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Making A Pitch For Energy Efficiency Spending
OTHER PARTS OF THIS ARTICLEPt. 1: Energy Efficiency Projects With New LEED On The HorizonPt. 2: Equipment vs. Operations: Greatest Opportunity for Energy EfficiencyPt. 3: This PagePt. 4: Best No- and Low-Cost Energy Efficiency ProjectsPt. 5: Untapped Potential for Energy Efficiency
With the economy still sluggish, making the case for up-front spending can be a hard sell. What's the best information to arm yourself with before making a pitch to the CFO?
Before you can sell your CFO on where you want to go, you have to first understand where you are. And an energy audit is the best place to start. The intent of an energy audit is to assess how a building uses energy. I always recommend that you begin by using the framework of an ASHRAE Level 1 Audit (also commonly referred to as a walk-through audit). This type of audit will help you identify a wide range of potential improvements. And to many building owners' surprises, many of these will be no-cost or low-cost improvements. Use this to help create a roadmap for your potential improvements, including scheduling and phasing. Even with this sluggish economy, there is no reason not to take advantage of the low-hanging fruit. Then look at phasing-in improvements as equipment becomes obsolete or is already scheduled for replacement. And use the energy savings to fund future improvements — not everything has to be a capital expenditure.
Michael Kawecki is the founder and owner of Axiom Sustainable Consulting. He has been a LEED Accredited Professional since 2003, and currently holds the LEED AP BD+C, ID+C, and O+M Credentials. He is one of the founding members of the North Texas Chapter of the USGBC and served as the Chair in 2007. He was also the 2008 Chair of the South Central Regional Council of the USGBC, and became USGBC Faculty in 2011.