15 Feb 2011 10:02:32
Recently, the District of Columbia became one of the first government organizations in history to publicly promote its system-wide efficiency. The District started to invest in measures to better understand its use of energy throughout its almost 200 public buildings. By energy benchmarking, it hopes to cut back on its use of electricity, natural gas, and other fuels and consequently reduce its greenhouse gas emissions.
Energy benchmarking has become one of the hot topics of conversation in the boardroom of today. The measures taken by the District of Columbia are in tune with other programs put forward by the city of New York and the city of San Francisco. Each public body is seeking to better understand how it uses energy and how it can become far more fiscally responsible by setting standards and initiating efficiency projects.
According to the public information now available, many facilities owned by the District of Columbia – including some of the larger schools, office buildings, police and fire stations – actually consume far more energy than what is deemed to be the "national average" for similar buildings across the United States. These so-called "red flags" were only revealed as a consequence of the District's energy benchmarking initiative.
It's interesting to note that the District of Columbia plans to use federal stimulus funds throughout the next few years to deliver energy efficiency improvements as a consequence of their energy benchmarking efforts. In Washington, the District Council passed the Clean and Affordable Energy Act which mandates that the government reveals its energy efficiency and that larger commercial entities in that area do so as well.
Many commercial organizations around the country are noting the impact that the District of Columbia's energy benchmarking plan had and are beginning to understand how important it is for them to conduct benchmarking initiatives themselves.
Energy consumption can be detailed down to an individual asset level today. When this type of grandeur information is available and the process of energy benchmarking put in place, inefficiencies can be readily identified. Energy benchmarking is the trigger for a variety of energy efficiency projects and the means to ensure that money spent on such forward facing projects is focused on the best opportunities.
Commercial organizations should begin to treat their relationship with utility providers as more of a partnership rather than a strict business to business transaction. As utility companies become more enabled and offer a variety of different tariffs and projects to help curtail usage, organizations can use their energy benchmarking efforts to fine tune their actual energy needs.
Energy will undoubtedly remain one of the largest costs associated with any business operation. Consequently, it's not surprising to see that energy benchmarking solutions represented by commercially available software products today are quickly becoming some of the most important tools under consideration.
Verisae helps measure, manage and reduce equipment and energy costs including the related business and environmental impacts of carbon emissions. The Sustainability Resource Planning ("SRP") software platform improves operational efficiency, protects brand integrity and helps ensure regulatory compliance for distributed enterprises across many industries. Verisae delivers a broad range of sustainability solutions to dozens of clients globally with thousands of daily users including an extended network of third-party suppliers. Verisae's integrated sustainability platform actively tracks millions of assets across thousands of sites worldwide.