We get a lot of questions about saving energy using a behavior-based energy efficiency program such as the CLASS 5 Plan. Let us answer the top 5 for you!
Q. How much can I save using a behavior-based approach?
A. At CLASS 5, our clients are able to reduce energy use and costs by 8% on average in the first year. From there, the savings climb! Behavioral techniques are unique because they are not one-time fixes for excessive energy use. Instead, they build year after year as energy efficiency becomes a part of your organization’s culture. We have had clients save 10%, 20% and even 30% – equating to hundreds of thousands of dollars. Check out the story of Cambridge-Isanti Schools, a seven-building district that saved over $2.6 million using our SEE® Program.
Q. How much will a program like yours cost me?
A. Behavior programs have some of the lowest upfront investment costs of any energy efficiency solution. This is because we utilize low- and no-cost strategies, as well as focusing on the people that use the energy rather than the equipment. With the CLASS 5 Plan, you will never be asked to invest in expensive asset improvements in order to see your savings. Your investment is up to you – clients can spend as little as a few thousand dollars for materials and some as-needed consulting support, or they can invest more and receive all of the resources we have to offer: a dedicated consultant for your organization, on-site support and training, utility tracking, customized awareness materials, a database of electronic resources, engineering expertise and more! We know that there is no “one-size-fits-all” solution to saving energy, and will work with clients to find a price range and set of materials that works best for them.
Q. Can I pay for the program out of my energy savings?
A. There are other programs out there that guarantee impressive energy reduction numbers. Unfortunately those programs also retain most of those savings as payment for that guarantee. At CLASS 5 Energy, we believe you deserve to keep what you’ve saved. It was your commitment and participation in the program that saved the energy in the first place! Although a small upfront investment is necessary, most of our clients are able to see an ROI of less than 1 year – essentially paying for the program out of savings by paying yourself back. From there, you keep every extra dollar saved. The sky is the limit! The more effort you put in – the more you will save. Here is an example of what an ROI + savings for a typical single-building organization might look like:
- 100,000 square feet of space @ $1.50 energy cost/square foot = approximately $150,000/year in energy expenses
- $5,000 investment in a CLASS 5 Energy behavior-based energy efficiency program
- 5% energy decrease over the course of 1 year = cost avoidance of $7,500.
You’ve paid for the program in just 1 year AND you have excess savings in your pocket!
Q. What do you mean by “low- and no-cost” energy saving techniques?
A. With our behavior programs, we focus on the people in your organization, rather than the equipment. Our strategies identify and recommend ways to run your current systems in the most efficient way possible. They also focus on educating people and asking them to do their part. You can purchase the highest quality energy efficient equipment available – but if people are leaving lights on 24/7, or if programming set points and run times are incorrect, you will never see a savings. Here are some examples of low- and no-cost strategies we use with our clients:
Q. How will I know how much energy and money we are really saving?
A. Tracking your conservation progress is a key factor when it comes to implementing a successful energy program. We liken it to losing weight – if you never step on the scale, you will never know how much your hard work is paying off! Our “scale” is CLASS 5’s Utility Tracking tool. Using a web-based platform, we will set up a 12-month baseline to compare your energy use now to energy use prior to beginning the program. By comparing apples-to-apples you are able to see exact reductions at your facility. Our comprehensive data analysis includes: meter level tracking of electricity, natural gas and fuel oil (water coming soon!); cost-avoidance; weather normalization; statistical dollar adjustments accounting for today’s energy prices and ENERGY STAR® compatibility.
Have more questions? Contact us today! Our consultants are happy to talk you through how a behavior-based energy program could work for you!
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