Collect and use current and historical energy data to form a baseline of your business’s energy performance
How It Works
Collect Energy Use Data
To lower costs and improve energy performance, it is important to understand your current and past energy use. Identifying the type and level of data to collect is the first step, and that process varies across organizations. While some businesses collect data from submeters, others look only at utility bills. Regardless of your approach, the data must be accurate and complete, and account for all the energy your organization has purchased and generated over the past two to three years.
Identify a Tracking System
Tracking systems can range from simple spreadsheets to advanced monitoring systems. The type of system you use should be based on the type, level, and frequency at which you want to collect data. For example, if you want to track data at the equipment level, you may want to consider more advanced solutions, such as Real Time Energy Management (RTEM), that monitors a building’s live performance data to provide actionable insights for optimizing equipment efficiency and energy consumption. RTEM programs offering cost-share incentives are available for small businesses and commercial tenants to install and operate RTEM technologies.
With the collected data, you will be able to establish a baseline of your energy performance—how much energy you use on average over a specific time period (e.g., daily, monthly, yearly). This baseline will serve as a starting point for establishing your energy saving goals and evaluating your ongoing energy performance.
Benchmarking is another way to understand your business’s energy performance—comparing your energy use to that of similar organizations; your own past performance; or national, recognized standards. Consider using the ENERGY STAR® PortfolioManager®, a free online tool designed to benchmark your building’s energy use to that of similar buildings nationwide.
There are many ways to analyze energy use trends depending upon the data you collect. Analyses can identify metrics as varied as energy consumption peaks and valleys, areas of high-cost energy use, and differences between how different buildings and facilities are performing. Some organizations also participate in energy assessments or audits to analyze how specific equipment and systems are performing.
How You Benefit
- Gain a baseline understanding of your current and historical energy performance
- Establish a formal process for tracking and monitoring energy use
- Identify opportunities to reduce energy use and operational costs
- Make data-driven decisions to encourage continuous energy performance improvement
When You Should Consider It
Conducting a performance assessment may be good for your business if you are:
- Determining your organization’s energy use at an enterprise or facility level
- Forming and setting goals related to energy management
- Identifying energy saving opportunities and improvements
- Looking to implement a robust data collection and tracking system
You Might Also Be Interested In
Measuring energy performance can help identify operational inefficiencies and improve your business’s bottom line. Consider leveraging your energy tracking systems and assessments to improve performance with additional energy planning, training, and cost-effective investments, including:
- Energy Action Planning: Establish energy savings goals and a road map to continuously measure and improve energy performance and operations.
- Energy Programs and Incentives: Explore federal, New York State, and utility programs offering financial and technical support for businesses.
- Workforce Staffing and Training Programs: Explore programs to help your staff and organization develop and implement energy management practices.
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