Businesses are discovering that energy-saving efforts are good for the environment and also impact a company’s bottom line. And, by using Fort Collins Utilities’ Building Energy Scoring (BES) tools to measure a building’s energy performance and verify energy savings, building occupants and facility managers can more precisely gauge the effectiveness of their actions and determine which efficiency upgrades will provide the greatest benefit.
Fort Collins Utilities implemented its BES initiative in 2017 after learning that nearly 600 of the 3,000 existing commercial (non-industrial) buildings account for approximately 53 percent of our community’s energy use and resulting carbon emissions. BES provides a definite benefit for local businesses. By using the ENERGY STAR® Portfolio Manager®, a free online tool developed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), a business can easily obtain an energy score and start tracking its energy use. Benchmarking is the process of regularly monitoring and reporting a building’s energy use. Using a benchmarking tool can improve the overall understanding of a building’s energy-consumption patterns and identifies energy-saving opportunities.
A growing number of U.S. cities have rolled out benchmarking and transparency programs to encourage awareness of utility costs, efficiency upgrades and energy-use transparency. Such programs can help a business manage their bottom line through consistent data collection and tracking.
By seeing a building’s efficiency improvements, utility data and operating expenses, a picture is created that can help potential buyers and renters make informed decisions such as the true operating expense of a leased space and/or return on investment from efficiency upgrades. In fact, energy scoring and benchmarking efforts in peer cities have shown reductions in energy use by an average of 2.4 percent per year and increased lease renewal.
In the real estate community, utilities are not often a consideration when buying or renting a space. By having this information available to businesses, a knowledge-based approach is provided for making decisions. There is often a split incentive between tenants and building owners to make upgrades and this program can bring both sides together by offering a view of the joint benefits in terms of real dollar savings. BES inserts data into the decision-making process and aids long-term vision and planning. No matter the age of the building, Fort Collins Utilities has benefiting programs designed to help your business improve efficiency. Learn more at fcgov.com/business-efficiency.
The real bottom line? BES not only helps businesses manage their utility costs and demands, it keeps the costs low for the community overall.