Energy efficiency still important in days of falling oil prices

When oil prices drop and the cost of gasoline decreases, drivers often pay less attention to fuel efficiency and hit the road for weekend getaways. Similarly, facility managers, worried about their operating budgets because of escalating energy bills, often ease their concerns when utility rates dip or level off for an extended period of time.

However, for energy managers who oversee and control energy costs, this is no time to become complacent. Let’s look at why energy efficiency should remain a top priority for building owners, irrespective of utility costs.

  1. Continued focus on efficient system operation, reducing energy consumption wherever possible, will lead to additional savings during decreases in fuel rates. These savings can be directed into other facility needs.
  2. Many municipalities and government agencies mandate energy benchmarking of existing facilities, with results published for public review. Companies and agencies seeking to demonstrate their commitment to energy efficiency and environmental stewardship need their energy utilization indices (EUI) to reflect efficient operation.
  3. Inefficient system operation often results from problems with degraded equipment performance, possibly caused by deteriorated equipment, faulty system components or compromised controls. These issues reflect a need for proactive monitoring and preventative maintenance programs.
  4. Inefficient system operation may also manifest itself in environmental and comfort problems for occupants. If equipment or controls performance has been compromised, space temperature, humidity and air quality may also fail to meet the prescribed conditions.
  5. While primarily influenced by supply and demand, oil prices can also quickly fluctuate based on world events such as political tensions, ethnic conflicts, natural disasters and terrorism. We have seen a significant swing in oil prices over the past five years. The current drop in oil prices may be a brief reprieve, vanishing in a few months.

Experienced energy managers recognize that their facility management plans need to include persistent strategies for operations and management to maintain efficient systems and ensure a comfortable and productive facility.

For further information regarding Hanson’s energy services, please contact Nate Boyd at