What happens when the growth of your business takes place over the span of more than a century? A furniture retailer, which began as a single furniture store over one hundred years ago and has since grown to over 100 showrooms, representing millions of square feet of floor space, faced this daunting prospect as they worked to gain control of their energy spend. With a mix of old and new retail storefronts, offices, and warehouse space, pinpointing exactly which buildings and/or aging systems were wasting energy and other resources, and prioritizing improvement projects, was a formidable task.
The retailer needed to gain additional insight into their annual energy spend and a better understanding of these costs. At the time, there was no process for collecting or managing their energy data to establish baselines or benchmarks, and no foundation from which to build an energy strategy. They had 36 sites with various Energy Management Systems (EMS) installed, but no visibility to live meter data and many sites without EMS, forcing the company to rely heavily on data from multiple utility sources. Gaining access to better data became their top priority. Additionally, they needed to understand and document what their official energy-efficiency goals should be. A cross functional team spanning energy, waste, sustainability, and sourcing, among others was formed to support this initiative. The team identified the following goals, spanning a five year time frame, with clear and actionable plans.
Knowing that data and formal processes would be integral to achieving these goals, the company turned to ENGIE Impact for help. ENGIE Impact provided the company with energy reporting and analytics to help identify usage patterns, track costs, and develop and help implement a consistent energy management strategy across the entire organization.
Using newly-formed baselines, built on data analytics gathered from both historical bill data and trend data collected from the EMSs at individual sites and facility meters, the teams were able to document other annual benchmarks extending more than five years out.
A very collaborative strategy was put in place to insure each action item outlined in the sustainability plan. Additional steps used to establish and support their strategic energy goals included facility audits to pinpoint systems that needed replacing; a cost-benefit and ROI analysis to prioritize capital projects with the greatest return; and ongoing training and education for all employees, from the board room to the sales floor.
From a cost management standpoint, ENGIE Impact helped the retailer gain control over their utility bill expenses by ensuring the bills were accurate and paid on time while also optimizing energy rates and obtaining refunds where applicable. Additionally, both companies worked to maximize the value of EMS and Smart Meters with the following efforts:
With this strategy in place, the company’s energy management has resulted in tremendous bottom-line savings, improved operational efficiencies and continued data insights. The data helped to pinpoint and prioritize projects that provided the most immediate energy and cost savings. A few of these projects included:
After just four years, the company has achieved 29% energy reduction, surpassing their five year goal of 25% reduction. Additional results have been achieved through the reduction of maintenance truck rolls, which have contributed an estimated $172,800 in cost avoidance in a single year.
These savings also supported operational efficiency improvements and were achieved through the data visibility and energy management support provided by ENGIE Impact.