EnergySMART

EnergySMART is a community of people who are passionate about energy and who are actively striving to make more intelligent energy management decisions.

Economizing 101: Increase Energy Efficiency with “Free Cooling”

Posted by Kirstyn Knox on Nov 20, 2014 7:00:00 AM


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 No Surprises Approach to Your Energy Budget

Posted by Christopher Fiorello on Nov 18, 2014 7:00:00 AM


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


The Competitive Advantage You’re Missing: Debunking Myths in Industrial Energy Management

Posted by John duPont on Nov 14, 2014 7:00:00 AM


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.


Insider Tips from Nashville’s Top Energy Managers

Posted by Meaghan Phelan Amato on Nov 7, 2014 7:00:00 AM


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.


One Executive’s Playbook to Enterprise-Wide Energy Savings

Posted by Ben Smith on Nov 3, 2014 7:00:00 AM


As an executive, your interaction with energy is often minimal: it’s simply one of many input costs you want to reduce, a risk to manage, a metric you need to report to external stakeholders. But increasingly, savvy executives like Al Scaramelli from Beacon Capital Partners are finding a new source of competitive advantage in this previously untapped organizational resource. Scaramelli followed three simple best practices in executive energy management in order to create a strong culture of energy intelligence across the enterprise and achieve millions in energy savings. Here’s how he and his team made it happen.


How the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Eliminates Energy Waste

Posted by Thalia Pascalides on Oct 24, 2014 7:00:00 AM


$250 million: that’s how much the Commonwealth of Massachusetts spends on the 1 billion kilowatt hours (kWh) of electricity it consumes each year. Before deploying a software-based enterprise solution, its energy management team relied on 30-day-old utility bill data that often only told the story of campus-wide usage (versus at the individual building level). 

In 2010, the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources (DOER) kicked off an ambitious effort to monitor real-time energy consumption across its more than 25 million square feet of property. With over 1,300 meters across 460 buildings as diverse as courthouses, college campuses, prisons, and hospitals (some of which are brand new construction while others are 100+ year old facilities), getting visibility into real-time energy data was no easy feat. DOER selected EnerNOC’s SaaS-based energy intelligence software (EIS) as the foundation for the project, which has helped them identify nearly $3 million in savings to date.

Here are 5 ways EIS now helps Massachusetts make more intelligent energy management decisions.


Calling All Plant Managers: Why Energy Management Should Matter To You

Posted by Erin Simone on Oct 1, 2014 7:00:00 AM


While we know it’s far from the last thing on your mind, your energy management plan might not be the first. On a day-to-day basis you’re concerned with a host of competing interests, from meeting production quotas to safety and regulatory compliance. Herein lies the problem: what many managers don’t realize is how important energy consumption is to a plant’s bottom line. By prioritizing energy management, which starts with understanding how the three cost drivers of energyhow you buy it, how much you use, and when you use it – affect your business, you can take the appropriate action to reduce your energy usage while maintaining smooth, profitable business operations.

Here are four reasons you should prioritize energy management, starting today.


5 Best Practices for Your Industrial Energy Management Playbook

Posted by John duPont on Sep 23, 2014 7:00:00 AM


If you’re a plant manager that happens to work in one of the industrial enterprises accounting for 33% of total energy consumption here in the U.S. alone, it’s easy to understand why you might be anxious to pursue programs like the Department of Energy (DOE)’s Better Plants Initiative, which requires corporate commitments to reduce energy intensity across operations by 25% over ten years. While there’s great interest in this and other energy reduction initiatives globally, such targets can seem daunting – especially when much of your operation’s energy consumption goes toward fulfilling immediate production orders or maintaining critical processes. Still, over 1,800 plants, including those run by leading manufacturers like 3M, Volvo North America, and Owens Corning have already made substantial progress toward their goals.


What’s Behind Australia’s Most Energy Efficient Buildings?

Posted by Janelle Dawson on Sep 9, 2014 7:00:00 AM


Through adopting global best practices and monitoring the energy efficiency of their office spaces, savvy commercial building operators are finding they are reaping more than just cost savings for their properties. Using government programs, information from associations, and peer networking, among other resources, your enterprise can identify more than a few ways to maximise your efforts.

This post highlights CitySwitch, a government initiative based in Sydney, Australia, and how it is helping the business community – and especially the commercial real estate industry – transition to a low carbon economy and increase operational efficiency. I’ll also mention a few other resources our customers have found helpful, and explain why taking a software-centric approach to facility optimization and energy efficiency can help you get ahead.


4 Tips for Better Energy Budgeting and Forecasting

Posted by Ben Smith on Sep 8, 2014 7:00:00 AM


It’s that time of the year again…that wonderful time when finance departments traverse every corner of the organization collecting data, tracking trends, analyzing needs, and developing the spreadsheet models needed to assemble all of this information into a coherent, forwardlooking story. It’s budgeting and forecasting season.

As you’re collecting information to inform budget scenarios around labor costs, capital expenditures, new market opportunities, sales pipelines, and other important factors, be sure not to overlook energy. Whether you’re dealing with 4% of operational costs or 40%, energy is a significant portion of your expenditures and a complex line-item that should be scrutinized and considered carefully before reaching a final forecast.


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Contributors

Sarah McAuley

Sarah's been bleeding EnerNOC blue for the last seven years as the Director of Marketing Communications. Prior to joining the team, she worked in the telecom industry, trying to convince telecom carriers to ditch antiquated switching technology and adopt voice-over-IP. She knows that uber-regulated industries like telecom and energy can have their challenges, but she's always loved being in the throes of an industry undergoing massive transformation.

Robin Deliso

As EnerNOC's Corporate Communications Manager, Robin works to build our brand in any way she can, which includes contributing to the blog and finding creative ways to tell the world about the company. She moved to Boston after several years in Washington, DC, and an adventure in Arkansas and has built a career in the sweet spot where marketing, sustainability and communications intersect.

Kirstyn Knox

As EnerNOC's resident Inbound Marketing Specialist, Kirstyn spends her days spreading the word about how EnerNOC is helping to change the way the world uses energy. Based in Boston, Kirstyn is passionate about building a brand that uses data to make business decisions with a positive impact on the environment.

Thalia Pascalides

As Content Marketing Manager, Thalia strives to deliver valuable, relevant information that helps energy managers become heroes in their everyday jobs. Thalia is a 7+ year EnerNOC veteran but a recent transplant to the west coast hub in San Francisco, where she’s inspired everyday by how technology is revolutionizing our world.  

Christopher Fiorello

Christopher brings experience in academic sociology, journalism and marketing for start-ups and corporations to the EnergySMART blog. He has written about everything from militant groups in the Middle East to marriage among immigrants, and most recently led product-marketing at a data visualization firm. He’s joined the EnerNOC team to help document the future of energy use.