Retail energy management is evolving. The days of handling problems as they arose will result in higher costs to an organization, and guests expect lower prices than ever. If your company is unable to provide a quality experience at a reasonable price, your guests will go online to Amazon and shop. However, retailers have an opportunity to change standard facilities management practices by increasing the maturity of their retail energy management program.
Poor Retail Energy Management Maturity Contributes to Higher Costs and Increases Risk
An energy management program can be a misnomer; some Facilities Managers may have programs that simply monitor overall energy costs. Although this is a type of energy management program, it leaves little hope for cost savings. Facilities Managers may not know what needs to change to reap real-world savings. Therefore, poor energy management maturity increases costs and may increase risk to a business. For instance, a poor level of maturity may result in delayed maintenance, driving cost of repairs upward, reducing the life expectancy of facility assets, and increasing risk, catastrophic failure, and negative guest experiences.
Mature Retail Energy Management Streamlines Facilities Management
Facilities Managers cannot improve what they do not understand, and while bench marking can help Facilities Managers understand existing energy use, mature retail energy management can streamline the entire process.
For example, a mature energy management program actively looks for cost savings through opportunities for continuous improvement. A program of low maturity may only identify these opportunities when a corresponding opportunity has been found that falls within the guidelines of the existing program. In other words, cost savings from reduced HVAC system use may only become noticeable when the entire system is brought online later in the day by accident. A mature program would identify this opportunity before it was “stumbled upon.”
Best Practices to Improve Retail Energy Management Maturity
Retail energy management maturity is about understanding the basic principles that affect overall energy consumption in your building. This includes systems that affect energy use of other systems. For example, computers may be subject to higher energy use when not properly cooled. As a result, reports the Retail Industry Leaders Association, Facilities Managers should follow these best practices:
- Conduct an energy audit.
- Review existing processes for assessing energy use.
- Use advanced, smart devices and energy systems in all new construction.
- Retrofit existing facilities with smart, connected systems.
- Consider outsourcing energy management and analytics.
- Take advantage of renewable energy resources that are at your disposal.
- Give systems the ability to self-optimize controls, especially HVAC systems.
- Centralize energy management controls.
- Automate alerts and notifications for issues resulting in higher energy use.
- Follow-through with recommendations to improve energy use.
Schedule Your Energy Assessment Now
Retailers that have achieved a high energy management maturity can significantly improve profit margins, boost guest experiences, improve employee productivity, and reduce risk in their enterprises. Installing LEDs alone could save 50 percent off lighting costs, and Facilities Managers must begin the process of increasing the maturity of their energy management program. Find out where your organization can pick the proverbial low-hanging fruit by scheduling your energy assessment with ENTOUCH now. Visit ENTOUCH online or give us a call at 1-800-820-3511 now.