Katie Ware | July 19, 2012
Saving energy saves money. We know this. You know this. EDF Climate Corps fellows certainly know this.
But as any energy manager knows, energy efficiency is not that simple. Efficiency savings often sprout from dozens of small projects that range from light bulbs to employee engagement. New energy saving technologies appear weekly, and a hashtag now gives energy efficiency the respect it deserves across the Twitterverse.
Five years ago – before #energy efficiency existed -- Environmental Defense Fund created EDF Climate Corps to increase efficiency in companies, cities and universities. We’ve trained nearly 300 young business leaders and worked with about 200 organizations. While we were at it, we identified $1 billion in energy savings…and we learned a lot along the way.
Now you can simplify your search for energy efficiency. EDF Climate Corps is opening its database to readers like you who want to cut costs and reduce greenhouse gas pollution. Sort through case studies by project or facility type, search participating organizations by industry or location, and view fellows by school.
To get you started, we’ve sifted through the database and identified five of our favorite energy saving strategies:
1. Expand success across your portfolio. EDF Climate Corps fellows identified $56 million in annual energy savings for New York City Housing Authority by analyzing a new technology used at one facility and developing plans to scale it across the authority’s 334 developments. See the full New York City Housing Authority story, and check out what else we’re doing with public housing authorities across the nation.
2. Evaluate the occupancy of lit spaces. Lights are often left on in unoccupied areas, costing unnecessary energy fees. An EDF Climate Corps fellow at AT&T found lights on in certain spaces about half the time, although the spaces were occupied less than 10 percent of the time. She recommended occupancy sensors that would lead to an 80 percent savings in lighting use. See the AT&T story and the list of 100 other lighting projects in the database.
3. Look beyond technology to engage human capital. Two EDF Climate Corps fellows inspired change among hundreds of Mecklenburg County employees by stimulating some healthy office competition – a game that encouraged employees to hold colleagues responsible for energy use in workspaces. See the Mecklenburg County story, and check out the archive of employee engagement work our fellows have done over the years.
4. Install PC power management software. More than 50 percent of desktop PCs are left on overnight. Installing power management software is an easy way to ensure office equipment isn’t drawing energy when not in use. An EDF Climate Corps fellow developed a PC power management plan for eBay and identified $1.5 million in cost savings. See the eBay story, and skim through our archive of office equipment projects.
5. Hire an EDF Climate Corps fellow. Sure we’re a little biased, but the proof is in the numbers. EDF Climate Corps fellows have identified $1 billion in energy savings. A fellow provides a laser focus on energy efficiency and has the business acumen to work across departments and push projects through the pipeline. Join the nearly 200 organizations that have already participated. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to find out how.
There is no fee for searching our database. Our goal is to share the strategies that are working for companies and organizations that are part of EDF Climate Corps and inspire continued energy efficiency investments. Let us know what you think.