based on expected improvement potential depends on either guesswork or expensive and extensive audits.
As a result, there is neither confidence nor resources to proceed.
Imagine if visual, interactive benchmarking was available to instantly reveal energy and water savings opportunities so you could make your buildings better, faster?
Process “friction” is a major reason why projects fail to get started, stall, or even fail outright. A major contributor to this problem is lack of access to “smart” capital familiar with energy efficiency project financing.
For example, a 2013 survey published by the Institute for Building Energy revealed 31% and 20% of respondents, respectively, cited capital availability and financial criteria as blockers to efficiency projects.
Perhaps more disconcerting: 50% of projects fail to achieve intended goals. Ouch.
What if your team could smoothly move from identifying high return energy efficiency projects, to selecting “best fit” capital options, to managing and tracking results all in one place?
Introducing five simple steps using Building Energy to get your energy efficiency projects going in ‘16:
Learn more about Building Energy for Building Owners and Property Managers.
Interested in starting a conversation? Contact me at email@example.com.
Building Energy Inc. is a technology company that combines cleantech, fintech, and information technology to transform the way building owners and service providers generate successful energy and water efficiency projects. Building Energy’s cloud-based software is used to design, implement, and finance energy and resource projects by building owners and managers, energy management companies, and sustainability professionals.