Frank Collins recently sat down with Ron Gillooly and Leo Ryan of the popular podcast, EnergyMatters2U, to discuss energy efficiency opportunities in Massachusetts. If you’re looking to cut costs and boost profit margins through energy efficiency improvements, then this podcast is for you!
Click here to listen to the full interview >
Don’t have time to listen to the full podcast? No problem! Here’s a recap of everything you need to know:
“Utilities are no strangers to energy efficiency programs. What’s different about the client base EES is focused on versus what the utilities have historically targeted?”
FC: Over the last 10-15 years, utility companies and most of the established energy efficiency providers have been strictly focused on the top 20% of their consumers. But they discovered that 80% of electricity usage is actually consumed by small-to-medium-sized businesses (SMBs). Think: convenience stores, light manufacturing, warehouses, car dealerships, parking garages, basically 1-2 story businesses doing anywhere between $500,000 – $10 million in annual revenue.
“What is it about these SMBs that creates an obstacle for utilities and an opportunity for EES?”
FC: The utilities have had a hard time reaching the small and medium size businesses because the owners are acting as their own facility managers. They don’t have a dedicated facilities person on staff and they might not have extensive knowledge of available energy-saving technologies or how they can help. EES understands this, and a large part of our consultative approach is to spend time educating business owners about technologies and how they work to generating savings.
“What sets EES Consulting apart from other energy efficiency providers?”
FC: We’re definitely not the only game in town. But what we’ve found is that most folks in this business are focused on the lighting aspect, as it’s the ‘low-haning fruit’ of energy efficiency. We certainly do a lot of lighting retrofits, but that’s only the tip of the iceberg; there’s a lot more savings to be had out there.
We take a comprehensive approach and consider other options like inexpensive retrofit kits for rooftop HVAC units, and we love any place that has refrigeration. Surprisingly, refrigeration upgrades generate huge savings and have a very quick payback. And there’s more, like solar window films, cool roof coatings, and power factor correction, which generates big savings for manufacturers.
“What are the things you handing throughout the energy efficiency upgrade process?”
FC: There are a few moving parts. We try to offload the entire process for the business owner, so it really ends up being a 2-3 meeting engagement. We start by asking a lot of question about their building – what’s going on, any known problems, what they’re trying to achieve. Then we assess the building. We look at everything during the assessment, not just the lighting. After that we go and get the rebates, do the installation, and we’re available for the post install warranty.
A great thing about the Massachusetts system, is that the utilities independently verify everything both before they issue a rebate and after the installation is complete. This is like a double-check on our recommendations, to ensure our projects are accurate and we’ve done everything we’ve promised our customers.
“What are these SMB customers realizing for rebates from the utilities?”
FC: Rebates are actual free money. These aren’t loans or temporary, they’re actual free money that can be used to offset the cost of an upgrade. Typically they cover about 40-70% of the total cost, which makes for a quick payback.
Listen to the full podcast here: