Energy management used to be a part-time job for many facility managers, but at a time of soaring energy prices, it can’t be anymore, writes Anne Vazquez in Today’s Facility Manager.
Vazquez spoke with Jennifer Kearney, managing director and co-founder of Gotham-360 LLC, on how facility managers can create an energy management plan.
The first step is to conduct an organization-wide evaluation of how energy is procured. Kearney says this is because energy prices are currently very volatile and energy purchased one week can be more expensive within a week.
Kearney recommends consulting with energy management firms because they track the markets every day and can procure cheaper energy contracts, but clients usually have to enter a long-term contract of three to five years.
The next step is to help control costs is by reducing energy consumption. One way is ro replace inefficient HVAC equipment with newer energy-efficient models.
Another way to reduce costs is by using demand response programs offered by utility companies. In exchange for reduced rate on energy, the customer has to cut its consumption during high demand periods. Kearney says an increasing number of governments and utilities are putting out more finical incentives to help customers create projects that reduces energy consumption from the grid.