Thanksgiving Shutdown Reminder: How Much Money is Wasted on Energy During Holidays?

With the Thanksgiving holiday just a few days away, it’s time to start asking what your company is doing to prevent throwing away money on energy over the long weekend.

Unnecessary operations on holidays can substantially drive up energy costs for businesses. One commercial real estate firm that identified and implemented new shutdown measures for the three-day Labor Day weekend in September reduced energy use in their buildings by about 1,400 kWh per day. Similarly, analysis of the buildings run by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts found that improving holiday shutdown schedules for New Year’s Day alone saved about $10K in energy costs.

These problems are all too common. Earlier this year, Enel X’s energy analyst team analyzed data for a set of businesses that were closed for the Memorial Day weekend and discovered that 20% of their facilities had not fully shut down. Altogether, the analysts found an estimated $250K in potential savings through simple shutdown procedures at those sites for that one day.

These problems extend beyond the cost of the energy itself. Many organizations that lack the tools to monitor consumption across their portfolio end up paying employees to implement inefficient manual procedures to shut down their facilities ahead of holidays. At one Texas school district with 4.5 million square feet of building space across 39 facilities, the energy manager said that, prior to deploying energy intelligence software, the facilities team could only determine if holiday and weekend shutdown policies were enforced by manually walking through the buildings and searching for wasted energy. Overlooked shutdown procedures also drove the energy management team at another school district in Virginia to issue regular shutdown reminders for the staff—including this hilarious Thanksgiving-themed video PSA.

All told, businesses spend an estimated $700M in unnecessary energy costs during holidays every year, according to Enel X data. Implementing the proper tools—such as real-time alerts for irregular energy usage and comparisons showing how consumption on certain dates compares to previous days—and adjusting operations and production equipment could reduce energy consumption by about 20% during holidays.

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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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