How Green Are Your Ways? By Peter Kaplan

Hey, NJ! How Green Are Your Ways?

The Energy Efficiency Dilemma for Local Business


In a world where we expect things to continually go up in cost and usage, how can it be that in a segment of the energy space, things are actually going down?  In fact, with electricity, growth has essentially stopped.

According to a February 2014 White Paper from the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE), the commercial and industrial use of electricity has been modestly declining from its peak in 2007.  The residential sector has also seen declines since its peak in 2010.


Beyond reasons such as warmer weather patterns, changes in the GDP, and changes in electricity pricing, the primary factor for decreased electricity growth stated in the report is energy efficiency programs and policies.

So what are you doing to make your business more energy efficient and green?

Many of us set out to adopt best practices for energy usage in our work places, but over time we find that we may stray operationally letting good buildings go bad.  And while these programs have good intents, they typically involve variables that may be out of our control. One of the most difficult variables to control is the energy mindset of the individual. Water usage, light usage, heating and cooling usage, for example, revolve around individual preferences. So without proper rigors, all the proposed energy policies that you may suggest to tenants and co-workers are just that, suggestions.

But there are things that are in your control – things that can have positive effects to the bottom-line and may require little to no involvement on your part.

One of the easiest things to do is bring in a reputable energy consultant who can help reduce costs and save expenses. From auditing previous energy bills to uncovering erroneous fees, and having them refunded to the company to creating a plan on how to reduce the energy used by the company, a consultant can show immediate efficiencies without any cost to the business owner.

Here are 5 key value points to help you stay in the green when considering a consultant:

  1. A good consultant can enable competition.Some suppliers may offer one price to an energy consultant as opposed to a price they would give you directly because you do not have to compete for the business.
  2. Consultants enable volume discounts.Suppliers know that an energy consultant can get them the opportunity for more business. As a single customer, you may not get a volume discount because your energy contract may only be renewed every 1 to 2 years.
  3. Consultants are partners.Most suppliers do not have the staff to perform additional consultative services. A consultant, who cares about your business, can add value through deeper analysis such as bill audits, rate analysis, tax audit analysis and certain quantitative measurements, among other things.
  4. Consultants have large shopping lists.This means they have many suppliers to tap into in order to get you the best rate. How many suppliers can you think of on your own? One, two?
  5. Consultants can read between the lines.Without your own dedicated internal staff, sorting through multiple energy bids can prove difficult. Not all suppliers are alike and their contract terms may differ. And more importantly, a bid they give on one day may change a week later based upon fluctuating market rates.


Information provided by Founders Club member, United Energy Consultants

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