If you can’t quantify energy savings, you might be wasting your time.
The fact is, many variables affect energy use: changes in building square footage, type of primary use, billing period length, and weather, for example. Each of these factors can greatly affect your cost and consumption.
One of the main reasons that Brian Millberg, Energy Manager for City of Minneapolis, uses EnergyCAP is to quantify cost savings. Millberg uses the Cost Avoidance module to normalize energy data for a building or group of buildings to account for several variables affecting energy use, including weather and occupancy. This enables Millberg to demonstrate the savings obtained from energy management projects.
For example, in 2010 Millberg reviewed a project where an office building was re-lamped and carbon dioxide (CO2) monitors were added to the air handling equipment to ensure efficiency of steam boilers. The retrofits cost the City $78,000, but using the Cost Avoidance module, Millberg was able to demonstrate that the City avoided $98,000 in steam and electricity use the following year (a net savings of $20,000).
“I make heavy use of the Cost Avoidance module to quantify savings in energy use and costs from specific conservation measures,” says Millberg. He estimates that he is now using Cost Avoidance for 300 accounts and 75 buildings. He uses the module to report quarterly to department heads on how their building’s energy use compares to the weather adjusted “theoretical” or “Without Cost Avoidance Program” energy use.
Learn more about how City of Minneapolis manages energy.