Financing CheckUp

How California Businesses Are Using the Business Energy Checkup Tool

By Megan Porter

For many businesses, optimizing energy efficiency has become a priority. They have learned that energy conservation techniques can lead directly to reduced costs and long-term operational benefits.

The key to successful energy efficiency initiatives is having highly relevant information regarding energy use along with actionable ways to save energy. For this reason, many California businesses are utilizing an online resource that enables owners and managers to make better-informed decisions regarding their company’s energy management and put applicable energy saving tips to work.

The resource is called the Business Energy Checkup. It is an online self-assessment tool that was developed to help California businesses employ energy conservation techniques.

Here are some of the ways businesses are using the Business Energy Checkup to assess their current energy use and determine ways to save energy.

Pinpointing which systems use the most energy
In any business, energy use can vary greatly across different systems. But the ability to gauge this energy use by specific systems has not always been readily available. Today, California businesses are using the Business Energy Checkup to identify areas where they spend the most and least on energy by percentage. For example, businesses are comparing lighting expenses and ventilation to other essential systems such as water heating or office equipment.

This information allows business owners and managers to gauge the value of varied energy conservation techniques against their estimated energy usage by category. By pinpointing the largest energy users, businesses are able to determine alternative options and employ energy saving tips to reduce their total spending and become more efficient.

Leveraging energy use information
In addition to estimating energy use by category, the Business Energy Checkup is helping California businesses track their energy use over specific periods of time. Businesses are using the tool to review their annual or monthly spending, as well as their annual, monthly or daily electricity or natural gas use.

This information is highly valuable because it provides business owners and managers a solid framework to reference when considering their long-term energy use and which energy conservation techniques to pursue. By having an extended timeframe of energy use as a starting point, businesses are able to leverage this information and work more effectively with a contractor in planning and estimating any energy efficiency initiative.

Businesses are also using the Business Energy Checkup to determine how other pertinent factors impact their energy costs, including the weather and trends over days, months and years.

Determining energy saving recommendations
Once business owners and managers have analyzed their energy use based on the aforementioned factors, they are leveraging that knowledge to help determine the optimal ways to reduce energy usage. This is another area where the Business Energy Checkup is offering them practical and actionable information.

California businesses are using the tool to help identify energy saving recommendations that are customized to their facilities and needs.

When determining the most suitable and beneficial recommendations, the business owner or manager is considering a number of relevant details provided by the Business Energy Checkup. These include the upfront cost for implementation, the projected annual savings that can be achieved and the estimated time for project payback.

For many recommendations, businesses are taking advantage of energy efficiency incentives that are offered by Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E). In addition, businesses that are searching for qualified contractors are using the tool to access a Trade Professionals Directory. The directory lists local contractors who are experienced in energy management projects.

The Business Energy Checkup is available to California businesses in every industry that are serviced by PG&E. Businesses should also consider financing options available before undertaking any energy efficiency project to reduce energy usage. Download the "Insider's Guide to Financing Energy Efficiency Projects" from PG&E, which provides resources and insights for successful planning.

Learn how efficient California businesses are managing their energy use:
  • SMB Blog Author
    Megan Porter
    Senior Program Marketing Manager at PG&E, is a recognized leader in solutions marketing for small and medium-sized businesses. Megan uses her proven and practical expertise to bring energy efficiency education to businesses in every industry. In this vital role, she develops and oversees highly successful initiatives that result in the adoption of more efficient long-term energy management behaviors.

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