Labor Day Reminder: Giving Your Buildings the Day Off Could Mean Significant Cost Savings

As the last holiday weekend of the summer, everyone is looking forward to enjoying time off on Labor Day. However, it’s just as important to give your buildings some time off as well.

Holidays are among the most common—and most significant—contributors to unnecessary energy expenses for our customers. Some organizations lack the procedures to scale back their buildings' operations while they're unoccupied, while others lack the insight into their facilities’ operational trends to implement procedures that actually make a significant impact. Here are a few examples of the savings our customers have found by analyzing their buildings' energy trends over various holidays:

  • The Commonwealth of Massachusetts once found that when New Year’s Day landed on a weekday, one of its large facilities operated as it would have on a typical business day. After putting a plan in place to cut back operations for the following New Year’s Day, the state found that it was able to reduce consumption by about 500 kW, which helped to save an estimated $10K in energy costs.
  • A defense contract that works with EnerNOC saw a similar issue, with some of its buildings operating on Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve. These costs were compounded when one of its buildings set its monthly peak demand on New Year’s Eve—which could drive up monthly energy spend over the long term.
  • After analyzing data on energy consumption trends over Memorial Day last year, EnerNOC’s energy analysts found that 20% of the facilities in the data set had failed to curtail energy use, culminating in about $250K in potential energy savings.

The financial impact of implementing an effective holiday shutdown plan goes beyond just direct energy costs as well. Providing your staff with actionable information for improving operational efficiency can help eliminate ineffective processes for managing your facilities. At least one of our customers—overseeing 4.5 million square feet of space dispersed over 39 facilities—was limited to manually inspecting sites to ensure equipment was shut down before holidays and weekends. After implementing EIS, the organization was able to determine how much energy waste they could avoid on holidays, track adherence to their policies from a central location, and identify where equipment is running when it shouldn't be.

Optimizing operational schedules is just one of many types of measures our customers take to reduce costs, but over the course of all downtime in a given year, it can make a significant impact on your bottom line. So before enjoying the holiday weekend, take a look at how much energy your buildings use over the holidays, and be sure to align their operational schedules with those of the rest of your organization.

This guide goes in-depth on other no- and low-cost ways to reduce energy costs
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Authored By Colin Neagle

Colin is a marketing manager for EnerNOC and editor-in-chief of the EnergySMART blog.

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