Buildings use 39% of the total fossil fuel consumed and 74% of the electricity produced each year in the United States.
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Managing your organization's energy use is best done by you, because you know your organization best. What my company does is show how to get one started and give you a framework for keeping it going.
The key to keeping the savings going is establishing a "big-picture" goal and timeline for reaching it. There will be an information-gathering session to establish building characteristics and current energy use, then a goal-setting session in response to the gap between "current" and "desired". A draft energy plan will be compiled and handed over to you based on the results of the goal-setting session. It will list the over-all goal, the objectives, along with strategies and day-to-day tactics discussed in the session. The diagram at left is similar to what your cover page will look like.
The framework (based on EPA's "Planning a Communications Strategy") is no different than the process you already used for new initiatives: listing goals, objectives, strategies etc. What's new about it is the types of goals, objectives and strategies as well as the tools for measuring progress. Get ready to strengthen and share the "environment" piece of your bottom line.
According to U.S. EPA's EnergyStar, who's bee tracking success since 1991, energy programs save more than energy projects. And success depends on whether you can successfully create a culture of energy efficiency within your organization.
I conduct workshops for organizations customized to deliver the message your employees need to hear about energy efficiency strides you've made or intend to make. You'll recognize candidates to jump-start a sustainability advisory group who'll augment your facilities manager's green efforts. I'll guide your company through the goal setting process that'll be the group's road map.
For multi-family housing projects, not only will residents of your property appreciate your effort to help them save money on their own power bills and show them ways to improve the quality of the air they breathe inside their apartment, but also you'll gain loyalty and another marketing tool.
Americans spend about 90% of their day indoors, where the air quality can be significantly worse than outside.
LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) is a rating system measuring how healthy and high-performing a buildng operates. It's easier to achieve than you think, especially for existing buildings, using the EB O&M rating system. Even if your story doesn't include a chapter on how you achieved LEED Certification, you can still use LEED strategies as an outline for how you want the chapter to read.
If you want to talk points, I can provide three right away. One because I'm a LEED Accredited Professional, another because I'll include long-term energy use tracking in my services, and the third one by creating a simple tool to tell your building's LEED story to everyone who walks in it. If your building out-performs 95% of those in your CBECS database use group, there's 18 more.
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
In my community, the public K-12 schools are making incredible strides toward providing healthy and high performing places for our kids to learn. Last Fall, I guest-lectured in a 7th grade social studies class about the history of why our society has come to depend so heavily on fossil fuels. Then I explained what happens when fossil fuels are burned. With that foundation of knowledge, they appreciated the environmental significance of their school's newly installed geothermal heating and cooling system. I allowed them to look underground by playing a video animation of how a closed-loop system works, then I pointed to the cabinet in their room that housed the simple exchange pump. Suddenly, they had a new sense of pride in the place where they learn. Shortly thereafter, a green team formed under the direction of dedicated teachers.
As building professionals, we give relentless attention to the inter-relationships of smart building systems and their flawless operation. But I've noticed we rarely make time to explain to the people using the building what the big deal is about those systems. Look what happens when we do.