Historically, the retail industry has collectively been perceived as technology laggards. For years, thin margins and large investor expectations combined to force conservative technology and operations budgets on retailers. Ironically, as it relates to energy management, the exacerbation of those problems during the Great Recession turned that historical perception on its ear. To survive rapid economic degradation in 2008, retailers turned to energy efficiency investments en-masse in an effort to reduce costs. As such, the retail industry emerged as a leader in energy efficiency improvement and has been consistent in that leadership position every year since. As the economy improves, albeit slowly, retailers, who were early adopters of energy and sustainability management initiatives,...
By Adam Maier | Wednesday March 25, 2015
The Obama administration has made it clear that 2015 will be a busy year for energy regulatory bodies. Its energy agenda for the coming year promises to tackle multiple ongoing issues, including fracking, emissions, interstate air pollution, the retirement of coal-burning power plants, and climate change.
With these topics driving mainstream news, it’s unsurprising that year-over-year, regulation remained the second biggest driver of energy and sustainability initiatives in our recently-conducted 2015 Energy and Sustainability Predictions survey. Federal, state, and municipal-level energy, waste, and carbon regulations maintain their influential place as a force of energy management change in part because the introduction of new regulation is outpacing industry’s implementation of that...
Recently Ecova surveyed more than 500 companies about how they utilize their energy data to inform decisions on energy efficiency. Some are Ecova’s commercial clients – that utilize our data analysis expertise – and some have dedicated in-house resources to track and manage the data.
Client or not, the majority of respondents (81 percent) reported that energy is their number one savings and improvement opportunity, and 52 percent of respondents indicated they leverage energy data to support their strategic energy and sustainability plans. Of the non-Ecova clients, many conceded that a lack of experience in analyzing energy data may be leading to lost opportunities in targeting and implementing the most effective efficiency projects.
What does this mean for utilities? Businesses of all...
By Jami Marler | Thursday March 12, 2015
Your utility bills are home to a wealth of data that can help your organization identify costs savings and guide energy efficiency investments. In its raw form, this bill data can be difficult to manage, and seeded with inaccuracies. From unintended billing errors to varying bill structures and billing periods, there are many factors influencing the quality of your data. When these errors are not identified or corrected, misguided decisions can be made based on incorrect, inaccurate or incomplete data sets.
How can you overcome these challenges to unlock the power of good data? Take 60 seconds to complete our data assessment below and find out what type of utility data is driving your decisions.
By Evan Bue | Tuesday March 10, 2015
Let’s begin with a few questions:
Would we be less productive if we sat down for every meal?
How late would we be if we couldn’t pick up breakfast on the way to work?
How many phone calls would we miss if we had to wait for lunch to be prepared, cooked, served, and savored?
Many of us could probably answer these questions and conclude our lives would be less productive were it not for the convenience of fast food and to-go options.
Today’s proliferation of fast-food restaurants meets a growing demand. Time is a precious commodity, and efficiency is the name of today’s market game.
But a report by As You Sow and the Natural Resources Defense Council recently concluded that an industry characterized by its efficiency —fast food —is actually profoundly inefficient. How can this be?