The first step to solving any problem is recognizing that there is one.
We’ve all heard this phrase and it makes sense, but many of us don’t see our energy use – our utility bills – as a problem to fix per se. We see our utility bills as an unavoidable cost of doing business. But this simply isn’t true. You pay your utility bills to keep the lights on, of course, but your utility bills fundamentally reflect your building’s behavior. And that behavior can change.
You can’t improve what you don’t measure.
Once you recognize that your utility bills can change, the next step might be to ask “well, what do I do to change them?” Building owners have heard about energy efficiency, building maintenance systems, or ENERGY STAR® certification for years, but these terms don’t answer the fundamental question of where to begin. The first step of any project should be to understand your building’s behavior as it is now. This is done by measuring the energy data – your usage, your cost, and your carbon footprint. This will provide a benchmark for all future projects and changes in your building’s behavior. If you don’t have this benchmark, it will be difficult to know if the projects you invest in are truly making a difference.
Beyond benchmarking, just measuring your utility data can save you 7% off of your utility bills. That’s right. It’s called the “Observer Effect.” Measuring is a great place to start not only because it provides a benchmark for future projects, but also because it can immediately start improving your building’s behavior.
At EnergyPrint, we’ve seen this too. Our average client savings after one year with EnergyPrint is 6% – and close to 20% after two years.
You can’t measure what you don’t track.
But measurement can be difficult – and a benchmark can be hard to come by. Energy data can look very different from a variety of sources. What type of data do you pull? And if you start measuring your building right now, how long would it take to establish a benchmark? We suggest using your utility bills themselves – they contain a complete picture of a building’s total energy behavior.
Track your utility bills with EnergyPrint.
Enter EnergyPrint. We’ve been tracking thousands of buildings for over 10 years using data straight from utility bills, working directly with energy providers to capture and validate the data. We can also immediately benchmark your building by pulling up to two years of utility history – giving you a good picture of how your building has performed and where the best opportunities are to improve.
Again – just by tracking your data, you can save up to 7% on your utility bills. Then, use that data to start a project and you can double or triple that number. Easy savings are out there. Start tracking today.