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Our Energy Management Survey Says…

Last month’s unveiling of the Ontario government’s climate change action plan created a storm of commentary, both positive and negative. The plan is aimed at helping businesses (and households) reduce greenhouse gas pollution through a cap and trade system. Any proceeds the government may earn from the cap and trade system will be invested in green projects that will help businesses (and households) reduce energy costs.

There are a number of initiatives in the plan for capital investment to help businesses switch to more low-carbon technologies to reduce emissions (which are driven by energy consumption). Capital investment in energy conservation is the low hanging fruit in the game of reducing energy costs. Time and time again, we see companies whose energy management plan consists of a lighting retrofit, variable frequency drives and compressor upgrades. It stops there with the assumption that they have reaped all possible benefit. Building a sustainable energy management program, with tangible goals, that extends beyond capital infrastructure investment, is equally important in the ongoing effort to reduce energy consumption and benefit from lower energy costs.

With all this in mind, we decided to do a quick and simple “meter reading” on how (or if) companies are approaching energy management. We conducted an online survey with approximately 50 companies in Ontario. With 70% reporting their energy costs have stayed the same or had increased by at least 10% there were three questions we couldn’t help but ask:

 

  • Why aren’t more businesses paying attention to their electricity costs? Just over half of those surveyed (59%) said they checked or thought about their electricity costs citing the time consuming, manual nature of the effort. The good news is that the large majority (83%) of the other half checks their costs monthly. Mistakes happen, and so do anomalies. There is energy data in your organization that could be hiding opportunities to reduce your consumption and impact your costs. There are tools that can help companies automate the data collection and analysis process.

 

  • How can you measure if you aren’t managing? About 67% of those surveyed said their companies had corporate objectives tied to reducing consumption, costs or carbon footprint. One thing we know for certain is that if you don’t set a goal, and make it measurable, you cannot manage it in a systematic fashion. What’s more concerning, however, is almost 60% of those who don’t have objectives have no future plans to set an objective!

 

  • Great you have objectives! How are you going to meet them? For those with a defined corporate energy objective, reducing consumption ranked as the top priority (73%). Corporate sustainability and reducing carbon footprint followed close behind in a dead heat as other top objectives in energy management strategies. We’ll be exploring how you can shape energy management strategies by leveraging your energy data — and not just the data in your energy bills.

 

We get it. Manually going through your electricity bills and collecting data from your utility is time consuming (at least that is what 100% of respondents said when asked why they don’t review their bills for accuracy). But, and this is a big but, you could be missing some significant opportunities to impact your energy consumption and costs. At Bruce Power Direct, our mission in life is to help you uncover the hidden opportunities for conserving energy from your electricity data and ultimately realize cost savings that will go directly to your bottom line. In fact, we can provide you insights into your energy consumption that could lead to savings in just six days.

 

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