Take Control: How to Tame your Energy Costs in a Wild Market

Chris Loughren, Manager, Commercial Energy Solutions at Bruce Power Direct came to The Buildings Show in December 2015 to teach property managers and building owners how they can better manage energy costs and consumption in their buildings.

In one of our webinars, ‘Take Control: How to Tame your Energy Costs in a Wild Market’, Chris tells us:

  • why energy costs have gone up
  • why this trend isn’t slowing down anytime soon
  • how to use the data you already have to help save time and money

Over the last five years, no one has been spared from rising energy costs that have gone up as much as 40%. Everyone from commercial building and multi-residential building owners and facility managers to homeowners and renters are feeling the pinch despite efforts to reduce energy consumption.

What brought about these changes?

The province of Ontario got rid of all fire coal generation (which accounted for roughly 20% of all energy generation), in an effort to lower overall carbon emissions, to reduce its reliance on fossil fuels, and to improve the health of its residents and the environment. This meant a move to gas and wind turbine farms, which resulted in a substantial investment into Ontario’s Infrastructure Renewal Project.

Prior to this, variable costs (which you could control) contributed significantly to overall costs, while fixed costs played a much smaller role. After the investment into Ontario’s Infrastructure Renewal Project, the impact of those costs reversed themselves, leading to higher fixed rates. Rates are expected to continue to rise about 8% per year, for the next five years.

What recourse is available to owners of commercial and multi-residential buildings?

The best way to manage energy consumption is to:

  • Start collecting the data within a single source and analyze trends found within the numbers.
  • Make sure you know what you are consuming and rectify billing issues to make sure what you’re paying is accurate.
  • Perform audits for different times of day to see how much energy your buildings consume.
  • Invest in more energy efficient products.
  • Purchase power at bulk or fixed prices.

Taking these steps can help you identify benchmarks to set for your properties. If you manage several similar buildings, analyze consumption rates across your properties. Determine where you are saving with some buildings and over consuming with others. Use this information to establish best practices across all of your properties.

Chris shares great tips for how you can implement these changes, manage costs and be ready for mandatory reporting. Business solutions like Bruce Power Direct can help companies manage all of these variables in a single platform. From real-time reporting, such as monitoring consumption down to the hour, to identifying inefficiencies, managing reporting, and helping you reduce consumption, solutions such as these can simply the process.

As time goes on and market forces change, businesses may have to readjust the strategies and tactics that work best for them. Every situation is different. However, taking the steps now to understand the legislation and prepare you now will make adjusting to those changes much easier.

Interest(s): Property Date: March 18, 2016