businessMeeting_blog1.pngAt some point in our careers, we all find ourselves in a position where we have to stand up and fight. Not in the manner of physical battery, but in the way of a challenge to get our proposed budget approved, or add a staff position, or maybe even justify our own job. Energy managers are no exception to this process and frequently find themselves in front of the city council or an executive board seeking funds for an energy conservation project.

Fortunately, EnergyCAP can make the project justification and validation process much easier, offering functionality to help from start to finish: 

  • Project Identification
  • Tracking the Details
  • Evaluation
  • Communication

Identifying the Need

Before committing to any project plan, you need to know that the data on which you are basing your decisions and evaluating project performance is good data. For EnergyCAP users, project management actually begins when EnergyCAP audits your utility bills for accuracy. Once the audits are complete, you can proceed with confidence. A wealth of information is now readily available to help you identify your energy inefficient facilities, starting with EnergyCAP’s Groups & Benchmarking module:

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The benchmarking chart above shows that Building #1 uses substantially more energy on a per-square-foot basis than its peers. The following chart confirms that Building #1 also leads the way in cost. The building is a confirmed “energy hog” and is an excellent candidate for an energy management project.

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Tracking the Details

After the project has been spec’d. and funding secured, the project details can be recorded in EnergyCAP:

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Project cost, start and end dates, anticipated savings, rebates, and other relevant project details are now readily accessible and available for on-going reporting and analysis.

Project Evaluation

Even if you are highly confident that the project you just completed will produce substantial reductions in energy consumption and cost, “gut feel” typically doesn’t suffice. Easy-to-understand charts, graphs, and reports – backed by real numbers – are typically required. Again, EnergyCAP meets the need.

For a quick reference, consult the weather-normalized use trend comparisons…

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and EUI charts that denote project completion dates.

When more detailed analysis is warranted to satisfy the board or confirm savings for a performance-based contract, you’ll be well-equipped with detailed measurement and verification (M&V) analyses from EnergyCAP’s Cost Avoidance module. The Cost Avoidance module is specifically designed to compare post-retrofit energy consumption to the pre-retrofit period, showing avoided energy use and cost. In other words, EnergyCAP will calculate for you the effectiveness of your energy management project or behavior-based campaign.

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Important M&V features that are available only in the Cost Avoidance module include the following:

  • Special adjustments to baseline – Independent variables other than degree days requiring adjustment to today’s conditions (floor area, new equipment, occupancy, etc.)
  • “No loss/no gain” treatment of missing bills, new accounts, inactive accounts
  • Fuel switch and dual fuel scenarios
  • Calculation of Cost Avoidance – valuation of avoided usage using today’s pricing
  • “Tuning” of weather regression results (selection of the best balance point temperature for each meter, removal of statistical outlier months)
  • Manual calculation of savings when needed due to unique circumstances
  • Meter-by-meter configuration of baseline period and savings start date

EnergyCAP’s Cost Avoidance calculations are IPMVP-compliant, which means they meet the M&V standards set by an international non-profit organization (http://evo-world.org/en/). So, you can present your calculations with confidence.

Communication

Communicating your success is a critical component of effective energy management. Success begets success by motivating building occupants to conserve even more; everyone feels good about conserving energy, right? And money not spent on energy is available for other worthy causes, like increased salaries, improved facilities, healthcare benefits, etc. And, of course, energy efficiency is great press.

What city council member or corporate director doesn’t like to tout the organization’s energy conservation and environmental success stories? 

So don’t be shy. Select the EnergyCAP reports you need – there are more than 300 to choose from – to tell your success stories.

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Be proud of what you’ve accomplished. Take a bow for all you do to improve your organization’s bottom line, conserve valuable resources, and help the environment. But don’t pause too long. Another budget cycle is on the horizon, and the next project awaits.

Tips to Get

About The Author
Blaine is an Assistant Vice President, Sales & Marketing for EnergyCAP, Inc., and a certified Business Energy Professional. He consults with clients and prospects to develop cost-effective energy management solutions.
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