In our last blog post, we looked at a few energy management strategies that will enable you to optimize your winter energy efficiency when you’re in a newer building with up-to-date technology. But what if you don’t have the luxury of having those things? Many companies, office buildings, and plants are still making do with old pneumatic systems or outdated electrical control systems that don’t allow for much automation or customization of tasks. Here are a few of our recommendations for what to do if you’re stuck heating a building with outdated equipment during the winter.

winterefficiency2-b1. Calculate the ROI of upgrading your system

If you are on an older system, it’s no secret that upgrading all that equipment is expensive. When the upfront costs to a move like this are so high, it’s easy to be tempted to put it off year after year and keep repairing the old system. However, replacing your heating system, building controls, and other technologies is not like replacing an old car with an expensive new one that immediately begins to lose its value. The ROI is typically very high on upgrading your facility’s energy technology. You may be surprised by just how quickly the new system pays itself off. In a few years, the accumulated savings on both energy and manpower costs can be substantial, and in most cases, they justify paying the upfront expenses related to the upgrade.

2. Look into alternative vendors for your utilities

One of the powers of Energy Network is that we bring to the table a vast array of energy providers. When you can buy energy at the cheapest rate due to participating in a bulk discount, you suddenly can get more done for an equal or lower cost. Our strategic relationships with these providers can help you to get a better deal.

3. Consider alternate energy production methods

While alternative methods of producing energy have been around for years, they weren’t viable or scalable until recently. Now, however, advances in solar and wind technology have contributed to the affordability and reasonability of considering these alternatives for a sustainable energy future.

4. Make up with manpower what you can’t automate

If you’re truly stuck with your current systems for the time being, it’s possible that you can hire and train a person to perform many of the building controls tasks that computers have now taken over. The human brain is immensely capable of handling complex algorithms, and the older systems are relatively simple to learn to operate. If your systems don’t interface with computer control systems, can a watchful and competent person accomplish approximately the same results? If your building controls cannot be remotely monitored, can there be a procedure in place to manually monitor it? If your system settings drift away from the optimum settings over time, can a person be charged with correcting that drift with a reasonable efficiency?

In a world where energy costs are one of the highest operating costs that a typical business will face, it’s worthwhile to look into reducing these costs as far as possible. That’s why Energy Network is here. We educate our clients about how to put together a comprehensive energy strategy, reduce operating costs, and identify the areas that will make a difference. Since every individual business is different, only an individualized consultation will bring you the maximum results and solutions that work for you. Schedule your consultation today.