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Energize Your Budget in 2015

Key Points
  • The start of a new year is a perfect time to develop a more structured approach to saving energy.
  • Begin by assessing your current energy performance and setting goals for improvement.
  • Evaluate your progress and recognize achievements to sustain momentum.

Building owners and executives are always looking for ways to save money while challenging the competition. As you look ahead to next year, remember that saving energy is one of the most effective ways to lower operating costs and increase profitability.

A sustained energy-efficiency program is more complex than turning the lights off at the end of the day; it requires careful planning, commitment and follow-through. While it may take some time and effort, you will be rewarded with substantial savings, as well as a more comfortable and productive work environment.

Assess performance. Evaluate mechanical and building systems and examine your energy bills over the last three years. Establish metrics and selection criteria and benchmark your energy performance against similar facilities. See the Commercial and Industrial benchmark tools for industry and climate-specific data.

Make a commitment. Get the support of top management with goals and objectives for the project. Goals should include short-term and long-term objectives and a measurable standard for tracking progress.

Get started. With goals in place, develop a detailed action plan for reducing waste and improving overall energy efficiency. The Facility Assessment Wizard can help you develop a set of energy-saving measures tailored to your facility.

Evaluate progress. Compare energy-use data and action plan activities to your performance goals. Use evaluation results and information gathered during the review process to create new action plans, identify best practices and set new performance goals.

Recognize achievements. Publicizing successes will motivate your staff and sustain momentum for the program. Reward staff or departments that have achieved individual goals. Consider incorporating LEED or ENERGY STAR building certification into your program.

For more information on starting your project, see the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Guidelines for Energy Management.