Building Operating Management

The 'Aha!' Opportunity





By Edward Sullivan, Editor   Energy Efficiency

Does oil at $100 a barrel push your energy costs into the stratosphere? Probably not. But it may help you sell energy upgrades almost as well as if oil were a primary fuel source for your buildings.

Why? Because high oil prices may help get the CFO’s attention.

As Richard Lubinski points out in this month’s cover story, facility executives need to learn to think like CFOs when it comes to analyzing proposed energy upgrades. The heart of that effort is performing a solid financial analysis and presenting the results in the language of the CFO.

Oil prices may be irrelevant to that analysis, but they — and the subject of energy generally — may be weighing on the CFO’s mind these days. For example, does your organization have a significant fleet of vehicles? Does it manufacture products that use oil as a raw material? Does it buy oil-based products? How important are shipping costs? A CFO who is thinking about the impact of oil on the business may be more receptive than in the past to measures that reduce building energy costs.

And it’s not just energy that could help you gain support. Take another step back and ask yourself if your company is vulnerable to increases in the cost of commodities other than oil. If the CFO is worried about commodity price increases, that concern could help set the stage for an energy-efficiency project.

The typical CFO is no expert on building energy matters. But the CFO need not think the local power plant is burning oil to make a connection between the disagreeable consequences of high petroleum prices and the bottom-line impact of a building’s cost of electricity. And that “Aha!” moment may be just the opportunity you need.



 



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  posted on 2/1/2008   Article Use Policy

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