Five fall energy tune-ups

Image courtesy flickr user Robert Couse Baker

Set yourself up for strong savings in 2013

For some, the pleasures of late fall center on pumpkins, costumes, and candy corn. Perhaps we’re a bit focused on our work, but when we think of fall we think energy tune-up! For many teams, there is a lull between budgets closing and the end of year when leasing is slow and its the perfect time to take care of some small energy projects.

We held a recent webinar with five tips for a fall energy tune-ups and received great comments and questions from many of you.

The five tips are:

  1. Review your Demand Response performance: Many organizations wait until the last possible minute and rush into a DR decision. Why not take some time now, examine the program options, determine whether you made money last year, explore new price response options and get a plan ready for 2013? Good DR takes time and buy-in from many stakeholders in the building, so get a jump on things now.
  2. Conduct a rate check-up: Our work in California shows that very few teams are systematic about rate changes. Free tools from the utiltities will at least show you the available rate options. For organizations that can switch rates, 2-3% savings are often available from nothing more than a phone call.
  3. Refine your 2013 energy budget: Summer 2012 in the bay area was mild; in LA it was hotter than normal. Weather variability from year to year drives 15% spend variation for most office buildings. If this level of variability will cause problems in your organization, order up a full weather-adjusted budget forecast from your favorite energy partner. Save yourself grief before it hits in 2013.
  4. Review building sequences: If you have any budget left for the year, book a controls vendor for two days and review the critical scheduling, start-up and setback sequences for your building. Reviewing interval data and sequences is the best way to ensure you are capturing easy operational based savings.
  5. Implement a demand management program: It might be fall, and demand rates might have dropped in half from summer levels but they still comprise an amazing 20% of the winter bill. Get a demand management program in place and start saving today.
About Tom Arnold

Tom Arnold is co-founder and CEO of Gridium. Prior to Gridium, Tom Arnold was the Vice President of Energy Efficiency at EnerNOC, and cofounder at TerraPass. Tom has an MBA from the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania and a BA in Economics from Dartmouth College. When he isn't thinking about the future of buildings, he enjoys riding his bike and chasing after his two daughters.

0 replies on “Five fall energy tune-ups”

You may also be interested in...

4 Steps to a Better Utility Rate

Need a quick way to lower energy costs? Lean on Gridium to run the analysis and figure out the best utility rate for your unique operation, so you don’t have to.