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According to a report from McKinsey, the United States could save as much as $1.2 trillion over the next 10 years while only investing half of that amount in energy efficiency initiatives. The resulting savings would cut energy use about 23% by the year 2020, an astounding figure.
A proactive approach to energy efficiency and management represents, in effect, a considerable energy resource. A correct approach would incorporate all elements of society and commerce and reap almost unheard-of dividends, but would require widespread adoption.
Just like the process of “stepping on the scale” when on a diet, monitoring energy every month has the power to motivate and transform. After all, those extra “pounds” could become extra dollars. A recent study found that commercial buildings that regularly benchmarked their energy performance in EPA’s Portfolio Manager™ tool cut their energy bills by seven percent over three years (2.4 percent per year on average). That’s equal to:
For a 500,000-square-foot office building:
For a medium-box retailer with 500 stores:
It doesn’t take a lot of money to start saving energy. First, make a commitment, benchmark your energy performance, and create a plan — all with no capital investment. Next, start with the no- and low-cost opportunities. Capture those wasted energy dollars and use them to finance more low-cost improvements. Keep saving, keep improving. When you’re ready, you can point to the value of good energy management and secure the capital you need for bigger projects.
Build energy management
Benchmarking is a critical step in energy management, setting a reference point for defining good energy performance, informing goals, and measuring progress.
All in all, Energy efficiency is one of the easiest and most cost effective ways to combat climate change, clean the air we breathe, improve the competitiveness of the businesses and reduce incurred energy costs.