Selling Efficiency: Looking Beyond Energy Savings
Although energy-efficiency improvements can lower utility bills, expensive upgrades with a long payback period can be a tough sell. To overcome objections, it’s important to look beyond energy savings and point out that investing in energy efficiency can pay off in a number of ways.
Longer equipment life.
Lights, motors and other critical devices have a limited operating life, and they can be costly to replace. Controls that turn things down and turn things off when they are not needed will not only save energy, but they will also extend the useful life of expensive equipment.
Lower maintenance costs.
Upgrading to high-performance equipment can reduce the amount of time and money spent on maintenance. For example, LED light fixtures last 50,000 to 100,000 hours — much longer than conventional fluorescent or high-intensity discharge (HID) lamps. By upgrading, facilities will spend less time and money replacing bulbs and fixtures.
Energy-saving upgrades, such as natural ventilation and daylighting, can improve indoor air quality and enhance the overall work environment. Happy, healthy workers are more productive, take fewer sick days and cost less in healthcare benefits.
Brighter lighting and more uniform light distribution can reduce the chance of a worker falling or being struck by an object. According to the National Safety Council, the average cost of a workplace accident is $36,000. If a lighting upgrade prevents just one accident, it will pay for itself quickly.
Increased building value.
For building owners, energy-efficiency upgrades and sustainability measures can boost property value. A market report found that green-labeled buildings command a rent premium of 6%, while the average sale price for green properties was 19% more than conventional buildings.
By highlighting the additional benefits energy-efficiency improvements can bring, it’s easier to get buy-in from reluctant financial decision makers.