The Top 10 “People Factors” in Energy Management Success

ThinkstockPhotos-479533174John Lord is an Energy Education Specialist for Loudoun County (VA) Public Schools, one of the fastest-growing school districts in one of the nation's fastest growing counties. The district serves more than 70,000 students, and utilities are a big expense and an energy management opportunity. In the last two decades, the district has documented more than $60 million in cost avoidance attributable to energy management activities.

In today’s guest blog, John shares the Top 10 “people factors” that have contributed to his organization's energy management excellence:


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Topics: Energy Management

October 29, 2015

10 Energy Ted Talks You Need to Hear

Probably at some point, someone has asked if you've seen the latest TED talk on so-and-so. The first time that happened to me, I was like, "Ted said what?"

But since then, I've become a fan of the 18-minute talks that spread ideas on technology, entertainment, and design (that's where the name TED comes from).

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So if you're looking to be educated, challenged, or even inspired in your work, here's a countdown of the ten most popular TED talks on energy.

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Topics: Energy Management

September 29, 2015

Five Questions and Answers on Real-time Energy Metering

We recently presented a webinar with Lucid Design Group on the relationship between real-time metering and utility bill dataand the savings opportunities they deliver. The webinar produced some good questions from the audience, and we're sharing the answers in today's blog.

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Topics: Energy Management

September 24, 2015

Energy Management Maturity Model [Infographic]

Ever since we started helping organizations track their utility bills 35 years ago, we've noticed two paths that organizations frequently travel on the road to energy management success. We focused on one of those paths in an earlier blog (the path of utility bill processing maturity).

Today we’ll focus on the path of energy management maturity. Like any path, it has a starting point, and a destination, with landmarks along the way. We’ve captured that path in an infographic, and are sharing it in this blog.

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Topics: Energy Management

September 1, 2015

How ENERGY STAR Calculates Your Building Rating

measureBuilding500In a previous blog, we discussed the value of the national CBECS survey in assessing the energy efficiency of buildings in your property portfolio.

Today, we are going to look at the process by which the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) uses the Commercial Building Energy Consumption Survey (CBECS) and other data and processes to develop its national ENERGY STAR building rating. And if you’re not yet tracking your building energy use with ENERGY STAR, here are five good reasons to get started!

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Topics: Energy Management

August 25, 2015

Utility Bills Plus Interval Data—A Marriage Made in Heaven

Utility bills vs. interval data. Two very different types of information. The forest vs. the trees. The whole pie vs. a 'byte'. These two sources represent distinct value streams for the modern enterprise.

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The smart energy manager can realize and leverage the value of each, and added value accrues when you bring them together—a kind of energy management marriage made in heaven. That's the premise for the first of another round of monthly Energy Leader Webinars sponsored by EnergyCAP.

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Topics: Energy Management

August 20, 2015

Utility Bill Processing [Infographic]

In our 35 years of helping organizations track their utility bills, we've seen all kinds of utility bill processes. Some have been complex, while some have been simple. Some have interfaced with external systems, while some have kept to themselves. Some have been free, while some have been paid.

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Drawing on our experience, we created the Utility Bill Processing infographic. Where does your organization fit in?

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Topics: Energy Management

August 4, 2015

EnergyCAP’s New Resource Library: An Overview

Many of our blog readers know that we launched our new website this month. As blog co-author Chris Heinz pointed out recently, the new site provides much better access to a wide variety of content resources. In today’s blog, we will briefly review the seven major content areas of our new online resource library.

Nearly all of our primary content resources can be accessed from the Resources page of our website: www.energycap.com/resources.  We have divided up the resource library into seven major areas:

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Topics: Energy Management

July 30, 2015

Takeaways from the Better Buildings Summit

We weren't in attendance at the annual Better Buildings Summit held in Washington, DC in late May, but we know folks who were there. This annual conference is generating a fair amount of buzz and online content, so we thought we’d answer some questions, and share some information for your reference.

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Topics: Energy Management

July 2, 2015

5 Reasons to Track Building Energy Use in ENERGY STAR

At our Catalyst Training for Savings conference last April, EnergyCAP CEO Steve Heinz outlined five reasons for tracking your buildings' energy use through ENER

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Topics: Energy Management

June 9, 2015

Energy Insights from the Philippines

I was recently in the Philippines to speak at some conferences and set up student sponsorships. Although the purpose of my trip was not work-related, the subject of energy was on my mind. I suppose that’s not surprising when energy management software is the family business.

Here are three lessons about energy from my trip to the Philippines.

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Topics: Energy Management

June 2, 2015

Musings on Football and Energy Management

footballBlog.pngIn January of this year, the NCAA settled a lawsuit with Pennsylvania Senator Jake Corman, restoring 112 victories to the record books for the Penn State Nittany Lion football team, and restoring Joe Paterno’s place in history as the winningest college football coach. This was big news here in State College, Pennsylvania, home to the Penn State University Park campus and the Nittany Lions.

How did Paterno achieve his phenomenal record (409-136-3, .749 pct.), and can we learn principles for a winning energy management program from his example?

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Topics: Energy Management

May 14, 2015

We Did It Again!

poty-blaine3For the fifth year in a row, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has recognized EnergyCAP, Inc. with a 2015 ENERGY STAR Partner of the Year award. This year it was the Sustained Excellence Award for our continued leadership in stewarding our environment through superior energy efficiency achievements.

EnergyCAP, Inc.'s accomplishments were formally recognized yesterday in Washington, D.C. at a special ceremony for 128 award winners in a variety of categories.

Blaine Clapper, our Assistant VP of Sales, was on hand to receive our award. EnergyCAP was honored for:

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Topics: Energy Management

April 21, 2015

Why Bother With Accruals?

accrual-calendar-graphicToday’s blog is on one of my favorite topics—accruals. Oh, no; I lied.

Let’s face it—accruals are rarely anyone’s favorite topic. As an engineer, I tend to look at accruals as an accounting exercise that really doesn’t add anything to the energy management picture, so why would anyone even bother?

The short answer is that for those in accounting departments and those dealing with budgets and Profit & Loss (P&L) statements, accruals are very important and very necessary. But there are also some tangible benefits on the energy management side.

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Topics: Energy Management

April 14, 2015

An Overview of the DOE’s New Building Energy Asset Score

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When we think of measuring building energy efficiency, we immediately think of the ENERGY STAR brand, which has been around since the early ‘90s. The new kid on the block is the Department of Energy’s Building Energy Asset Score. Today’s blog provides a quick overview of the Building Energy Asset Score, including a comparison with ENERGY STAR, in a convenient Q/A format.

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Topics: Energy Management

April 9, 2015

Peer Advice for New Energy Managers

ThinkstockPhotos-186281421"What advice would you give to an energy manager on his or her first day?"

We asked this question to five EnergyCAP users, each from a different organization.

Let's see what advice they would give to an energy manager on the first day.

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Topics: Energy Management

April 7, 2015

Overview: ENERGY STAR DataTrends

pm-energystarENERGY STAR has recently released DataTrends—a sector-specific research and analysis series. The series currently includes 2-page fact sheets for each of 16 building types that are commonly tracked and rated using the DOE’s Portfolio Manager online software. In this blog, we will answer a few basic questions and make a couple of observations about the available data.

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Topics: Energy Management

March 25, 2015

5 Ways to Build Your Energy Management Team

rowingTeamGone are the days when the organization energy manager would (or could) work alone. Today, energy conservation is the work of everyone: more energy stakeholders mean better communication is needed; the value of energy information is on the rise; energy reports have to be tailored for different audiences; tasks are multiplying; and the lines between departments are blurring.

Plus, energy performance mandates (public and private) are proliferating, and the tools of the energy management trade are becoming more powerful and complex. All these factors impact staffing and training, and they suggest that the successful energy manager is the one who can build (or rebuild!) an energy management team.

Whether you're starting from scratch, or trying to ramp up a flagging energy management program, here are five ways to build your energy management team.

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Topics: Energy Management

March 17, 2015

Establishing an Institutional Energy Policy

A while back, we shared some suggestions on developing an Energy Management Plan (EMP). But sometimes it's hard to get support for the plan if you don't have an institutional framework in which to put it. Today's post provides suggestions for creating (or revising) an Institutional Energy Policy that will provide a solid framework for your future energy management efforts.

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Topics: Energy Management

March 10, 2015

Top Ten Ebooks from EnergyCAP

At EnergyCAP, we’re always looking for ways to help you succeed in energy management. One of the ways we do this is through publishing ebooks. Our growing ebook library covers a variety of topics from finding energy savings to benchmarking your energy data to analyzing weather data.

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What ebooks are the most popular? In this post, we count down the top ten most-downloaded EnergyCAP ebooks:

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Topics: Energy Management

March 5, 2015

EnergyCAP Unmasked: Implementation Project Managers

Implementing enterprise software is a major event in the life of an organization, comparable to personal events like a wedding, childbirth, and selling a house. It's much easier to gracefully walk out these changes with a guide—one who has been there before. For a wedding, you have the pastor. For childbirth, the doctor. Selling your house? Find a good realtor!

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 But where do you turn for implementing enterprise software? 

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Topics: Energy Management

March 3, 2015

How to Set a SMART Goal

When my youngest brother was in high school, he set a significant goal for himself—he was going to dunk a basketball. But there were some up-front problems with this goal. For starters, he was the shortest kid in our family, topping off at 5'8". Plus he had never played scholastic team sports. But Greg was determined.

dunking basketball

We had an adjustable-height basketball goal, and Greg would go out and practice. But it wasn't until years later in the college gymnasium that he finally dunked one. To my knowledge there were no witnesses, and I'm not sure if the feat was ever repeated. In fact, I never heard another word about basketball from him after that. But he did achieve his goal.

Speaking of goals, what goals have you set? Are they SMART?

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Topics: Energy Management

February 26, 2015

Energy Managers–Time to Grow Up!

childHeightDocEnergy managers: you may not be as mature as you think you are.

No, I’m not talking about fighting on the playground, or slipping a grasshopper into Marie’s lunchbox. I’m referring to the current state of your energy information systems.

No, not your building control systems–although those can be very important. How mature are you when it comes to handling your energy data?

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Topics: Energy Management

February 19, 2015

Survey Results: 2015 Energy Management Trends

trendsChartWe recently surveyed a number of our energy management contacts, primarily in the commercial sector, to find out what they were expecting regarding energy management trends in 2015—everything from energy use/cost to salaries. We’re recapping the results of that survey today.

Survey participants had an average of 10 years of experience in their current job position, so we believe they are well-positioned to provide an informed perspective.

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Topics: Energy Management

February 13, 2015

Becoming Legacy vs. Leaving a Legacy

computerLegacy_splitScreen

Recently, we sponsored an Energy Leader Webinar featuring Steve Heinz, AEE’s 2013 International Energy Engineer of the Year. Drawing on his 35+ years of experience in the energy management industry, Steve talked about how to leave an energy management legacy—rather than becoming legacy.

Here's the difference between the two:

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Topics: Energy Management

January 27, 2015

How to Analyze a Utility Bill

man looking at utility billToday’s blog is dedicated to those who find themselves doing energy management on a part-time or volunteer basis, perhaps because no one else would or could do it, but it still needed to be done.

Your professional training may be limited and your experience may be slim, but you are still determined to be a good steward of your organization’s energy resources. THANK YOU for the effort you have put into what can often be a thankless task.

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Topics: Energy Management

January 20, 2015

Building an Energy Management Legacy

staircase2Do you like to build? I do. And it’s a good thing, because this weekend I’m moving into an old Victorian home. How old? The year of construction is 1891.

Given the vintage of the home, I have every expectation that I’ll be building (or more accurately, rebuilding) for the next several years. But one of the reasons my wife and I chose this home is because it became obvious to us that the builders had been interested in leaving a legacy.

What about you? If you’re a facility manager, you’re working hard every day to keep costs down and maximize your buildings’ operational efficiency—but will you leave an energy management legacy?

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Topics: Energy Management

January 8, 2015

How (and Why) to Verify Utility Billing Data

When it comes to utility bill management, the expression “garbage in, garbage out” is particularly true. If the raw data isn't correct, then the conclusions you draw from the faulty data will not be correct either.

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As discussed in our recent webinar, 10 Tactics of Successful Energy Managers, the typical utility bill workflow process is riddled with opportunities for errors. Today’s blog is about how (and why) to check your utility billing records for errors.

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Topics: Energy Management

December 16, 2014

Time Management: Working in the Upper Left Quadrant

As an energy management professional, there are so many “urgent” demands on your time. But President Dwight D. Eisenhower stated, "What is important is seldom urgent and what is urgent is seldom important." This is a valuable perspective for an energy management professional! President_Eisenhower

Eisenhower is credited with developing a simple tool that can be used to ensure that important tasks are getting our time and attention. It has been called the Eisenhower matrix. We will introduce the tool in today’s blog, and share a couple of examples illustrating how you can use it.

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Topics: Energy Management- The Workplace

December 2, 2014

5 Common Problems Energy Managers Face

37194589It’s an exciting time to be an energy manager! As more organizations buy into sustainability and energy stewardship as a core component of their business model, opportunities will continue to multiply. But regardless of the situation, there will be certain common challenges.

Here are five common problems that energy managers will continue to face:

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Topics: Energy Management

October 9, 2014

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