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No place to hide from energy efficiency

Posted: 4:07PM September 22nd, 2011 | Comments

It’s always interesting/annoying/fill in the blank when life and work run on parallel tracks. The frustrations of balancing energy efficiency projects with the purchase of new equipment is on my mind and I can’t just go home and hide from it! The ChaMpion Businesses are making decisions about which energy efficiency projects to implement at work, while I am making decisions on which energy efficiency projects to implement at my house.

Our current Mpower Businesses are submitting the 5 projects they will be implementing this year (you can sign into Energy Stewards to see progress). Many of them are submitting more than five, because a few involve higher cost energy efficiency improvements which still have to go through the budget approval process. The businesses don’t want to falsely commit to a project without the approval of their capital budget committee. Yes, they want to tackle all energy efficiency opportunities at once, but sometimes the unfortunate reality of priorities and the necessity of doing things in a logical order come into play. This is my third year running the ChaMpions Program, but it’s the first that I can relate to a facility manager’s disappointment of realizing “this project just won’t happen this year, hopefully next".
I just so happen to be struggling with energy efficiency investments at my own house right now. I now understand on a deeper level why coming up with a “statement of need” and how a project interfaces will all other operations is so important before you invest money into your business (or home).

Back in March, I blogged about how fun (geeky) getting a home energy assessment was. Now I’m collecting insulation quotes and meeting with Green Madison reps to help prioritize what to do. A complicating factor (why is there always one of these?!?) is that my roof is old and may need to be replaced in the near future. Do we replace the roof NOW so we can do the air sealing and insulation? This will allow us to start seeing savings, and more importantly, increased comfort THIS winter? Do we wait until the roof actually needs to be replaced and then to do the work? It would be silly to do the insulation and then rip the roof off the following year (and all the new duct work that also gets installed to accompany a tighter, air-sealed house). Ah the joys of owning an older home…
At least my home is located off the bike bath and I don’t have to present to a capital budget committee to make my decisions!

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