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Why lower prices shouldn't push energy tracking and conservation to the back of your to-do list

If you're a healthcare organization, you most likely use natural gas for space heating, cooking and heating your facility's water. If this is the case, you've probably been pleased with the low prices of natural gas since 2015, saving your facility critical dollars on a top-line budget item.

If your facility uses more electricity than natural gas, those prices are probably lower as well. This is because the price of natural gas is the biggest determinant of electricity prices.

With these lower prices and many other day-to-day priorities, it can be easy to push energy tracking and conservation efforts to the back of your list. However, with the volatility and unpredictability of the many factors driving energy costs, a proactive approach could save your facility a lot of money in the long run.

Why you should prepare for the unpredictable

Many aspects of facility management are unpredictable, but perhaps none as unpredictable as the cost of utilities. The price of natural gas can fluctuate because of:

  • Strength of the economy
  • Weather (both seasonal and severe weather conditions)
  • The ability to produce and store oil at a given time
  • Competition with other fuel sources

Take 2008 for example, when the price of a barrel of oil fluctuated between $145.85 and $32.00. Who's to say something couldn't happen tomorrow or next month or even next year that could cause a drastic rise in your facility's energy costs?

By tracking your facility's energy and seeking out ways to save now, you are setting yourself up for success when prices increase.

Be confident in the future, one energy bill at a time

While your facility's energy costs might be "low" now, why not save even more money? Instead of just paying the bills as they come in, see where efficiencies could be made.

Just as you create capital plans to predict the future of your facility's assets, you should be tracking your energy to gain some insight into monthly use and cost. Just as preventive maintenance is designed to extend the life of your assets, tracking your energy use is designed to help you see where cost savings could occur and where to be more efficient.

Want to learn more about efficiently managing your energy use and expenses, including short and long-term solutions? Read our latest resource, Operating Efficiently: Energy Management for Healthcare and Senior Living Organizations to learn more about our energy tracking software!

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