Today we take a moment to reflect on the event that changed us 13 years ago. I visited the 9/11 Memorial. After walking through security like I was boarding a plane, I entered the courtyard. I arrived in a group, but broke off on my own. I felt I should walk this memorial alone. Two great pools of water sat in the courtyard. Water poured down one level, creating soft walls. Then it poured down a second level and into a hole, the bottom unseen. Each pool is where the buildings belonged, those buildings now crumbled and gone.
Note: This is a guest post by Kate Forsyth of Minol USA, an EnergyCAP user. Preparing for another winter is not something we want to think about while basking in the early days of Autumn, but it pays to plan! The Farmer’s Almanac forecast was spot on last winter and it looks like a cold winter is in store for many of us in 2014. Preparing for colder temperatures is essential to avoid budget busting utility bills for your common areas such as hallways, gyms, lobbies, and business centers.
As an energy management professional, you may have to give a presentation with slides to an audience. A lot may be riding on the quality of your presentation. Perhaps you have to prove return on investment for an upcoming purchase, share the results of an energy efficiency project, or enlist coworkers for an energy conservation initiative. Whatever your purpose is, chances are you haven’t been trained in creating great presentations. Unfortunately in most organizations, high-stakes presentations receive low-stakes preparations. But your idea is too valuable to fumble, so why not take some professional advice from presentation experts Nancy Duarte and Dan Roam. Here are five tips for creating great presentations.
The University of Nevada Las Vegas (UNLV) is hiring for a position in energy management. We thought we'd post a portion of the complete employment description. The job requires, "working knowledge of utility management software such as EnergyCAP."
EnergyCAP Professional users, this post is for you! As you know, we're converting clients to the new online version from the installed desktop version. More than 65% of clients have already made the switch and are receiving the benefits of the online version.
Note: This is a guest post by Kate Forsyth of Minol USA, an EnergyCAP user. Albert Einstein said “Imagination is more important than knowledge.” Yet so much of our approach to education and work is steeped in learning the right answer or correct processes. It’s important to note that great innovators are the people who didn’t say “No” to seemingly impossible ideas. Instead, they opened their minds to the “What if” question and then worked on how to make it happen. For example, the Wright Brothers made bicycles before they created the first airplane that figuratively and literally became the runway to the future. How did two brothers go from making simple, two wheel vehicles to flying?
There’s no question that email has dramatically changed the workplace. Communication that previously required personal contacts by phone or in person can now be settled efficiently through instant correspondence. It’s hard to imagine life without it. In business, email has become a tool we simply cannot live without. But just because we CAN email doesn’t mean we SHOULD email. Like all tools, email should be used when it makes sense. We’ve probably all heard stories of email blunders, some simply embarrassing to the sender, but some with serious consequences, like losing a job or a friend. And we are all aware of the time burden that email imposes with its in-your-face presence! To help you avoid email perils, here are five tips for using email better.
Degree days represent the only weather metric that is consistently used in the context of building energy use. Heating degree days represent a need for heating to maintain a comfortable temperature in a building. Cooling degree days represent a need for cooling to maintain a comfortable temperature in a building. But how are degree days and balance points calculated?
Note: This is a guest post by Colin Murray, a writer and editor who has covered the energy space for www.SaveOnEnergy.com since 2008. While energy management systems (EMS) have become more common in utility and certain large-scale business verticals, it's becoming clearer that the future of EMS is integration with a much wider range of businesses and facilities. For the purposes of this blog, EMS refers to a computer system designed specifically to enable automated control and monitoring of building control devices such as heating, ventilation and lighting installations.
Someone recently asked me what forces have helped me mature. That is, what factors were responsible for my personal growth? Although several causes came to mind eventually, my first thought surprised me—it was trials. According to Webster’s, a trial is, “a test of the quality, value, or usefulness of something.” Usually we like to avoid trials because trials are painful. When we propose a personal or professional development plan, we don’t propose the deliberate inclusion of trials. When trials come, we want to walk the other way. But trials can be powerful forces for good in your life. Here are five ways that trials can benefit you:
The newest release of EnergyCAP contains seven exciting features to increase your effectiveness. These improvements include: chargeback submeter distribution, meter reading routes, rate creation, channel management, target line comparison, custom audits, and an EnergyCAP API. To learn more, watch the highlight video or read the summary list.
Glenda is a busy energy manager for an urban city government. Responsible for achieving energy savings for her city, Glenda is trying to make the utility bill tracking, processing, and payment process as efficient as possible. Plus, her city recently mandated ENERGY STAR building benchmarking. How will Glenda make time for these competing priorities? If only she had more time...
Our three-day annual Catalyst training conference provided a glimpse into the future for clients using the online version of EnergyCAP. Some of our training resources are now available online, whether you attended or not. Catalyst, which concluded May 1, offered attendees three training tracks, good food, networking opportunities, and individual consultations with EnergyCAP project managers and technical support personnel. This year, the emphasis was hands-on training using Version 3.2, which is scheduled for a phased release this quarter. The new version will include a totally new chargebacks module offering an intuitive graphical interface for visualizing and customizing complex chargeback account-meter relationships. Here's why people came to Catalyst:
I recently watched a powerful TED Talk by self-identified introvert Susan Cain. She believes that our culture rewards extroverts and ignores introverts, and consequently, our culture misses out on the benefits that introverts bring. This got me thinking about extroversion and introversion in the workplace. Do introverts or do extroverts make better energy managers?
Note: This post was originally published last year, but many of our current readers missed it. Since then, Riverside County has saved $113,000. Energy Manager Janet Purchase emailed us with good news. Just seven months after implementing EnergyCAP energy managment software, Riverside County, CA, had already saved $96,000. This was most of the County's initial investment in buying EnergyCAP. Janet Purchase had made a good purchase! But how did she save that sum for the County?
In addition to working at EnergyCAP, Inc., I’m also involved in helping people from the Philippines. Our partners are local pastors, who despite other opportunities, have decided to live in a slum of Manila called Tondo. They do this in order to serve the "scavengers" or "slum dwellers," as they are called. Tondo is a notoriously violent place where there is little protection. So it shouldn’t come as a shock when the innocent are affected. But it shocks you anyway.
You may not see yourself as a natural promoter, but if you're not sharing your energy saving stories, you're missing valuable opportunities. In fact, communicating your energy management success can be as important as achieving savings in the first place. As I discussed in an Energy Leader webinar, there are many good reasons to promote your energy savings to your stakeholders. The key is to promote your stories (it's better to tell stories than just facts) in the right places. Right places include places where your stakeholders will see them, and places that complement your organization's brand. If you don't currently have a process or plan for communicating your energy savings, we'd like to give you some ideas. Start small and start slow, but start somewhere. Here are 20 ways to promote your energy savings. Find out what works best for you.
I was missing the fun. Each month, our company leads an educational webinar targeting various energy topics. More than 1,000 people have attended our webinars. And since we record them, they’ve been viewed thousands more times. So I wanted to get in on the action. I wanted to lead a webinar. But I had a dilemma—our audience is mostly energy managers. I’m not an energy manager, I’ve never done a chargeback, I’m not an M&V nerd. I’m a marketer. What value could I offer our audience? Then I realized an unlikely congruence between a marketer and an energy manager—the need to promote. You see, achieving energy savings is one thing, but unless you promote the savings, you’re missing a big piece. And you're missing some of the fun. Promotion is a natural part of both of our jobs. There are many good reasons to promote your success, for example:
At the 2014 Oscars, host Ellen DeGeneres tweeted a picture during the live broadcast with a host of celebrities. Due to heavy traffic, the tweet broke Twitter and broke a world record for the number of times it was resent. As of now, it has been retweeted more than 2,500,000 times. Wait, you lost me. Tweet? Twitter? What does this have to do with energy management?
Energy benchmarking is a way of deriving value from your available energy data by comparing the performance of multiple peer group members. It's a way of determining how a place, building, or meter ranks in comparison with similar places, buildings or meters. Benchmarking can deliver significant payback if it's done right. Here are four keys to effective energy benchmarking. We'll use EnergyCAP benchmarking charts for examples.
A campus chargeback is the allocation of campus-generated utility usage and cost to individual buildings that are served by the “in-house” system. Other names for chargebacks are: allocations, rebillings, or distributions. In essence, the facilities management department is the local utility vendor. Doing chargebacks can be complicated, so let's look at the benefits. Here are eight ways campus chargebacks are useful.
In January, we published a blog post every day—save New Year’s Day—in order to jumpstart 2014. Some posts had everything to do with energy management, but not all of them. Some were about client savings, software features, company news, or the workplace. But just because you subscribe to our blog doesn’t mean you read all the blog posts last month. Sometimes you were tired of reading. Sometimes your inbox was too full. Sometimes you clicked delete just to feel powerful. We get it, we did, too. So in case you missed a popular post or two, here’s a countdown of the ten most popular blog posts from the 30 Blogs in 30 Days Series (drum roll, please):
A few years ago, my family went on vacation to a resort hotel that offered massages. My wife said I should get one, so I made an appointment. “Your massage will be with Al Pacino,” the scheduler said. “With whom?” I asked. “With Al Pacino.” “That’s who I thought you said.” My heart skipped a beat. A massage with The Godfather? This was not the vacation I had signed up for. My mind tripped into WORRY mode. What had I gotten myself into? I was on pins and needles waiting for my appointment.
Obstacles can either break you or make you better. Take Miami-Dade County, for instance. Home to 2.5 million residents, the County’s building portfolio—more than 1,500 facilities—is complex and constantly changing. It includes the County’s top two sources of revenue, the Miami International Airport and PortMiami. Other public service facilities under active energy management include 70 fire stations, 100 parks, 43 libraries, and many others. The County was facing five large obstacles in their energy management program. Maybe you can relate to some of them.
It’s okay to admit it--energy management is hard. But that's where software can help. Good software can help a little. Spectacular software can help a lot. It's an elementary lesson that having the right tools can mean the difference between mediocre performance and stellar performance. But if it's so elementary, why is the world filled with mediocre performances? Instead, we want you to be stellar. Here are 26 spectacular software features for stellar energy managers, in alphabetical order. (What's more elementary than that?).