When you look closely at energy, you see there are two sides to the coin. The first is consumption – or how much energy an organization needs to operate their business. The second is the supply rate  – or the price an organization pays for their energy. These two aspects create two opportunities in which an energy consultant can help an organization save energy and money. Both components – if reduced – will save money, while only one will save energy in tandem with saving money.

So, how does an energy consultant help an organization reduce consumption and lower the energy supply rate?

  1. Energy Efficiency
  1. Energy Brokerage

Energy Efficiency

Energy efficiency is the practice of aiming to conserve energy through reducing waste, upgrading technology or improving operations and maintenance. By improving efficiency, an organization will reduce the amount of energy they consume while simultaneously saving money.

We dig deep into ways in which a business can become more energy efficient in our post Reduce Energy Costs Through Energy Efficiency With These 3 Steps and specifically guide organizations on lighting here: How Upgrading Your Lighting Is Like Finding Money In Your Winter Coat Pocket Every Month.

For a quick overview, let’s cover some of the different aspects of conserving energy.

Reducing Waste

Reducing waste, in this context, doesn’t mean throwing out less trash. Rather, waste reduction involves the elimination of processes in which energy is wasted. For example, incandescent light bulbs are terrible at converting electricity into visible light. In fact, 90% of the electricity an incandescent bulb consumes is turned into heat. So, the wasted energy you can reduce by simply switching from incandescent light bulbs to energy efficiency LEDs is significant. By eliminating that 90%, an organization will consume less and also save money they were previously wasting when their light bulbs were generating heat.

Want to learn more about switching out your lighting? Read our post How Upgrading Your Lighting Is Like Finding Money In Your Winter Coat Pocket Every Month.

Other ways in which an organization can reduce energy waste include:

  • Using power strips to shut down equipment
  • Turning off lights or using motion sensors
  • Using fans
  • Smartly using shades and blinds
  • Upping or lowering room temperatures
  • Properly sealing windows and doors
  • Lowering the boiler temperature
  • Effectively insulating space

Upgrading Technology

The type of equipment an organization uses daily can play a major role in their total energy consumption. Many types of equipment have made some serious leaps in energy efficiency over the years. Everything from HVAC units to computers can operate at fractions of the energy needed to run older models. Undoubtedly, older pieces of equipment naturally begin to run less efficiently over time and so upgrading to new equipment, if the time is right, can reduce energy use significantly. A business might even find out that more efficient pieces of equipment operate so much more efficiently than their predecessors that a smaller unit or reduced number of units is required to do the same job.

Improving Operations

The way in which an organization and its employees operate is an often overlooked opportunity to save money on energy. Not only can energy be conserved, but changing behavior is free! No purchase necessary. Changing behavior to save money requires no technical knowledge and can be easily applied to new and old buildings alike.

We have already listed some behavioral changes above in the energy waste section, but here are some ideas:

  • Powering down equipment with power strips
  • Turning off lights when not needed
  • Upping or lowering room temperatures
  • Smartly using shades and blinds
  • Use more daylight
  • End of workday power downs
  • Closing off unused sections of the building

Improving Maintenance

Continually working to keep your organization running efficiently is like the saying “an apple a day keeps the doctor away”. Without consciously working towards efficiency, your organization will backslide. Proper maintenance practices can keep equipment running efficiently and lasting longer. Some of these areas may require technical expertise, but not all.

Here are some ideas for you:

  • Cleaning dust off light bulbs
  • Changing air filters
  • Sealing air ducts
  • Maintaining door and window seals
  • Regular upkeep of HVAC units
  • Periodic care of equipment

Energy Brokerage

An organization located in a state that has deregulated the energy market has the opportunity to take control of their energy supply and shop their usage in a competitive market. With an abundance of energy suppliers now competing for business, organizations – especially through an energy broker – can find rates that reduce their operations energy cost, take advantage of a moving market, fix a cost that is normally unpredictable and so much more.

Any business that has yet to switch their energy to a Retail Energy Supplier is being supplied by the utility – the default energy supplier. Deregulation, through law, has made it so utilities can no longer profit off energy supply. What this creates is a supplier that is not motivated to provide the most competitive rates. In contrast, a number of third-party suppliers are now hungry to gain market share and are willing to fight for that business – either through lower rates or better service or both.

Although an organization can switch to a Retail Energy Supplier without help, using an energy consultant to broker their energy opens up much more opportunity and makes the process easier and more effective. Energy brokers not only have access to more suppliers as some suppliers do not work directly with the public, but these consultants also have insight into the nuances within contracts, do all the legwork and can gather price quotes on the same day to ensure accurate apples to apples comparisons are being made. Businesses that are not in energy brokerage are better spending their time focusing on their core competencies and allowing brokers to help them through this process as it’s free to the organization. Brokers are compensated by the energy supplier that wins the business if a switch is made.

Energy consultants that are not yet offering brokerage services to organizations should partner with a brokerage, like 326energy, and use services, like R.F.Queue, to provide competitive bids to their customers.

By working to improve energy efficiency and locate the most competitive energy rates, energy consultants can significantly lower the amount of energy an organization consumes and save them money in the process.

Read our post titled Value-Added Selling: How To Transform Your Sales Process To Achieve Greater Success to learn how you can better serve your customers.

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