Improve Your Bottom Line with Energy Efficiency
When deciding whether to undertake an energy saving improvement, a business operator needs to be able to justify the cost of purchasing and installing new equipment. The potential to reduce energy costs should be compelling enough. But when you couple this with the ability to reduce operating costs while addressing capital improvement needs, the case becomes even more convincing.
Investments in energy efficiency are a proven method of reducing operating expenses for commercial operators because energy is one of the most easily controlled costs in any business or organization. Take for example the fact that energy improvements can make a building more durable and reduce the need for expensive maintenance.
“By using more energy-efficient equipment and operational practices, commercial operators can typically reduce their energy consumption by 20% to 30 % which will lower operating costs,” says Mark Antonuk, Program Manager, ATCO EnergySense.
The first step in improving your energy efficiency is to conduct a partial or full energy assessment of your business and/or facility. An energy assessment examines current energy usage and identifies energy reduction opportunities. This helps identify specific ways to manage energy costs and environmental impacts. Energy efficiency improvements are determined by looking at how they would operate in relation to existing and proposed equipment to achieve the optimal energy efficiency level for the entire facility. This is because the facility functions as a system with many interconnected parts that together determine the operational effectiveness of the building.
Detailed Energy Report
At the completion of your energy assessment, an Energy Report, outlining unbiased energy saving recommendations, is completed. The energy report is your detailed roadmap of the energy efficiency measures you can take to improve the comfort and satisfaction level of building occupants, and lower greenhouse gas emissions and energy costs while improving your bottom line.
The energy report should include a shopping list of technically feasible options that make most sense for your facility and business. This includes:
• An energy consumption overview of the entire facility.• An energy consumption breakdown for various facility components: building envelope, mechanical systems and electrical systems. The equipment must be identified by efficiency factor and operating hours per year. • A shopping list of feasible options for energy efficiency improvements as well as the specific details used to arrive at the recommendations.• Costs to implement upgrades and the projected annual returns due to reduced operating costs.• Advice on energy efficiency behaviors to further reduce energy consumption.
“Comparing sample reports, getting references, questioning if an integrated design approach will be applied and inquiring whether the company is familiar with any government energy efficiency assistance programs will make the decision easier when choosing the right commercial energy assessment service provider,” adds Antonuk.
The Bottom Line
It’s important to recognize that the upfront cost of most improvements can be recovered over time through increased savings on energy costs. By improving energy efficiency, you also enhance the value of your business.