When you think about trying to save money on your facility’s energy consumption, one of the ideas you may have is to find an energy consultant. Energy consultants are people who can share their knowledge and expertise with your company, but many people discard this idea as soon as they think of it, concluding, “Nah, that’ll cost money.”

Any time you exchange money for expertise, you have to know that it will pay for itself. The consultant has to cost less than the money you stand to save by following the consultant’s advice. That is exactly what we do here at Energy Network. But just how does this work, and why do companies typically save more money with a consultant than without one?

1. An energy consultant has an extensive knowledge base.

Knowing the relevant facts about a situation is the prerequisite for coming up with creative ideas and solutions. The more a person knows, the more they can put that knowledge together in new and surprising ways in order to solve a problem, come up with something no one has ever thought of, or devise a custom plan for making something work. This saves you in two ways:

  • First, it’s generally cheaper and quicker to access the consultant’s knowledge than it is to acquire the necessary education to amass the same body of knowledge for yourself.
  • Second, if you’re limited to your own internal knowledge, you may miss things that would have been obvious to a consultant that would have saved you time, effort, and money.

2. An energy consultant knows how to translate big-picture goals into achievable tactics.

artboard-4Having big dreams is easy for most people. But it’s one thing to say to yourself, “I want us to be able to save 5 percent on energy this year,” and it’s quite a different thing to translate that into measurable, achievable, and realistic tasks that will lead to that goal.

On the flip side, having an arsenal of tactics at your disposal is also pretty common. The problem is, many people throw tactics at a solution one at a time, looking for what sticks, without tying their day-to-day operations into the overall big-picture scheme of what they are trying to accomplish. Thus, even though the tactics do seem to be working, it’s still possible to waste time and effort that could have been better spent.

Take marketing as an analogy. It’s easy for a business to have big goals (“Sell 30 percent more of Product X next year”). It’s also easy for a business to have a general sense of what tactics they need to deploy. (“Let’s see, we could try advertising in the newspaper. Nope, not working so well. Let’s switch to social media and see if that works better. Hmmm, still not the boost we were hoping for. Maybe we should try email marketing…”) What’s not so simple is taking that marketing goal and turning it into precisely the right combination of strategies and tactics that, when implemented, will lead infallibly to that goal.

It’s the same thing with energy management. Rather than trying a combination of tactics hoping that they will work, why not keep those tactics tied closely to the goals you’re trying to achieve? An energy consultant will be able to look at the big picture, set realistic goals, and then lay out the path that will be most suited to achieving those goals.

These are just the first two reasons why having an energy consultant can save you more money. In our next blog post, we’ll look at more of these reasons, so check back soon. In the meantime, count on Kori Koepke and the Energy Network to be there for you in all your energy management and energy consulting needs.

Read Part 2