Energy Management Intro: The Importance of Energy Cost Take Out

 

Energy Management Intro: The Importance of Energy Cost Take Out

Tuesday, May 31st, 2011 - 10:52
Tuesday, May 31, 2011 - 11:46
A quick read through any newspaper can bring up some dismal facts about the state of our nation and the current geopolitical climate. Among these pressures, which include a soaring deficit, budget challenges, and high unemployment, is the issue of energy independence.

A quick read through any newspaper can bring up some dismal facts about the state of our nation and the current geopolitical climate. Among these pressures, which include a soaring deficit, budget challenges, and high unemployment, is the issue of energy independence.  We are constantly bombarded with reasons why we need to reduce our dependence on foreign oil—and we should be—as it represents a positive step for our national security, our environment, and our bottom line. One obvious way to reduce this dependence is by reducing demand through energy management. In simple economic terms, the less demand you have, the less supply you need—and so by cutting our national appetite, we put ourselves in a much healthier position. 

In the next four blog posts, we’ll discuss the notion of energy management – or, ways to conserve and better control the energy that we use. From corporations to the federal government, organizations have found that successful energy management programs cut costs and reduce greenhouse gases. And, for the federal government, better energy management reduces our need for foreign oil. 

The federal government has taken some serious strides in this area, and we’ll use this first blog post to lay out some current laws and regulations and what this means for federal agencies. And in the following posts, we’ll show you how an Energy Management Program can help government agencies better control their energy usage. We’ll then jump into our own story, and how this framework has worked at IBM facilities, and then conclude with our recommendations for the government.

So, stepping back, what has the federal government done? Faced with the triple threat of national security, rising greenhouse gases, and increasing energy costs, there have been several regulations, laws, and Executive Orders (orders mandated by the President) that federal agencies must follow. The U.S. Department of Energy has done an excellent job on their website, describing these policies; however, in a nutshell, federal agencies are mandated to do the following:

  • Reduce energy consumption in buildings by 30% by 2015, (using a 2003 baseline)
  • Reduce fossil fuel use in new buildings by 65% by 2015 and 100% by 2030, (using a 2003 baseline)
  • Improve efficiency in all new buildings by 30% (or greater than a specific standard set by the  American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air-Conditioning Engineers)
  • Increase renewable energy usage by 7.5% of total energy consumption by 2013
  • 100% energy metering of most buildings by 2012
  • Reduce GHG emissions by 34% by 2020, (using a 2008 baseline)

This is no easy task. The DoD alone spends $3.6 billion to manage 1.9 BILLION square feet of facility space, and they deliver over 200 TRILLION BTUs of energy to these facilities.

In the next blogs we’ll introduce the Energy Management Program and discuss our own experiences with managing energy costs across 100 sites worldwide.

In the meantime, think about your organization. What are other important ways to save energy? Are there processes that your organization uses that could be reconfigured to reduce energy needs? The more comments the better, as your feedback will help make this a richer discourse.

 

 


Mr. Robert L. St. Thomas is a Supply Chain Solution Development Executive for IBM Global Business Services. He has 37 years of experience in the business of Defense: in wholesale logistics performance assessment, strategic planning, supply chain integration, and process reengineering. Operationally, he has extensive experience with global deployment activities where he specialized in readiness and performance analysis. He has led numerous public sector projects to: assist in cost management, develop strategic materiel sourcing programs, and implement balanced scorecard strategies.

Mr. St. Thomas earned his undergraduate degree in Chemistry from Renssealaer Polytechnic Institute in 1972, his Master’s of Business Administration degree from University of Southern Illinois in 1978, and a Master’s in National Resource Strategy from National Defense University in 1995.

Robert St. Thomas (robert.st.thomas@us.ibm.com)