By Jessica Wimmer, Government Marketing Writer, Dude Solutions
Energy is a top budget line item for local governments, and according to ENERGY STAR, 30 percent of it is wasted. Energy management is an essential operation for any municipality, but when it’s not properly managed, the consequences are costly. But what does it mean to properly manage energy? It largely means being in control. Instead of letting your energy usage control you — and then later seeing the result when the bill is due — it means having the right information to make strategic decisions. When you’re properly managing your municipality’s energy, you can see your usage, gather reliable data and use that insight to transform your community — and your bills.
Despite energy being a huge expense for local governments, it’s commonly mismanaged. Paying the bill every month is not the same thing as managing energy. Having a true energy management program means you’re not only aware of how much you’ve spent, but where you’ve spent it, patterns in spending and how you can leverage this insight into smartly planning for the future. Energy is a tremendous area for cost savings, and there’s a valuable opportunity to more responsibly steward resources and model sustainability. When you create a culture of sustainability with your citizen community, you build credibility, trust and engagement. So the benefits to proper energy management are both economical and environmentally sound.
That’s why it’s necessary to have reliable energy management software as part of your operations management suite. With the right software, spikes in energy consumption can be correlated to facility usage, assets or equipment running inefficiently that may no longer be safe and need to be replaced, or the community being irresponsible by leaving lights on, etc. Local governments need this level of visibility to make the most of their budgets.
Good energy management begins with good data
Good data is key to effective energy management. Without it, you can’t measure your usage or spending month over month, year over year. You can’t report to stakeholders on progress, you won’t notice when there’s a mistake on your utility bill and you can’t make a business case for retrofitting projects or new equipment because you have nothing reliable to point to. Data combined with analytics — the ability to manipulate and interpret that data in meaningful ways — is the foundation of an energy program. It’s how your municipality can get from bleeding your budget to reporting impressive savings to stakeholders and citizens.
But without the numbers, energy management is just a guessing game. With energy management software, however, local governments have the ability to measure and validate. Many energy efficiency gains come as a result of efforts like lighting retrofits or capital projects. Being able to first justify the need for these investments and then tie results back to dollars saved is hugely validating for energy managers and valuable in budget planning and prioritization.
Energy software offers more than you may think
There’s innovation happening in the area of smarter energy management, including software modules like Dude Solutions Interval Data Recording™. With this software, instead of waiting to get your next bill to see how much energy your municipality used, you can see it the very next day, empowering you to take meaningful action. With smart meters, energy use is captured in near real-time intervals. Once collected, data is organized and presented in your system’s database with reports designed for different audiences. With accurate numbers in front of you, you can promptly identify problem areas and make impactful decisions for your community.
That means no more energy drainers flying under the radar, only to be found when the bill needs to be paid. It also means less money wasted for your municipality and more money spent where it’s truly needed.
The return your local government can have when investing in energy management is inevitable. While making smarter choices for the environment, your municipality can see tremendous cost savings and see them quicker than you may think. With these savings, you’re not only being a better steward of resources, you’re creating funds that can be better spent in areas your community can benefit from. But it all begins with data, and data begins with the right software that can give you the visibility into your energy spending’s past and present so you can make smarter decisions for your municipality’s future.
To learn more, visit dudesolutions.com/energy.
About Dude Solutions
Dude Solutions is a leading software-as-a-service, or SaaS, provider of operations management solutions to education, government, healthcare, senior living, manufacturing and membership-based organizations. For nearly two decades, Dude Solutions has inspired clients to create better work and better lives. It combines innovative, user-friendly technology with the world’s smartest operations engine, empowering operations leaders to transform the most important places in our lives. Today, more than 12,000 organizations use its award-winning software to manage maintenance, assets, energy, safety, IT, events and more. For more information, visit dudesolutions.com.