What would you do if you benchmarked a building using Energy Star’s Portfolio Manager and got back a score of 42? Or 22? Or 2? I’m not sure how many facility managers would clap their hands and run to the CEO to announce the good news. But it is good news, albeit of the good news/bad news variety.In some ways, a very low Energy Star score is indeed bad news. It means the organization is spending a lot more on energy than it should be. And there may be a risk that top management will decide to shoot the messenger when the facility manager reports a low score. The good news? A very low Energy Star score represents a very big opportunity to reduce energy costs.
A low score almost certainly means the organization has never made energy efficiency a priority. It may well be that funding has been hard to come by for upgrades, staff training, even regular maintenance.
By providing objective evidence of energy inefficiency in relation to comparable buildings, a low Energy Star score can be a big help to a facility manager trying to make the case for even modest investments in efficiency.
What about getting egg on your face? Even the most successful facility managers have to deliver bad news to top management from time to time. Doing that — being up front about problems — is a big part of what makes them successful.
Of course, savvy facility managers also come in with a plan to remedy the problem. That’s the beauty of a low Energy Star score — it’s a sign that there are lots of opportunities to reduce energy costs, likely including many low- and no-cost measures. And once the CEO sees the bottom-line impact of lower energy costs, well, let’s just say it could be the start of a beautiful friendship.
Ed, I think you hit the nail on the head - the key is to devise a plan before even breaking the news.
Do your homework. Where are the easy savings? Start simple. Show management what you are already doing, and show them where they can get the biggest bang for their buck in the least amount of time. Moses told Joshua to be courageous. I say, go in there and be prepared to say "I have a plan for reducing energy costs significantly."
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