Reminder: Don't Let the Holidays Drive Up Your Energy Costs

While everyone looks forward to a little time off during the holidays, many businesses forget to give their buildings a vacation. Overlooked shutdown procedures on holidays are one of the most common drivers of unnecessary energy costs, and could have a significant impact on your budget.

With the holiday season upon us, it’s once again time for a reminder of the value at stake for businesses that lack visibility into energy costs and fail to follow shutdown procedures for the holidays. Let’s look at two particularly costly examples that occurred around this time of year, and how much they cost.

A few years ago, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts analyzed its energy data for the holiday season, when most of its facilities are vacant or sparsely used. With the previous year's New Year’s Day holiday falling on a weekday, the analysis found that one of the state’s courthouses was operating as it would on a typical workday. By implementing some simple shutdown procedures for New Year’s Day one year later, that one courthouse reduced its energy demand by 500 kilowatts over the duration of the holiday. Overall, the state was able to cut an estimated $10K in annual energy costs through holiday shutdown procedures.

In another, similar example, a defense contractor found that it had left its facilities running as they would on a typical workday for both the Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve holidays. One year, the company actually reached its peak demand for the entire month of January on New Year’s Eve—all with no production to speak of. With lighting, HVAC, and television screens displaying digital signage for empty buildings, the company spent approximately $10K in unnecessary energy costs during holidays every year.

Preventing these unnecessary costs requires the tools to monitor your energy consumption, compare site-level data over time, and engage employees to ensure they follow the proper procedures across your buildings. The Prince William County School District in Virginia uses energy intelligence software to keep track of its buildings, and is known for its creative YouTube videos aimed at convincing employees to contribute—including this one created just in time for the holidays.

Enel X’s data suggests that businesses that follow the proper holiday shutdown procedures stand to cut their energy costs by 20% annually. This holiday season, make sure your business is one of them.

See how your business can take control of energy costs with our Definitive Guide to Energy Intelligence Software
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Authored By Colin Neagle

Colin is a marketing manager for Enel X North America and editor-in-chief of the EnergySMART blog.

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