How to Calculate Energy-Enhancing System ROI
The first step in driving energy savings is to measure and validate consumption. Then you know where to drive savings.

Article


Energy audits are essential to providing a baseline against which future projections of energy savings can be made when organizations pursue efficiency upgrades.
December 10, 2012 By Aaron Stern

In this cash-strapped, energy-conscious time, organizations increasingly seek to maximize the efficiency of their networks and facilities. But before they invest in new technologies that will help them get the most bang for their buck, they must first look inward.

“What you don’t measure, you can’t manage,” said Jeff Drees, the U.S. country president of Schneider Electric. “So the first step in driving energy savings is to measure [and to] validate your consumption. Then you know where to go [to] drive savings.”

Making those assessments isn’t necessarily simple. The evaluation of current energy consumptions must be thorough and honest, and the projections have to be complete and reality-based.

“It’s really coming through with a quantification of what is their today-spend at an op-ex level, and then looking at what you would do with a performance contract to project into the future,” said Allen Breeze, Schneider’s senior vice president of power business.

Of course, leadership must have the will to make changes if efficiency is actually going to be enhanced.

As the director of the Health Safety & Environment division at TRW Automotive, a major car parts supplier, Rick Bell visits numerous plants around the country. He has dozens of facility managers with hundreds of wish-list projects big and small that would streamline operations and cut costs.

Related: The Rise & Impact of Smart Cities

“I went to my manager and I said, ‘Hey, how about we put aside $3 million of capital to invest in energy savings?,’” Bell recalled. The answer, in a nutshell, was that there’s no money for special pet projects.

“Our CEO and whatever’s focused on different things,” he said. “We’re building 20 plants in China.” These new Chinese plants might provide Bell the chance to implement new efficiency standards, hopefully thereby planting the seeds of a more open-minded corporate attitude toward energy efficiency.

“It’s a hell of a lot easier to put an energy-efficient compressor in than to try to make the compressor they bought last year, more energy-efficient,” he said. “I’m going around banging the drum. I’m really struggling to figure out how to motivate them,” he said. “We will get there – we’ll get there, but it’s a struggle.”

Once you’ve made the investments to increase efficiency, then what? Andy Schonberger is the director of Earth Rangers Centre for Sustainable Technology, an environmental education facility for children in Ontario, Canada. The LEED-gold certified facility uses a multitude of passive and active energy efficiency tools and monitors the facility’s energy and water use across 80 subsystems through an extensive metering system. The building even has its own waste water treatment facility which recycles 98 percent of waste water back into non-potable uses.

So it might not seem that Earth Rangers has a lot left to do when it comes to efficiency, but Schonberger said there is always low-hanging fruit.

Work Smarter: Keep Ahead of the Competition

Keep up with the changing A/V world with Commercial Integrator. Each issue makes it easy to understand and apply the latest A/V trends and techniques — whether you deal with UHDTV, wireless AV, Digital Video/IPTV, networking, HDBaseT or HDMI.
It’s not enough to keep up with the competition. You need to stay ahead of them. Subscribe to Commercial Integrator today for the latest techniques and insights you need to drive your business.

About the author

Aaron Stern - Managing Editor
Prior to becoming the managing editor of CI, Aaron was a content editor for TechDecisions. As a reporter he has covered local, national and international news. Follow him on Twitter: @aarondstern.
View all posts by Aaron Stern
Social Bookmark or Share This
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Digg
  • Del.icio.us
  • Yahoo! Bookmarks
  • Google Bookmarks
  • StumbleUpon
  • Technorati
  • Reddit
  • Windows Live
  • LinkedIn
  • Evernote
  • E-mail


  • Latest
  • Blogs
  • Photos
  • Resources
Read the ‘Most Important’ Blog NSCA’s Chuck Wilson Has Ever Written

Citing specific and frank perception from integration business owners and diving deeply into their regrets, Chuck Wilson tells the stories of six former business owners who didn't make it in the integration industry in this can't miss blog.

What Kramer Control and Crestron. AV Framework Mean for Automation Programmers
How Integrators Can Win Back The Projector Lamp Business
3 Ways AV Integrators Can Increase Sales Using Digital Content
How Integrators are Missing Opportunities in the Lighting Sector
View more blog posts
The Future of Displays: 15 Innovations from the InfoComm Show Floor

LCD video wall systems, retractable screen technology and never-before-seen LED cabinet designs were just a few of the display solutions at InfoComm 2016 that are leading the way in display technology.

Inside Prysm’s InfoComm 2016 Booth
13 InfoComm Products that Break New Ground
Finding Dory Scoring Mixer Explains How He Chooses Microphones
17 Impressive InfoComm 2016 Digital Signage Innovations
View more photo galleries
White Paper:
Ignorance, Defiance on ADA Compliance Among Regulatory Nightmares

Many integrators still don’t know everything they’re supposed to be doing — from ADA to new overtime rules to EPA compliance and more — possibly bogged down by laws they are unable to keep up with.

White Paper: Secrets to Installing Outdoor Audio-Video Safely
White Paper: New Standard Revs Up Networking Game
White Paper: 7 Tips for Rolling Out University Digital Signage
White Paper: From Chaos to Control - Your Guide to Business Efficiency
White Paper: The Ultimate Guide to As-a-Service
White Paper: IP Meets IoT: Choosing the Right Technology for the Future of Building Automation
Webcast: How Selling Broadband Services Can Boost Monthly Revenue
View more papers or webcasts


Recent comments

Mike;

Great to hear. Nice selection and focus on the AV Integrator.

What section of InfoComm…

Posted by Tucker on 2016 06 22 · commented on
'Lights Out: How Integrators are Missing Opportunities in the Lighting Sector'.

Jack:

Thanks for the good words.  How do you think we can bring the two together?  Would…

Posted by Tucker on 2016 06 22 · commented on
'Lights Out: How Integrators are Missing Opportunities in the Lighting Sector'.

If anyone is interested in more details, feel free to reach out to us at EBS.
This system uses our…

Posted by Alex on 2016 06 22 · commented on
'Inside One of the Most Innovative Dental Simulation Clinics in the World'.

Commercial and residential integrators need to visit www.colorbeamnorthamerica.com for the evolution in lighting.

Posted by Mike Teolis on 2016 06 21 · commented on
'Lights Out: How Integrators are Missing Opportunities in the Lighting Sector'.