Efficiency Upgrades: Implementing Energy Savings Projects
Now that your organization has successfully set a greenhouse gas (GHG) baseline and begun to analyze an accurate view of your facilities’ energy usage and patterns using utility expense management platforms, it is time to consider what energy efficiency opportunities your organization can take to advance your sustainability goals. The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) identifies energy efficiency as one of the easiest and most cost-effective ways to combat the climate crisis, reduce consumer energy costs, and improve U.S. businesses’ competitiveness.1
Energy efficiency projects are accessible, affordable and can directly lower GHG emissions while also reducing utility bills. These upgrades can come in the form of simple infrastructure improvements, such as LED lighting and HVAC upgrades, or can be as advanced as deep energy retrofits. If your organization is considering implementing energy efficiency measures, here are some tips to start defining and prioritizing your upgrade projects.
Start With a List
Before any upgrades can be considered, engage with key decision makers across your organization to draft an Energy Efficiency Project list that includes potential upgrades that have become apparent after reviewing energy usage data. This list is instrumental when reviewing capital budgets, operations timelines and requirements of systems in need of replacement. Creating the list should help identify what initiatives need to be prioritized so that you can create an actionable strategy for implementation. The list also helps demonstrate the potential return on investment (ROI) of energy efficiency projects through long-term cost reduction and the life cycle assessment of current infrastructure, plus, it helps identify any available rebate or incentive programs.
Consider Funding Options Specific to Energy Efficiency Projects
Funding is still one of the most critical aspects of energy efficiency projects and not every company has the ability to finance a project upfront. Nearly 80% of energy buyers, when asked as part of the Smart Energy Decisions Sustainability Survey, mentioned budget concerns, with more than 30% of respondents saying they required a mechanism to finance their projects.2
There are several funding options that your organization can consider to make your energy efficiency projects become a reality.
- Performance Contracting: Working with your energy service company (ESCO) can help you avoid paying upfront capital for energy efficiency projects, as they are funded through guaranteed cost savings over the life of your contract. This is a budget neutral financial structure providing customers with an avenue for payment and an immediate justification of their investment.
- Design/Build Programs: Funds for energy efficiency projects become available once capital requirements are met by the business.
- On-bill Funding Programs: Energy efficiency projects are recouped through monthly charges included in an electricity or natural gas supply bill. Constellation’s Efficiency Made Easy® (EME) program is an on-bill funding program that helps customers identify, implement and fund efficiency improvements that can help reduce energy costs, modernize facilities and meet sustainability goals. You can realize cost savings through a reduction in consumption and an improved load profile, which will positively impact future energy costs and your environmental goals. This unique award-winning solution has helped to fund over $350 million in energy efficiency projects for more than 1,100 customers.
Monitor and Report on Your Energy Efficiency Programs
Once energy efficiency projects are implemented, utilizing your utility expense management system should make it easy to see tangible changes across your facilities’ footprint. Additionally, some organizations have documented some of the non-financial or operational benefits, such as positive employee and customer feedback.
Take Action Today
Implementing new energy efficiency initiatives—even on a small scale—can initially sound overwhelming. However, investments in energy efficiency can translate into reductions in energy consumption and maintenance expenditures, enhanced system operations, and a reduced carbon footprint. Working with a trusted energy expert like Constellation can help your organization identify, implement and fund your energy efficiency projects.
Learn more about building your sustainability roadmap with our new White Paper.