Greatly Reduce Your Building’s Energy Use in 12 Months
When dealing with commercial buildings, we all know the basic approaches to energy efficiency: improved operations and maintenance, equipment upgrades and energy-saving behaviors. As more organizations adopt energy-saving programs, we’ve seen many best practices emerge. These usually involve corporate commitments, planning, measurement and tracking, and a staged approach to improvements. The results can be significant; organizations are able to trim energy use by 30 percent or more during the course of an energy-efficiency program.
What if the Washington, D.C.-based U.S. Environmental Protection Agency required you to reduce your building’s energy consumption as much as possible in 12 months, starting today? What would you do? Where would you start?
It so happens that we made 14 phone calls requiring this when we launched EPA’s National Building Competition. We upped the stakes—and added an element of fun—by turning this into a competition. As part of the rules, we asked each of our 14 competitors to provide regular updates to let us know what they were doing to save energy. We set them up with Twitter accounts and they embraced the idea, firing off a flurry of tweets within minutes of launch. Now, three months later, we have compiled a unique peek into some of the measures these 14 buildings are taking to save as much energy as possible. Some already had energy-efficiency programs in place when they got the call from EPA; some didn’t. Some have big budgets and a dedicated staff of energy managers; some don’t.
Before we get into the tweets, if you haven’t already, please meet our 14 competitors. They include hotels, schools, college dorms, retail stores, office buildings and other buildings we see in our communities every day. Their strategies are paying off already at the competition’s midpoint; leading competitors are turning in double-digit reductions in just six months!
Let’s take a look at some of the themes that have emerged from the activity. These were all originally written as tweets, hence the shorthand writing style.
OPERATIONS & MAINTENANCE
Working with Different Teams in Your Building
Timers and Sensors
Other Operations & Maintenance
Employees’ Computer Monitors
Dashboards, Banners, Signs
Lauren Pitcher is a communications specialist in the ENERGY STAR Commercial & Industrial Buildings Program.