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5 Habits of Energy Efficiency Leaders


Better Buildings Challenge Partners have committed to improve the energy intensity of their building portfolios by at least 20% over 10 years and share their strategies and results with the market. By transparently sharing their successful approaches to overcome obstacles, Partners are leading by example and helping others to achieve their energy-saving goals.

Here are five key habits from energy efficiency leaders in the Better Buildings Challenge.

1. Know the goal.

Setting a quantifiable and ambitious goal, at the highest level of an organization, gives focus. Most organizations quickly move from the goal to an organization-wide plan for how to reach it. This roadmap provides definition and clarity for action at all levels. Organizations that have set portfolio-wide goals and have met them, or are well on their way, include University of California, Irvine, Legrand and Best Buy.

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2. Data matters.

If you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it. These Better Buildings Challenge Partners are prime examples of how to measure building performance and use this information to effectively manage operations to save money: Macy’s, TIAA CREF, Schneider Electric, the City of Columbia, Missouri, the State of Delaware and the City of Beaverton, Oregon.

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3. Look beyond technology.

Sure, advanced technologies drive great energy savings, but the most successful projects combine technology advances with organizational commitments and active engagement of staff and customers. 3M, the City of Arlington, Virginia, Delaware State University, the states of North Carolina and Minnesota, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Kohl’s and Alcoa all demonstrate the power of this 1-2-3 punch.

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4. It takes an (energy) champion – and a team.

One person can really make the difference in leading the way and inspiring others. An onsite energy “champion” maximizes the benefits of energy management by fully integrating energy-saving practices into operations. Saint-Gobain, the City of Hillsboro, Oregon, the State of Maryland, Cleveland Clinic, the City of El Paso, Texas and Cummins are just a few of the organizations with a successful champion. Energy champions also know how to build a team and tap the expertise and on-the-ground knowledge of on-site staff to discover even more ways to save energy and water―and ensure those savings continue. Metrus Energy and Energi, two Financial Allies, teamed up to save a mutual customer more than $1 million dollars a year on energy bills. Staples’ successful “Eco Treasure Hunt Program” and New York Presbyterian Hospital are great demonstrations of why people power matters.

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5. Learn, teach and evolve.

Successful businesses and organizations are constantly evolving to succeed and meet their customers’ needs. These leaders also recognize that how they use their buildings must evolve too. They seek out best practices from others and share their learnings with peers through the Better Buildings Challenge to have a real industry-wide impact. Better Buildings Challenge public Partners like the City of Atlanta, Georgia and the City of Gillette, Wyoming implemented just such programs, as did Partners such as Legrand, Ford and HEI Hotels & Resorts.

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