Get the Facts First When Selecting for Energy Optimization
August 26, 2015 - Contact FacilitiesNet Editorial Staff »
Before discussing how to select energy optimization products and services, a definition of terms. Energy optimization is about the smart use of energy, whereas energy efficiency focuses more on the reduction of energy use.
When selecting energy optimization products and services, there are many criteria to consider. To start, facility managers will need to acquire the basic information that can be gleaned from spec and technical data sheets: make up, dimensions, ratings, etc.
But other information to gather that can't necessarily be found on a marketing brochure includes how unique the product or service is, what its applicability is, what the operational impact is, what the ROI is, and what the third party certifications are, if any. Most of this information is a bit subjective, in that it depends in part on factors within the facility and the facility management department that will use it. So it is up to each facility manager to ask the right questions to ascertain if a product or service will work for them.
Another key question involved in selecting energy optimization products and services is what the ROI is. Return on investment is certainly the king of the criteria, and top of mind in any business case. Attractive ROI parameters will be determined by the organization, but it is crucial that facility managers take a moment to really understand how the ROI figures they're being quoted have been calculated. What values are being used for variables such as the cost of electricity, steam, or natural gas used in the calculations? What are the cooling degree-days and the heating-degree days used? What geographic location was assumed in the calculations? Experts warn that if that data is not readily provided, the manufacturer or service provider may have found "a sweet spot" that works well for their purposes, but might not reflect the parameters in place at your facility.
If the ROI claims are legit, experts also suggest facility managers not necessarily cross off smaller figures from consideration. Don't overlook capitalizing on incremental gains in a quest to get big showy gains with an initiative.
To learn more about how to make the right choice when selecting energy optimization products and services, go
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