CIET Ed Rubinstein 5 Questions to Ask When Preparing an Energy Project Business Case

 

In Part 1 of this series, CIET Trainer, Ed Rubinstein explained how non-energy benefits are a key component of an energy project business case. Part 2 of the Non-Energy Benefits series is all about the questions you should ask when preparing a business case. 

 

Will the project improve safety?

Safety is not only a priority for many organisations, there are also numerous standards and regulations that companies are obligated to meet. Improving lighting levels or reducing glare through a retrofit, or improving ventilation through air-balancing are two common ways that energy projects can improve safety. And showing management that your project not only helps with safety, but also comes with a payback is a great way to gain support.

 

Will the project improve comfort?

Not only has employee comfort been linked to productivity and satisfaction, but temperature complaints are often a time-consuming issue that facility management departments need to deal with. Building optimisation, though initiatives such as air balancing, adding sensors and calibrating building automation systems, is not only usually a low/no-cost way to reduce energy use, but your Building Operators, who play an essential role in such activities, will also appreciate not having to deal with as many hot and cold calls once the project is done.

 

Does the project enhance your organisation’s resiliency?

Downtime is a major issue for any company, leading to lost productivity and revenue. Expanding the scope of a project to retrofit an inefficient pump, and perhaps add a VSD, to include installation of a parallel unit that can be used as back-up will reduce your energy savings payback, but more importantly it adds an extra layer of redundancy that reduces the chance of a work stoppage.

 

Does the project reduce maintenance requirements?

For most maintenance departments, there are not enough hours in the day to complete all of the work they’re asked to do. While longer lasting LED lighting or fewer unplanned maintenance events may not save your organisation any dollars, they will free-up staff and resources to focus on other maintenance priorities.

 

Does the project align with your organisation’s values?

More and more, companies are seeing the benefit of embracing environmental sustainability. Be it for marketing, keeping shareholders happy, or engaging staff who want to work for a company that is lowering its carbon footprint, your energy project is an opportunity for your organisation to show that it cares about the environment. As an added bonus, any positive feedback your project receives can make getting your next project approved that much easier.

 

-Ed Rubinstein

 

About Ed Rubinstein

Ed Rubinstein is a trainer in CIET’s Certified Energy Manager (CEM) course. Ed is the Energy & Environment Manager at the University Health Network. He’s been leading the hospital’s many environment programs since 1999 and has helped UHN become a leader in greening health care. Both UHN and Ed’s leadership in the field of “greening health care” have been recognized by several awards, including from the Ontario Hospital Association, Natural Resources Canada, Practice Greenhealth and the Canadian Council of Ministers for the Environment.

 

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