Commercial Property Managers: 5 Tips to Simplify Energy Management

Even though energy usage accounts for up to 1/3 (or more) of your commercial property’s operating budget, it’s easy to overlook these costs while you’re busy dealing with maintenance, safety, tenants and other day-to-day issues. There just aren’t enough hours in the day to get everything done.

Understanding your energy usage and spend should be a key priority. Why? Because taking control of your energy strategy can provide you with one of the largest areas for improvement, efficiency and cost savings. You’ll reap significant rewards in time and resource management and get back to managing your properties.

Ready to get started? Here are 5 quick tips to help you manage your property’s energy usage and spend and get your time back:

  1. Analyze Your Utility Bill: Some utility bill charges such as the rate code can carry a significant undue cost burden to a property if they are inaccurate. The utility rate code is based on how much the building uses natural gas and electricity, and what some tariffs will allow. Making sure your rate code is correct, and fixing it if it’s not, can provide significant savings. Other bill errors such as sales tax and supplier pass-through charges are not uncommon and should be reviewed periodically. This is a service Usource provides its clients and your energy advisor should do the same. If not, contact us and we can get started on a review.
  2. Consolidate Your Bills: As a commercial property manager, you’re likely managing buildings across different towns, regions, or states where utilities, suppliers and regulations can vary significantly. Centralize your energy bills as much as possible to maximize efficiencies in bill paying. There are many bill payment services on the market. Usource recommends you talk with your energy advisor about your needs and objectives to ensure you select the best payment service for your company.
  3. Make the Data Work for You: Because there is not a one-size fits all approach when it comes to energy procurement, an important step is to understand how your building uses energy and how much it costs. Data can be found in a lot of places – building management systems, utility/supply bills and metered data – which can be overwhelming when you’re also balancing other job priorities. A data management and reporting service can help you join all this data together into a usable format. This will allow you to easily visualize your property’s usage patterns and energy spend, so you can identify areas of waste, prioritize property changes and upgrades and make informed budgeting decisions.
  4. Evaluate Energy Efficiency Upgrades: Energy-efficient buildings equal lower operation and maintenance costs over time, and they are also increasingly desirable to tenants. Examine upgrade options to optimize your property’s energy efficiency. A feasibility study is a great tool to help you create a plan that identifies both quick, high rate of return upgrades like HVAC tune-ups or lighting retro-fits, to complex capital-intensive projects like solar arrays or other on-site generation.
  5. Consider an Energy Advisor: To help ensure you’re doing everything possible to simplify your energy strategy, contracting with an expert such as an energy advisor is a smart choice. An energy advisor (like Usource) has capabilities and resources to help you develop your energy buying strategy and can advise you on other services discussed in this post such as data management and reporting, bill audits, bill payment services and energy efficiency projects. In the long run, this translates to significant savings for your organization, and maximizes your time and resources. Contact us today to discover if there are savings you’re missing out on.

About the Author

Lisa Cochran brings extensive energy procurement, utility account management and consultative experience to Usource.  As a Client Development Manager at Usource, Lisa works with mid to large-size companies to develop energy procurement and management strategies that meet their financial goals and environmental objectives. 

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