ACHRNEWS

Efficiency Key for Commercial Customers

December 28, 2009

Trying economic times have forced many businesses to operate more efficiently and economically to sustain profits. All too often, however, viable opportunities to cut costs are overlooked. Most notable among these is the power bill.

While reduced energy consumption and marginally lower electric bills can be realized through simple solutions like installing energy-efficient light bulbs, the greatest cost-reduction opportunity lies with the HVAC system - as you know, it’s a company’s largest discretionary source of energy demand and thus, its highest controllable expense. But do your customers know this?

Unfortunately, few business owners focus on HVAC and climate control energy efficiency as a means of cost savings, fearing costly technology solutions with disappointing results.

Significant technological ad- vancements in the field of commercial energy-efficiency systems have finally made them far more affordable for operators of small- to mid-sized facilities previously underserved in the marketplace. They also deliver proven, highly quantifiable results.

For small- to medium-sized business customers seeking to reduce operating costs and employ green business practices, an energy-efficiency system is a significant way to help them reduce carbon emissions and boost their bottom line with funds that would otherwise be paid to the utility company each month.

FIVE KEYS

Here are five key reasons your small- to medium-size commercial customers need an energy efficiency system.

1. Monetary savings. Today’s energy efficiency systems can lower a small- to mid-sized company’s energy costs by 10-20 percent and provide a return on investment in just six to 12 months. Energy-efficiency systems have various price points and functionality, but for small- to mid-sized buildings, advanced systems can cost less than $2,000 and can often be financed.

Depending on a business’s monthly energy bills, even 10 percent savings can provide a rapid return. Savings from a lower utility bill drop straight to a company’s bottom line, increasing its profitability - without reducing head count or employee or customer amenities.

Moreover, many local utility companies are offering rebates and other business programs that help subsidize and facilitate the deployment of a commercial energy-efficiency system, further reducing the installation expense.

2. Lower environmental impact. The lower energy bill companies realize installing an energy-efficiency system is directly correlated to reduced energy consumption. Reduced energy usage means fewer carbon emissions and a smaller environmental footprint from business operations.

3. Mechanical equipment longevity and efficiency. Energy-efficiency systems can quickly identify anomalies in consumption that may be attributable to malfunctioning HVAC equipment, for which your services would be required. Rapid response to equipment breakdowns not only increases the longevity of your customer’s malfunctioning equipment, but also other installed HVAC units that are forced to work harder to pick up the slack.

Immediate action can make all the difference between an economical repair versus an extremely expensive replacement. While this particular benefit of an energy-efficiency system is not as easily quantifiable as lower energy bills, in the long run it can lead to disaster aversion and dramatic cost savings.

4. Round-the-clock monitoring and control. Many energy-efficiency systems provide a variety of energy usage settings and control capabilities, enabling users to set usage parameters that cannot be overridden by on-site employees, and can be managed remotely by authorized personnel through the Web.

Best-of-breed manufacturers, however, also offer outsourced monitoring services through which specially trained account managers monitor and control a company’s energy usage in each facility 24/7/365, minimizing consumption, maximizing savings, making seasonal adjustments, and immediately reacting to irregularities - without increasing the owner or operator’s personal energy management burden.

5. Marketing and public relations benefits. Consumers appreciate companies that are environmentally responsible. The installation of an energy-efficiency system can and should be communicated to current and prospective customers as an example of a company’s green business practices far beyond typical light bulb and recycling initiatives.

Use of such technology can also bring positive local press attention and even awards, drive a positive brand image, and draw environmentally conscious customers to your customer’s business. Such practices are also a huge boost for intra-company employee morale.

Publication date: 12/28/2009