This feature is part of Cascade Energy’s “Energy Efficiency and Climate Change” Series: a year-long examination of the energy management journey.
Energy efficiency management is already a hot topic for 2023. Climate change is fueling GHG-reduction goals in many industries eager to join “The Race We All Win”. Cities are crafting ambitious decarbonization plans to ease overburdened utilities while Net Zero initiatives abound in the industrial sector. As a result of early trailblazing, many companies are already enjoying substantial direct energy efficiency benefits – saving time, money and the planet, one kWh at a time. But they’re also discovering exciting peripheral perks – hidden rewards called non-energy benefits.
Strategic energy management is the bedrock of meeting sustainability goals. However, there is far more to a company’s energy efficiency story. The Midwest Energy Efficiency Alliance estimates that up to 75% of the benefits of an EE project can come from the many and diverse Non-Energy Benefits (NEB’s) produced by energy efficiency in addition to energy and demand savings. The wide array of NEB’s include happier, healthier employees, increased productivity, elevated company reputation and valuable partnering opportunities.
The key to reaping these rewards lies in diligence to an intelligent and intuitive energy management system. Cascade’s Strategic Energy Management (SEM) program lays a solid foundational framework that is easily employed and embraced. Enthusiasm builds swiftly from early wins while trust in the process is infused by long-term results.
One of these early non-energy benefit wins is a marked incline in employee satisfaction and retention. Completed SEM goals produce elevated working environments. Cascade’s expert engineers and coaches deliver high-value instruction and support, empowering and building confidence.
Internal teams participating in meaningful EE initiatives embrace a new level of pride in their place of employment. Additionally, increased safety conditions due to energy efficiency projects, like better lighting and optimized processes, provide boosts to employee health and well-being. With less personnel turnover and burn-out, EE-centric companies enjoy natural benefits to productivity, as employees trained in best energy practices bring valuable new competencies to their roles and inspire their teams.
SEM cohorts are also fertile environments for new relationships. Positive peer connections made by operators and managers of neighboring facilities often lead to mutually rewarding collaboration opportunities and increased community support. As a company’s culture embraces globally-minded values, improved societal reputation attracts investors and partnerships that share the vision.
These SEM wins are tangible and inspiring. They go above and beyond decarbonization savings to shape an EE story rich with lasting successes. Non-energy benefits are helping energy-efficiency focused companies feel good, look good and even do more good in the world.