Got data but not much to show for it? Find out how you can use that energy audit data to take actions that lead to big results in your energy program.
As government leaders, we can't expect our citizens to be more efficiency-minded when it comes to energy usage if we're not doing the same in our own facilities and operations. Whether you've been tasked with reducing your carbon footprint or want to stay ahead of the game, there are many both big and small changes you can make to see measurable results.
The first step to efficiency is tracking the current state of your organization's energy usage. Maybe you've been analyzing usage patterns or equipment performance, or maybe you've conducted a full energy audit of your facilities. If so, great. However, just like getting a gym membership and never going won't improve your health, collecting energy data and shelving it won't improve your level of energy efficiency.
Dust off that data and do something with it this year so you and your team can start seeing results. Here are sixways in to get you started.
Get Buy-In from Team and Stakeholders
Energy conservation and reducing your carbon footprint is not a one-person job. To see the biggest change, it has to be a team effort. Communicate the energy data you have to your team and stakeholders. Make it clear where you are and where you want to be with your energy usage, as well as how you're going to get there. Get everyone involved in making big and small changes regularly. Don't let energy best practices take on an "out of sight, out of mind" outlook among those you work with.
Don't Underestimate the Free and Easy
Just because something is low-cost or easy to implement doesn't mean it can't lead to substantial savings. Whether your goal lies more in reducing spending or committing to sustainability, every little bit counts. There are many practices you can start doing today involving the use of lights, equipment, HVAC systems, etc. See a full list.
Remember the Role Water Plays
The use of water is often overlooked at the beginning of an energy overhaul, but water can have a hefty part in the amount of energy you use. ENERGY STAR's water-saving tips can go a long way, as well as the EPA's WaterSense program practices.
Know When It's Time to Dump Your Equipment
If your equipment is taking more than it's giving, recognize the warning signs that this relationship should end. Older or underperforming equipment can be a huge drain on resources. Everything from your computers to your HVAC system should be working for you, not against you. If that's not the case, you're watching money walk out the door. Investing in modern, energy-efficient equipment will save you money in the long run, be better for the environment and cut down on those work orders to repair the same piece of equipment for the fifth time.
Start with the Big ROI
Seeing results sooner rather than later is a great motivator to keep going. There are several things you can see a relatively quick return-on-investment from. It may be a good idea for your organization to start with these before investing in larger capital equipment projects. Check out these upgrades that will continue to reward you.
Don't Be Afraid to Get Help
Even if energy management is your main focus, two heads are always better than one. Don't hesitate to partner with an outside energy expert to make your operations as energy-conscious as possible. A knowledgeable partner has additional insight into best practices, financing options and incentives, priority advice, energy programs and more.
Organizations like the Environmental Protection Agency and ENERGY STAR have great resources on how local and state governments can become more energy efficient. While making over your energy program can feel like a big project, the benefits are far bigger. Get your team involved, start where you can and remember that every day is an opportunity to get that much closer to your energy goals.
Not sure where to start? Schedule a call with one of our Dude Solutions energy specialists to discuss a plan that fits your needs.