Budgeting energy in the workplace may be one of the most overlooked expenditures that affect business’s bottom lines. Aside from saving money to reinvest in your business, budgeting energy and promoting energy conservation also appeals to consumer sentiment, which is shifting toward companies that promote green friendly work processes.
Energy management involves actively monitoring energy data, identifying opportunities where energy savings can be implemented, and refining processes to accomplish energy savings. Energy management is utilized by both public and private entities and is only effective when implemented into organisational management processes.
Improving energy processes in your workplace is an easy way to reduce energy costs, identify areas where energy is being wasted, and reduce your company’s carbon footprint. Expanding on this last point, energy management can also offset the costs of energy regulations, such as carbon taxes, RECs, and energy benchmarking.
Budgeting for energy processes also reduces your business’s aversion to risk, such as increased energy rates. Using a utility manager allows businesses to access their historic data performance to properly budget for projected energy performance.
It’s important to understand which energy inputs affect your overall energy performance. Using the EPA’s Portfolio Manager, you can gauge how well your building’s energy performance compares to national averages to confirm whether general energy savings solutions need to be implemented at your organization.
Tracking your business’s energy consumption can help you set baselines for target performances and estimated energy budgets. Businesses can track their energy consumption through an energy management software and interval-metering systems.
Energy management softwares can track a number of energy inputs, including peak demand, energy use intensity, and water consumption, which will provide your business with a broad understanding of its cumulative energy performance. Using metering data, your business can identify patterns where waste occurs and peak demand is at its highest.
Energy baselines should account for day-to-day energy consumption as well as external factors that affect total energy consumption. As this data grows, you can begin accessing historical data to make more informed judgements of potential energy risks and identify areas where energy savings can be implemented.
Using metering data, businesses can begin to calculate the costs of energy waste and weigh them against energy savings opportunities. It’s important to analyze the return on investment an energy savings solution will yield. Compare how much money an energy savings program will save against the cost of implementing and training people to operate such programs.
This scenario could also be applied for purchasing new equipment for your organisation. When deciding on a new HVAC system or office refrigerator, consider how much energy you are sacrificing and whether this will increase or diminish your ROI in the long-run.
Coordinate procurement processes and energy efficient solutions with building managers, local utility companies, and stakeholders to get feedback on your investments. The last thing you need to do is buy an expensive piece of equipment that wasn’t approved in the budget and won’t save you much money.
Of course, implementing energy savings solutions is impossible without top management getting on board. In fact, energy management should be a primary concern of both your budgeting process and your Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR).
Proper energy management should remain a part of ongoing corporate and management policy. Promoting an image of sustainability is also a good way to appeal to consumer demand.
Ensure that there are proper policies, as well as organisational and independent responsibilities, in place to carry out energy savings strategies.
Finally, it’s important to conduct regular monthly or annual energy budget reviews to assess how effective strategies have been or to review if they’re being implemented properly. Bring in board members, managers, and important personnel to review energy management strategies and collaborate on budgets for expected energy performance throughout the year.