Energy Savings

How energy advisors can enhance your bottom line.

Their quest for energy efficiency never rests.

By: | October 3, 2019

Sometimes amazing things are right in plain sight; you just need to know how to look for them. That’s the analogy that is often played out with Xcel Energy’s energy advisors who are part of the Business Solutions Center (BSC). This team works to find hidden energy efficiency opportunities for businesses and organizations. And the energy advisors’ results are clear because they show up as cost savings.

Just ask Jesse Anderson, team leader of the energy advisors. He directs a group of 14 internal advisors and support representatives who work with local field representatives. “We primarily focus on small-midsized businesses. Our goal is pretty direct -- to help save money by saving power.”

A tool chest of options

On-site energy audits and LED lighting assessments are available for qualifying businesses. And this is a nice ice-breaker which helps energy advisors get a conversation started. From there, energy advisors have a tool chest of options to help customers use energy efficiency best practices.

“Many customers are drawn to LED lighting or HVAC upgrades because the paybacks are quick, and the long-term benefits are bankable,” says Anderson. “Our sweet spot is often with projects that include small office buildings, restaurants, warehouses, smaller manufacturers, along with companies in the service industry.”

Rebates drive participation

Key to project acceptance and eventual success is equipment rebates. These help off-set the investment in energy efficiency projects. Xcel Energy has two different types of rebate offerings*:

  • Prescriptive rebates are established amounts on specific equipment.
  • Custom rebates are created to help fit unique requirements.
It’s good to know that there is usually a 12-month rebate window of availability for prescriptive rebates, which means you can receive a rebate on a purchase that took place up to 12 months ago.

A case-in-point: Newer school resolves HVAC battle

Situation:
At a recently-built high school in the Midwest, a gymnasium’s HVAC system was frantically battling to create comfort for the students and staff.  The air conditioning and heating systems were running simultaneously, wresting to balance the thermostat to maintain a constant temperature.
 
Solution:
The energy advisors were able to identify a control system that was not being fully optimized. As energy advisor Greg Luedtke pointed out, “the boilers and AC were fighting it out to maintain a normal temperature.”

Results:
Luedtke shared, “By reprogramming the settings, the school saw and instant 50 percent in total energy savings. And that’s a major expense for any school district. While savings drive our business, it was especially nice to see a school attain a financial improvement like that.”

What’s trending?

Advancing technology can bring new opportunities to enhance buildings and production facilities. Currently, the capabilities, low maintenance, and longevity of LED lighting upgrades remain attractive as energy efficiency projects. Programs finding efficiency for compressed air and fluid systems are also growing in use. More and more variable frequency drives (VFD) are replacing traditional drive units. Instead of just running on or off, these can operate at variable speeds, which significantly reduces power use.

Put an Energy Advisor to work for you

Many businesses like to take advantage of energy efficiency, but too often, they don't move forward with recommendations. October is National Energy Awareness Month—a good time to get in touch with an energy advisor. They can take the hassle out of identifying and enhancing your systems to improve energy efficiency. Here’s a list of the ways they can assist your business or organization:

  • Help navigate through rebate programs and services to maximize results
  • Complete rebate applications
  • Refer customers to financial and other supporting resources
  • Collaborate with third-party contractors and vendors
  • Assign a field representative for on-site assessment of certain types of projects
  • Troubleshoot any concerns

Get started today

Call 855-839-8862 or visit our energy advisor webpage. 

 *Rebate and program offerings vary by state. Visit xcelenergy.com/Business to see what is available in your area.
Paul
Paul

A self-professed energy nerd, Paul loves to explore how technology trends are bringing convenience and surprising benefits to our lives.