Last week, I hosted a webinar on using energy trends and benchmarking to move from Big Data insights to measurable results. This is one of my favorite topics because it’s really a discussion around the tools available to develop and maintain a successful energy management program. I presented five best practices that will help facility managers of multi-site companies achieve energy and cost savings:
- Baseline and Trend Analysis: One of the most fundamental energy management activities is establishing cost and consumption baselines to track energy use over time. Trend analysis can help energy managers gauge both absolute energy consumption and energy intensity, both critical metrics for evaluating risk and performance.
- Forecasting: Companies need to understand both historic and future energy costs and consumption trends, as well as environmental projections that affect risk and profitability.
- Internal Facility Benchmarking: Important for identifying positive and negative portfolio outliers with an emphasis on targeting facilities for improved energy performance.
- External Facility Benchmarking (or Peer Benchmarking): Provide a performance gauge for companies relative to competitors within the same vertical market segment.
- Measurement and Verification: Reducing energy consumption can involve upgrading infrastructure and/or encouraging occupant behavior change. Measurement is essential to determine what’s working and what’s not. Especially with pilot programs, getting precise data helps organizations make cost-effective, portfolio-wide investments with confidence.
During the webinar, we asked participants how many of the above tools they use as part of their energy management program. The graph below illustrates the percentage of respondents who utilize each of the best practices presented.
Given the complexities of energy management, it’s not surprising that only 5 percent of those who responded indicated that they use all five of the practices. According to the survey, internal and external benchmarking provides the largest opportunity and Ecova has a perfect tool to help with this―the Resource Benchmarking Report. This report compiles historical bill data to provide an average use across your facilities and then charts that information to show which facilities fall above or below that average, giving you the ability to manage by exception and focus your energy efficiency projects on those facilities that need the most work.
If you’re challenged by knowing what tools to use or how to make them all work for you, you’re definitely not alone―and the good news is that it’s never too late to start energy benchmarking your facilities or conducting measurement and verification on your projects, or using any other of the above tools.
Interested in learning more? Watch the webinar recording below or fill out our contact us form to speak to an Ecova represenative.