It seems like a no-brainer, right? Controlling your energy costs would contribute to the business bottom line, prevent unnecessary wear and tear on your building systems, and would make you look like a superstar. So why hasn’t implementing an energy management system bubbled up to the top of your priority list?
Firstly, you aren’t alone. Commercial businesses use more than half of all energy in the United States, and yet, when it comes to controlling those costs, businesses are largely ignoring the issue. So why haven’t businesses stepped up when it seems like such an obvious need?
- You think your business is too small. Maybe you’re a franchisee with only a few locations, or a facility manager with a small square footage footprint. You may be thinking that energy management is only for big box retail or large industrial users. After all, those folks have huge energy bills, right? No matter the size of your business, chances are that energy makes up an impactful part of your monthly expenses. In fact, businesses with the smallest of footprints – between 1000 and 5000 square feet – use a disproportionately higher amount of electricity per square foot: about 17.4 kWh/square foot, compared to 13.3 kWh/square foot for businesses 5001 – 10,000 square feet in size.¹ So, while your overall costs may be lower than larger businesses, the impact of energy costs – and controlling them – to the bottom line of a small business can be disproportionately large.
- You think controls for energy are too expensive. Traditionally, energy management systems have been all-encompassing, and have often involved fully managed, outsourced solutions that came with lots of bells, whistles and expense. As such, you may have just avoided even attempting to install commercial controls. However, the latest energy management systems are easy to operate, and use the latest in user interface design, IoT devices, and mobile technologies to make managing energy no more difficult than operating your smart phone.
- Your site occupants would go bananas if they couldn’t adjust the office settings. Joan from accounting gets upset when she has to bring a sweater to work because her office is too cold, and it’s just not worth the headache to tell Joan that she isn’t allowed to turn up the thermostat anymore. What if could make Joan happy and still make sure that thermostat settings were predictable? The days are gone when ‘energy management’ meant putting a plastic cover over thermostats so that no one could mess with them. Today’s smart energy control technology allows building occupants to mess with the thermostat – within a pre-defined range – so that Joan gets the benefit of knowing she can leave that sweater at home, and you get the benefit of preventing long or inadvertent deviations from set temperature controls.
- You aren’t sure how to measure ROI of energy saving measures. This is a doozy. You look for the wisest of investments to make in your facilities, and you need to make sure that everything you spend money on ultimately pays for itself over time. But combing through energy bills every month, comparing annual weather events, and monitoring changes in usage of your facility systems all sounds impossible. Today’s smart systems can take a lot of the burden of proving ROI out of your hands and integrate it seamlessly into monthly reports that bring in all of the necessary data points to prove that energy management is a good investment. Similarly, manage energy management solution providers will map out your potential to save based on looking at your energy bills and current controls (if any). With that, you should be able to get an idea of the payback duration on your investment before anything is ever installed.
- You can’t find a solution that integrates all your building’s energy-wasting systems. One system for lights, one for HVAC, one for security. The thought of monitoring all of these systems and coordinating with all of these vendors is daunting. However, today’s streamlined systems are seamlessly linking disparate building control systems through easy back-end software integrations that allow for a single, useable front-end experience for you. In fact, top energy management system providers often have lots of behind the scenes partnerships with one another, to ensure that no matter who provided your furnace or your LEDs, that you’re able to take control of them with a single remote portal.
More and more facilities professionals, small and large business owners, and commercial building operators are realizing energy management can be simple, affordable and easy to implement, and that they’ve been missing out. Have you avoided energy management for any of the reasons above? Talk to us!
¹ US Energy Information Administration 2012 Commercial Buildings Energy Consumption Survey