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4 Steps to Getting Your Company on the Conservation Path

Setting Attainable Efficiency Goals for 2015

2015You would be surprised at how many companies accept their electricity usage as a fixed cost – one that cannot be managed or reduced. Many accept the status quo (“we will use what we use!”) and, with it, pay a higher energy bill – year after year.

It’s the New Year. 2015 has arrived accompanied with a slew of new goals and challenges. We throw ourselves into resolutions which can often fizzle as January 1st fades into a distant memory. Left to their own devices, good intentions can fall back into old habits. My resolution? Treat every month with the same gusto as a new year – a time to start fresh, with a new challenge at the beginning of each month.

February is as good a time as any to embark on the path to energy conservation.

Make electricity reduction a priority

When you begin measuring and monitoring your electricity usage, you will find that it is easy to trim the fat. That is, to eliminate electricity waste and reduce your bills at the same time. Since the first step in this process is to set attainable goals to make electricity reduction a priority, start the process today to realize savings as soon as possible.

Here are a few things to consider on your path to setting an energy reduction goal for 2015:

Step 1: Get to know your electricity usage, inside and out

How well do you know your electricity usage patterns? Most companies focus on the cost of their electricity bills, with less attention paid to their usage. Knowing the basics of your electricity usage patterns will help you identify areas to focus on improvement. Some questions to ask yourself (and find out the answers to):

– How do you use your electricity?
– How much electricity are you using?
– Are your usage patterns flat throughout the day, or are there spikes in your consumption patterns?
– Do these patterns change daily, monthly, seasonally?

Your electricity costs are driven not only by how much electricity you use, but also by when you use it. Using more electricity during high priced hours (usually, times of high demand) will increase your overall average electricity price. This is the first area I focus on with new customers when implementing an energy management program.

Step 2: Determine a baseline to measure and track performance

Once you have a handle on how you use your electricity, it is important to build out a baseline for your usage, or as a starting point to measure future performance. An average of your usage over the past two years is the simplest baseline to measure against. An effective baseline will tell you how much electricity you are expected to use based on historical usage, production, and weather patterns. Use your baseline to measure your conservation efforts – as a starting block for improvement.

Step 3: Set a SMART target for energy reduction

Specific, Measureable, Attainable, Realistic, Timely.

Start small: a reduction target of 5% vs baseline for the first three years.

Step 4: Review and monitor

Set aside time in your calendar to do a review of your electricity usage against your baseline every month to ensure you are well on your way to hitting targets.

With these steps, you will be well on your way to getting your company on the conservation path – one that will trim your consumption, carbon footprint, and your costs.

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Kate Bagshaw

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