Take a look around you. If you are reading this blog, you are likely at work. Let’s talk about your office.
Is your computer ENERGY STAR rated? Hopefully.
Are the lights in your office LED? Maybe.
Is your building heated and cooled with the most energy efficient equipment? Unlikely.
While the commercial sector has long been understood as a great candidate for energy efficiency, there is still a lot of energy use left to be transformed.
Barriers to Commercial Efficiency
Now, let’s pretend that you are the big boss of your company (and maybe you are). In an average day, you likely have a multitude of competing priorities. Just with managing the people, money, and products of your respective company, your hands are full. Even if a very compelling package of information about potential energy efficiency upgrades was put in front of you, and even if at the end of the day you would save money in utility bill costs after a few years (or even less), taking action still might not happen right away. It may take you a few days, weeks, or even months to find the spare moments needed to review a proposal like that. Energy efficiency at your business, after all, is not nearly as time sensitive as that upcoming deadline or those very important positions you need to fill. Even if the content of the proposal is a very good idea, someone at the top would still need to delegate responsibility of getting the job done, especially since all of your employees have their own full time jobs. Perhaps you do put the proposal into the hands of a facilities or office manager for whom energy efficiency upgrades fit a bit more closely with their job description—if the upgrades require significant capital expenditures or shutting down of operations to replace equipment—it may once again need your review and approval to move forward with a project. Again, this may take some time and effort.
Of course, for all of you reading this blog, you’re a little more invested in the idea of commercial energy efficiency. I have no doubt that you and your big bosses would prioritize an energy efficiency project because that is a priority for your organization. As we know, efficiency not only saves energy but also saves money for a business, which can ultimately improve its bottom line. This is to say nothing of the non-energy benefits that can come from efficiency, such as increased worker productivity and satisfaction through better lighting and more calibrated and comfortable heating and cooling.
Saying Yes to Efficiency
For a subset of commercial customers, it is worthwhile to pursue efficiency upgrades. Efficiency programs, ESCOs, and others have been pursuing those projects with willing customers for years. For the rest of the commercial customer population—those who do not think about energy on a daily basis and are unable to make it a priority—they are the targets for our newest report.
Getting to Yes: Scaling Comprehensive Energy Efficiency in Commercial Buildings is NEEP’s latest resource to help the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic achieve our collective goals of carbon reduction. The report provides an overview of the current state of commercial efficiency efforts and then launches into several exciting new tools, activities, technologies, and approaches to address commercial energy efficiency. The report ends with strategies and recommendations for a fresh perspective on working with commercial customers and helping them move to yes on a comprehensive efficiency project. Clocking in at just 30 pages, this resource is focused on overcoming a serious hurdle: that even if you have all the right components of a project pulled together, it may be more about how, when, and to whom you present the information than just the what of the content to really get things done.