Six steps to high-value energy planning
While the scope of an EMP varies depending on motivations, we found that a comprehensive master plan provides the greatest long-term value for government, education and commercial building and infrastructure portfolios. These plans take the time to look holistically across an organization or community to identify critical planning and operational strategies.
Procurement, metering, management, infrastructure, transit, and buildings all offer options for improving energy efficiency, clean energy, resiliency, and security. 3FFICIENT recently worked with the Skull Valley band of Goshute Indians in Utah to review feasibility for renewable generation as an ecomomic stimulus for their nation. For other more built out campuses and portfolios, we reviewed utility consumption and management practices to identify energy-saving and clean-energy opportunities in buildings and infrastructure. We looked for energy-savings in usual and unusual places, including remediation systems, water/wastewater systems, and vehicle fleets.
Experience shows that a methodic process is key to any successful EMP. We use a simple six-step process to ensure we meet our clients’ goals while maximizing value:
- Project scoping and goal setting. With all stakeholders present, all hopes, expectations, and goals for the EMP are put on the table.
- Baseline assessment. This step includes gathering data on utility bills, energy management systems, audits, infrastructure reports, and renewables potential studies to characterize an organization’s annual energy and water consumption into a report form.
- Identify potential opportunities. A thorough baseline and (if data is available) benchmarking report will help identify potential projects, but it is equally important to get client input on this step.
- Develop the project recommendations. Developing cost estimates is essential to this step. We ask clients to provide feedback to find projects that align with their budgets and energy goals.
- Develop the implementation plan. An implementation plan will answer: What are the project delivery methods? How will they be funded? Who will develop designs? What is the schedule for completion? What are key thresholds to trigger certain decisions or alternate paths.
- Monitor, measure, and evaluate progress. This is a step that’s often skipped. However, the key tasks of monitoring, measuring, and evaluation let you know whether your projects are achieving your most important goals—and offer insights to address any shortcomings.
Organizations that implement these steps—whether for energy master planning, sustainability planning, or for other forms of clean-energy planning—will find real value from their efforts. 3FFICIENT can provide the services you need to guide you through your own energy master planning efforts.