Energy audits are the best kept secret of smart facilities and operations managers.
The central goal for CapEx budgeting is to figure out the best way to spend your company’s financial resources to optimize a building’s performance – financial and otherwise.
Are you spending money unnecessarily by replacing equipment that has more life in it? Worse still, are you leaving money on the table right now thanks to energy inefficiencies yet undetected or unaddressed?
Maybe your budgeting effort starts in August and is a smooth and organized operation that calmly concludes well before the end of the year with perfect execution and communication. Or maybe you work at a more typical company where the budgeting period is a frantic hodgepodge of projections and reflections, careening into the deadline with a dose of adrenaline and crossed fingers. If you recognize any of that description – KEEP READING!
It’s easy to miss a chance to save money or – better yet – spend it wisely! Most building operators want to increase performance and manage comfort-calls better, and without the right information, it’s easy to max out on tactical actions and tangibles changes.
This challenge that comes from incomplete data bubbles to the surface when it’s time for CapEx budgets. So often, last year’s assumptions are recycled into the next year’s budget without good data on how best to allocate funds.
In the spirit of Abundance, we are here with good news! There is a secret weapon to improve your budgeting process and accuracy – an energy audit.
Budget Season is here (yay?)!
Running a building is no simple task. There are tenants, new prospects, mechanical systems, mother-nature, market factors, and the unknown that has to be dealt with every single day. And with annual budgeting, you may also be expected to calculate the cost to manage and maintain certifications like Energy Star and LEED. And let’s not forget ever-changing regulatory requirements as cities like Seattle, which used to request Energy Star benchmarking now require it. And if you’re late with the data, you should budget for that fine you’ll be expected to pay.
We get it.
And finding the time to improve budgeting processes in the face of these pressures can seem daunting.
What you can do now:
Your best bet is to get energy audits as soon as you possibly can. The information from ASHRAE Level I, II, or III energy audits can result in immediate energy efficiencies. Energy audits can also confirm whether your equipment actually needs to be replaced, potentially saving significant hardware and labor costs and delaying inconvenience or disruption for building occupants. The insights gained from an energy audit now can mean that you will have a leaner and more accurate budget for the coming year.
For example, you might have a building with AC that kicks on at 4:00 am and turns off at 8:00 pm. An energy audit might prove that you can realize a 5% boost in energy efficiency (and qualify for an Energy Star rating!) by simply changing your AC operating times. You also get to realize the added sustainability benefit of using existing equipment for as long as possible, which reduces your carbon footprint. Great accomplishments for NOI and for promoting stewardship.
What you can do later:
The second option is to properly budget for an energy audit now. The earlier in the year that you get the audit results, the sooner you can realize the savings that it brings and reallocate the extra funds to better uses.
Why should you budget for energy audits?
- Extend the life of your equipment and reduce CapEx costs. Instead of merely following a templated equipment replacement plan and spending six figures on new mechanical equipment, spend a fraction of that on an energy audit to find out whether you can prolong the life of your equipment. An energy audit can also uncover the low to no-cost strategies you can implement to boost your building’s energy performance today.
- Discover the best order of fixes to get the highest ROI. Equipment replacement schedules are largely set by warranties, industry best practices, or vendor recommendation – none of which accurately predict the life of your equipment. We can bring data-based accuracy to your equipment upgrade and replacement schedules, which can result in big savings. An energy audit makes it possible to link building investments to their actual return.
- Avoid regulatory fines. Some energy-related regulatory reporting that used to be optional is now required. An energy audit can help you get in front of regulatory requirements and avoid fines, while improving your building’s energy performance.
Audit before you budget!
We want to make budgeting easier, not harder. So we provide free estimates on a thorough energy audit for your buildings. We’ll send you a quote for an energy audit within one business day. No strings attached and no data sold to vendors. Then, you’ll be able to create a building budget that’s based on data and not guesswork.
Ask Paladino to conduct an energy audit now so that your budget is accurate, and focused on expenditures that really need to happen.