BUILDINGS - Smarter Facilities Management

07/20/2016

The Sustainable Facility: How Facility Managers are Facing Today’s Energy & Resource Challenges

Jamie Daubenspeck

Director, Facility Technology, Ecova

 

Facility Managers are more focused than ever on sustainable resource management. As energy costs fluctuate and executive-level pressures to conserve and save mount, Facility Managers are stepping up to the challenges with an increased level of commitment and expertise.

The recent report, Facility Managers: Putting Energy & Sustainability Practices to Work, derived from Ecova’s 2016 Energy and Sustainability Outlook Survey, offers insight into how Facility Managers are prioritizing energy, water, and waste efficiency initiatives in light of the forces at work in today’s market.

Some key findings in the report indicate that as tracking and monitoring technologies advance, Facility Professionals are looking at ways to leverage site and asset-level data to help uncover low-cost efficiency initiatives.  Some 53% of surveyed Facility Managers named the identification of low/no cost efficiency efforts priority number one for 2016.

Companies continue to invest in sustainability projects, driven primarily by the rising costs of energy and resources. Of the surveyed group of facility professionals, 64% expect energy prices to climb – a concern that seems to be universally shared. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, The U.S. residential electricity price is expected to rise 2.5% to an annual average of 13.0 cents/kWh in 2017.

Survey insights show that in order to make immediate impact, facility professionals are turning to trustworthy CapEx projects like LED lighting upgrades, EMS/monitoring controls, distributed energy resources (DERs), and HVAC system upgrades. Lighting upgrades have long been a strong starting point for companies beginning their journey toward sustainable operations. It’s typical for energy efficient lighting upgrades to deliver 25-35 percent reductions in energy consumption, with a simple payback of two to three years.

The full report highlights key findings from surveyed facilities professionals and market insights on topics including:

Cap Ex Projects and Group Investment Priorities for Facilities

How Facility Professionals are Utilizing Energy Data to Drive Low/No Cost Efficiency Initiatives

The Role of Right-Sizing and Right-Streaming in Driving Toward Waste Reduction Goals

Go-to Strategies for Water Conservation

Just as the energy and resource landscape continues to shift, so too has the role of the Facility Manager. Facility Managers are now required to look at sustainability-focused practices, systems and training as a part of their overall repertoire – making them as much a Sustainability Officer as it does a Facilities Manager. 

The financial, social, and brand equity gains associated with energy and sustainability management are resulting in growing awareness of opportunities for cost reductions. A holistic view of an organization’s utility and waste cost and consumption data isn’t just the hallmark of today’s most successful energy and sustainability programs; it’s increasingly recognized as imperative to future business continuity and facilities management. 

 

 

 


 
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