Commercial, Demand Management, Energy Efficiency, Industrial  -  January 10, 2017 - By Ecova

4 keys to successful energy benchmarking

Sponsored by Ecova

Resource and energy management may seem like a dull topic to some. But to smart business owners, the right resource management strategies are key to achieving cost savings, meeting corporate responsibility goals and gaining valuable insight into the performance of capital investments.

Asset-level benchmarking can serve as the foundation of an effective resource management approach—supplementing facility-level energy data with a more in-depth and actionable view of your sites' complex systems. Drilling down to asset-level data allows your business to proactively pinpoint energy consumption anomalies, providing insight into preventive maintenance needs and avoiding costly emergency calls down the road. Asset-level benchmarking also yields information that's vital to the development of an effective plan for monitoring energy-consuming assets, accounting for changes in local energy rates, identifying available rebates and implementing retrofits and upgrades.

To enable the actions that drive planning and resource management,  we've partnered with industry leaders nationwide to establish the best practices that lead to reduced consumption.

But asset-level benchmarking alone doesn't reduce consumption — it simply enables the actions that drive better planning and resource management. To deploy this solution successfully, businesses should draw on a series of best practices established by industry leaders nationwide:

  • Communication is key. Installing resource management hardware and software automatically creates disruption in the workplace. Detailed, documented work plans and regular check-ins with project/facility managers and integration contractors can ease the transition and ensure stakeholder support for the new initiative. Hiring or assigning a dedicated project manager further enhances coordination. 
  • Budget wisely. Depending on the size of your portfolio, the volume of resource-consuming assets and the technology chosen, asset-level benchmarking can require a significant investment in hardware and software. Up-front planning and communication with stakeholders speeds up the rate at which project funding is recouped. Research outside funding or incentives like utility rebates to further offset the initial cost.
  • Future-proof your investment. Achieve additional cost-efficiencies by selecting progressive vendors that offer scalable options. Ask them to demonstrate the long-term return on their solutions, how their training will facilitate user acceptance and the availability of help desk/call center services. The technologies you ultimately implement shouldn't become obsolete after a few years, so research available options carefully.
  • Use data to drive action. Use the asset-level insight you receive to address and prioritize projects that offer the greatest savings potential, particularly when you discover anomalous assets (e.g., HVAC equipment that’s simultaneously heating and cooling or a stuck damper). Document the resolution of these issues and, if necessary, escalate to remote or on-site technical assistance. 

Identifying the most compelling opportunities for resource conservation can immediately help your business realize savings of more than 20 percent.

A successful energy and resource management program is only as good as the asset-level benchmarking data, and that data is only as useful as what your company does with it. By integrating these best practices into your business' approach, you'll ensure that the deep insight into the performance and operating condition of assets such as HVAC, lighting and refrigeration equipment yields a powerful return on investment.

 

Ecova logoContinue the conversation with Ecova benchmarking expert Shelia Johnston by registering here for Ecova's Feb. 16 webinar, "Boost Your Resource and Energy Benchmarking." Ecova makes businesses and utilities more successful through energy and sustainability management. Using insights based on consumption, cost and carbon footprint data spanning thousands of utilities, hundreds of thousands of business sites and millions of households, Ecova provides fully managed, technology-optimized solutions for saving resources, which in turn increase returns, lower risks and enhance reputations. Ecova is a wholly-owned subsidiary of ENGIE, a worldwide global energy player.

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