By Beth Trask, Environmental Defense Fund
In a world of uncertainty, energy efficiency may be the only sure bet, zero-risk investment. If you look for energy efficiency opportunities, you will find them—and you will save money. Period.
That’s why GE refers to its energy efficiency-process as the ecomagination “Treasure Hunt.” And, with help from GE and Environmental Defense Fund (EDF), hunting for treasure is exactly what the City of Orlando did last month. A dedicated team of city, GE and EDF employees spent 2-1/2 full days, including a Saturday while the annual Florida Classic football game was going on, combing Orlando’s 70 plus-year old Citrus Bowl Stadium for opportunities to save energy.
In the end, the team suggested 25 projects, which, if fully implemented, will save 50% on the stadium’s energy bills. The projects range from simple changes such as shutting off lights in the parking lots to installing remote programmable thermostats. The estimated $365,000 implementation cost could be recouped in just over two years.
So if energy efficiency offers a guaranteed ROI, why don’t more cities, companies and any other organizations just do it? Well, because it’s like cleaning out your closets or remembering to eat five vegetables a day. Finding wasted energy takes time and leadership. You have to deal with internal challenges that you’ve been avoiding and question the way things have always been done..
That’s the beauty of the Treasure Hunt. It makes energy efficiency a facility’s number one priority for 2 ½ days and empowers a team of employees to discover real solutions.
Kudos to the City of Orlando for “cleaning out its closets” and showing us all how it’s done.