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The ROI of Energy Efficiency

February 28, 2017

High upfront costs for certain energy efficiency upgrades often leave building owners and managers hesitant to make changes. In reality, there are a variety of energy efficiency changes with varying costs that can lead to significant ROI in both the short and long term. With data from our Energy Management platform, Skywalk™, we're able to put real numbers to the energy savings. Here are some cost-effective energy savings upgrades and changes you can make to start seeing savings ASAP.

ROI of Energy Efficiency
  1. Incentives and grants are offered to many buildings as energy efficiency is increased. This is the #1 way to increase your ROI, as many of the programs will even give you the money for the initial investment. Since many of these programs are underutilized, the money is easily available if you know where to look. The DSIRE database lists available incentives for renewable energy and energy efficiency. SOL VISTA has years of experience navigating these incentive programs and can ensure you aren't leaving easy money on the table.

  2. Utility bill auditing is something most building operators just don't have time to do, but that doesn't mean it isn't worthwhile. Skywalk checks your utility bills for anomalies and provides recovery assistance when appropriate. After discovering an erroneous change of the electricity supplier for the Courtyard Capitol Hill/Navy Yard in Washington, DC, we worked with the hotel to recover over $20,000 in credits—more than 10 times the cost of the Skywalk subscription alone.

  3. Small operational tweaks are a common culprit for increased utility bills. Don't assume that your water bill is much higher than last month's just because you have more occupants. Skywalk Advisor knows your building and provides automatic alerts with specific recommendations for operations and equipment adjustments when a potential problem is detected.

  4. The HVAC system can cost you a lot of money if it isn't running efficiently. Have filters been replaced recently and are you adjusting set points seasonally? These small fixes add up to big dollars throughout the year. Skywalk also offers a Measurement and Verification feature to help buildings track the effectiveness of energy efficiency upgrade projects, typically at a fraction of the cost of the project itself. You've already paid for the upgrades—why not ensure they're working as intended? For example, the Westin Gaslamp Quarter in San Diego, CA saved $39,000 per year after Skywalk discovered that the HVAC system was not properly commissioned by a contractor.

  5. Water conservation, especially in drought prone areas of the country, is crucial. Installing new lavatory and irrigation technologies can reduce costs by $0.51 per square foot over 20 years. After identifying water usage issues, SOL VISTA helped implement a comprehensive overhaul of operational equipment, leading Hotel Monaco DC to reduce water usage by 48% and utility costs by 43%.

By taking advantage of these tips and more, companies using the Skywalk platform have saved an average of 5-10% per year on their energy costs. Skywalk accounts for different buildings' qualities by personalizing recommended improvements, identifying better utility contracts, helping comply with local benchmarking requirements to avoid fines, and continuously monitoring progress, so you always know the best return on investment for your particular building.

SOL VISTA helps buildings quickly and continuously reduce utility expenses through a unique combination of onsite services and its performance data analytics platform, Skywalk.

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