Schools and universities are some of the most energy-intensive facilities within the U.S, accounting for 10% of the energy consumed by non-residential buildings. But a lot of that energy goes to waste: ENERGY STAR estimates that approximately 30% of the energy consumed in schools buildings is used inefficiently and unnecessarily. While most schools have an individual, or in some cases a team, tasked with overseeing energy consumption, it’s often not enough—nor should it be. Engaging the full academic community—students AND staff—is not only integral to keeping energy costs down, but is also important for creating energy-conscience citizens who prioritize efficient practices far beyond their days in school.
From integrating energy data software into classrooms to dedicating whole days to teaching in the dark, learn how these energy-savvy schools and universities are making energy management a top priority across campus.
According to Deloitte’s reSources study earlier this year, the two biggest hurdles for businesses in achieving their energy management goals are: 1) length of time required for an investment to pay off, and 2) difficulty measuring impact. Which is why we love serving up no-cost strategies for increasing energy efficiency that drive tangible savings to the bottom line.
For facilities with conditioned space, economizing is one of these simple strategies. Economizing is when a facility’s HVAC system utilizes outside air conditions to help condition the building. One way to do this is by using dampers that are designed to allow “free cooling” with outside air. When the outside air is cooler than the return air, the outside air dampers are opened completely. When the outside air is warmer than the return air, the outside air dampers are closed.
A colleague recently asked me whether I would, hypothetically, forego all future surprises in my professional life. None of the surprise opportunities or promotions (again, hypothetically), but none of the surprise fire drills or unexpected deadline changes either.
It wasn’t a tough call; in our professional lives, being blindsided is as bad as it gets. Especially as an executive, most of what you do involves mitigating the likelihood of surprises.
But when it comes to energy budgeting, eliminating surprises can be like solving a Rubik’s cube blindfolded.
Surprises seem to be baked into the utility bill cake, even if you’ve fully fixed the price of your energy in advance. Or so your Head of Operations tells you. But there are two ways to take the surprises out of your energy budget.
Chances are, energy is a significant component of your firm’s operations cost—often on par with materials or labor costs to run your plants. Despite this, manufacturing executives don’t always consider the potential of energy management in gaining a competitive advantage.
Executives at leading companies proactively make energy a strategic priority, and incorporate energy management into their daily operating decisions at all levels. But lagging companies don’t manage energy at all, and often cite the same challenges preventing them from tackling energy costs. This post, inspired by our many conversations with VPs and other key energy decision-makers, helps debunk some of the commonly held assumptions about energy costs that prevent many executives from realizing the full benefits of energy management.
In an earlier blog post, I discussed why benchmarking systems were essential to help create high-performing, energy efficient buildings, and how lowering greenhouse gas emissions can translate to higher NABERS and NABERS NZ ratings. And with legislation such as the (Australian) Building Energy Efficiency Disclosure Act 2010 mandating disclosure of energy efficiency ratings when leasing your commercial building space, your sustainability performance is now more visible than ever before.
Even with mounting evidence that energy efficient buildings outperform their peers when it comes to net operating income (NOI), there are still some holdout executives that reduce energy efficiency projects to their ‘feel good’—environmental, employee engagement, public relations—benefits.
Consider this post your brass-tacks guide to getting the toughest, most financially-focused executives to understand the value of energy efficiency improvements and support your initiatives. To get decision makers to say ‘yes’ to energy efficiency projects, read about the four critical factors you should incorporate into any pitch.
What is an “arctic outbreak” doing rolling through the United States in early November? Freezing winds, temperatures 30 degrees below average; we’re flirting with the next polar vortex and we haven’t even hit Thanksgiving.
It's already been a variable fall across eastern U.S.: on November 1, thousands of Mainers went a day without electricity in a first snow that beat earliest snow records by fifteen days! Unfortunately that same day, Tennessee, Georgia, and South Carolina also got hit by the earliest snow on record.
Even earlier, on September 25, New England’s National Grid was already spreading the word that it planned to increase residential electricity rates a staggering 37% year-over-year this winter (National Grid’s press release).
But if you're trying to play it safe and haven’t been doing everything in your power to shield your business against the oncoming freeze, you’re very nearly too late.
Since last year’s polar vortex, we’ve spoken with hundreds of clients who were variably successful (or unsuccessful) at keeping control of their energy spend. EnerNOC's energy procurement experts have synthesized those tips below—organized by the three energy cost drivers—to help YOU get ahead of the next one.
While country music may be the focus in Nashville this week, it was all about data-driven energy management last week. Nearly 100 energy-minded folks came together to discuss the latest trends in energy management at our fourth and final EnergySMART Workshop of 2014. Attendees included energy managers from local schools, hotels, real estate investment trusts, and more. Here are three of their top energy management tips.
When we talk to chief engineers about the benefits of software-enabled energy intelligence, we often hear a response to the effect of, “We’ve got a BMS that does all that.” While it’s true that modern building management systems (BMSs) are immensely capable of integrating complex, dynamic systems across a facility, and while they’re interchangeably called energy management and control systems (EMS/EMCS), in practice they often fall short as an effective means of comprehensive energy management. To really manage your energy effectively, a BMS can help you make strides, but this post explains why energy intelligence software (EIS) should be a companion to any BMS if you truly want to get a handle on your energy costs.