Coffee and a Webinar: Saving Energy in University Housing

Hear the founder of environmental consulting firm IMPACTenergy, Melissa Kline, describe the process her firm employs to achieve energy savings in student housing. 

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Steve: Thank you for logging in. This is Steve Heinz, Founder and CEO of EnergyCAP. And I welcome you to today's Coffee and a Webinar: Saving Energy in University Housing. A word about our last webinar because I think our last webinar sets the stage for today's webinar. Last time we had our friend Matthew Sharon from University of New Mexico talking about their very successful and long running behavior based energy conservation program. They first implemented that years ago with the assistance of Cenergistic of Dallas, Texas, an energy conservation consulting firm. They've been very successful. It's been running now for about 10 years or so. He was talking about behavior based operational things, training people, and changing patterns of use and behavior, things like that, which is certainly one way to go about it and one element of a comprehensive energy reduction and sustainability program on any campus or from any organization. This time we're taking a different approach. This webinar is based on the perspective of an engineering consulting firm. So rather than someone from within the university, someone from outside of the university, and rather than behavior based, what you might call energy conservation, we're going to be talking today about more of a retrofit and energy audit, building modification approach to energy management and energy efficiency.

So I'm very pleased to introduce IMPACTenergy. With us today is Melissa Kline, who is the Founder and President of IMPACTenergy. The firm is based in Colorado with the mission to maximize energy efficiency and to deliver high performance solutions for new and existing buildings. IMPACTenergy has been in business since 2010, has worked with over 300 buildings nationwide. You'll find Melissa to be very interesting to listen to. She has degrees in both Architecture and Mechanical Engineering, which is an unusual mix of degrees to see a building from the architectural perspective and then from the mechanical engineering perspective. Usually it's the mechanical engineers who are kind of driven nuts by the architects who don't give them enough space in the building to do their thing. So she has both sides of that. Gives her good perspectives on how to make a building more efficient. She's a Certified Energy Manager and Certified Energy Auditor. And I think as you will see, she also is very knowledgeable and a bundle of energy and enthusiasm. So with that, Melissa, let me turn it over to you.

Melissa: Thank you Steve for the introduction. I want to thank everyone today for joining us. And today I'm going to talk on saving energy in university housing. Two areas that I'm going to focus on is new insights and approach into the process of energy efficiency. And I will explain that through energy audits and IMPACTenergy management program. So who is IMPACTenergy? Thank you Steve again for the introduction. My name is Melissa Kline. I am the owner at IMPACTenergy and my background is in both Architecture and Engineering. And what's great about that is I can look at the building on ways to improve on energy efficiency and also I'm focusing in on occupant comfort. Also, our team is made up of licensed engineers, certified energy managers and certified energy auditors. And here you could see a list of our clients. We have a lot of experience working with university housing, specifically on the private sector. We've worked with Cardinal Group, Harrison Street and Mapletree Investments. So a new approach to energy efficiency. Today we're going to focus on reducing energy and operational costs, increasing energy efficiency, and improving occupant comfort. You can take a look at-.

Steve: And Melissa, let me ask you a question on that point. We had some questions come in from the audience. And I can generalize that by asking, to what extent have you found that the occupants themselves, college students, are demanding carbon reduction features, let's say green features, that they want to see LEED certification, they want to see energy star ratings, they want to see a kiosk or a flat screen in the lobby that shows how the building is doing and saving energy, or they want to have a competition with other units. Is that something in demand or is it more I want to pay as little as possible and that's the bottom line?

Melissa: That's a great question. Honestly, when we get hired by all these different companies, different universities, yes, for this new generation, they're excited about the idea of green, but that's not usually going to weigh their choice one way or the other. In the end, especially with that age group, you know, probably 18 to 21, they're really looking to see, you know, the least expensive apartment unit that they can spend on. Really the people that we work with for energy efficiency, are the operational owners; the people who are going to see the bottom line. From there, those are the people that I have seen that are most motivated to take action.

Steve: Yeah. Okay. Very good. Thank you. You can continue.

Melissa: You're welcome. Next slide is energy costs is a window into efficiency. I just like to kind of throw out some questions on some touching points as we move through the presentation. So if you look at maximizing the value of utility bill data, what I have seen a lot in the past is either the accounting team, as Steve was kind of speaking to, or the ownership group, because sometimes we work on the private sector, will have access to these utility bills. And I say great. And they come up to me and they tell me all the time, “Hey, my bill costs 10,000 a month,” or “I've used 100,000 kilowatt hours.” And I go, “Great”. They go, “What does that mean?” So really, what we're trying to do is, with the help of EnergyCAP and the software, and having an analysis of your building, to really start empowering us to use the utility bill data to understand how the energy is being used throughout your building. Next is that-.

Steve: Okay, that’s a good point. What we like to promote is the fact that Energy CAP, getting your arms around your energy data is foundational. It's not the answer to everything.

Melissa: Yes.

Steve: It isn't-.

Melissa: No.

Steve: Getting your arms around your data, you can't say, well I've done energy management because I got my data under management. But you certainly need to do that first before you can make some of these decisions going forward. And so you're verifying that that getting the data under management is foundational to everything that comes after.

Melissa: It is foundational. I have a lot of clients who will come up to me and they're tracking or trending their utility bills and they go, “Oh, I saw this anomaly. I saw that there was a peak here, you know, something happened here.” I say, “Great.” But if you don't understand the equipment, you know, understand your boilers, your air handler units, your chillers, you don't have that nameplate information, then great, you have the utility bills, and that's step one; but understanding their equipment and how that's being used, then we could start taking action and start lowering the utility bills or start understanding what's going on inside each person's building.

Steve: Yeah. Okay. Thank you.

Melissa: So yes, it is definitely the foundation. Next is implementing projects with ROI. ROI just means return on investment. And again, I've seen a lot of people who just start implementing. They'll pick, lighting is always very popular; they'll pick lighting or they'll go and put, I've seen people put huge solar systems on, and there's no right or wrong way, but when we sit down and work with a group, we're really concerned about, hey, we want to implement these top five projects based on the best payback, your budget, your needs, and rebates that are available. So sometimes lighting is not number one project. It can be number five or six, because really tuning off the set points on a mechanical system, that's no cost. And that's usually like our first step before we even get to the other item. Tracking savings for future projects. Again, we do this through EnergyCAP. I think it's great that people are doing it, but if you're not tracking energy savings or in the engineering world we call it measurement and verification, then we don't know what we've saved. And a lot of times when we work with companies, we call it efficiency revenue. So if each year you're saving a certain amount of money, how do we reallocate that to the budget; to your bottom line so in year three or your five, we can take that money and then start implementing it to larger projects. So these are just touching points that we're going to kind of talk through through the rest of the presentation.

Steve: So I like that you call that efficiency revenue.

Melissa: Yes.

Steve: Yeah, that's good. I hadn't heard that term before. Very good.

Melissa: So our next slide-.

Steve: I think your spacebar should advance the slides by the way if you're having trouble with that.

Melissa: Okay, thank you. I was having a little trouble with that. Thank you. Okay. Next slide is our energy efficiency cycle. And this efficiency cycle is a high touch integrated approach to energy saving. And like I said, I've been in this field such a long time and the flaw that I have seen in many energy efficiency programs is that it focuses on a short term investment that only realizes short term savings, with inefficiencies creeping back into the system over time. But by actively managing your efficiency on an ongoing basis, we can help you develop a revenue stream that funds your high priority efficiency projects and increases your savings year over year.

Steve: Now, what I really like about this Melissa is, I know you're aware the ISO standard 50001 has made quite a splash in maybe the last, I think it's been out 6,7,8 years now; that's ISO 50001 that's called Energy Management Systems. ISO has a lot of credibility because it's known around the world. It's been out there for decades and a lot of people are familiar with an ISO 9000 series standards, for instance, on quality management. So the ISO 50001 standard takes sort of the quality cycle and moves it to energy efficiency and I know a lot of large corporations have adopted this. What ISO 50001 says, they talk about the four step cycle of continuous improvement. It starts with plan, and then do; in other words, plan what you're going to do, do it, then check how you did; that would be the M&V phase. And then they call it act. Act means act on your checking results; in other words, fine tune it, or alter it to get even more efficient and go through the cycle again: plan, do, check, act. But I like the way you've done it better. I haven't seen the cycle shown like this, but I think this is more memorable than plan, do, check, act. The strategize, implement, assess, you could kind of jump in there at any point and keep going around in the circle, and keep getting better. So I like what you've done.

Melissa: Thank you. And one of the other things I'll say about the ISO is, because I've seen it, and it's a great idea, but what we have created is a real life strategy on how it happens. Because sometimes when I've read LEED documents or ISO or ENERGY STAR it's great ideas, but where's the tangible results? What are the tangible checklists and steps to make sure that everyone is on board and it's happening? So that's one of the pieces that we have created inside of that.

Steve: Yeah, good.

Melissa: And one of the things that you were saying you see assess, strategize, and implement, you could start at any point. The whole point in the end is it to be like an integrated approach. So let's take a look. The first area that you see is assess. But again, you could start at any point. So here this is where we work with EnergyCAP, and we evaluate your energy use and ongoing savings. And this helps you gain insight into your building's energy use and able to track energy savings after projects are implemented. And we help clients analyze their energy information, and upload and maintain their energy cap accounts and provide quarterly energy reports. So I know a lot of you -- we work with a lot of companies, we all kind of maintain all that for them, and then we also are providing quarterly analysis reports which is a collaboration of both EnergyCAP’s reports and IMPACT energy’s reports. So we really make those results powerful for you.

Next is our strategizing. This is the creating of strategy to implement upgrades and realize savings. Sorry there. Some of the services that we do this to are energy audits, lighting audits, recommissioning, and capital reserves studies. Today we'll dive a bit more on energy audits and what that looks like if you haven't gone through that process. Lighting audits is hey, I've seen it a lot. I have a huge building, I know I need to take action and create a retrofit. I would like to partner with somebody to make sure those results happen. A recommissioning is looking at your control system and capital reserve is looking at long term mechanical equipment. So again, we'll take a deeper dive in the energy audit here shortly. And the next part of our energy efficiency cycle is implement. And this is where we help your team implement upgrades for faster saving. Today again we'll look at our active energy management program and take a look at that strategy to upgrade for energy efficiency measures. And also I do want to take a second. This is also where we offer different energy efficiency products such as LED lights, lighting controls, and guest room energy controls. Any questions Steve or any follow up before I dive deeper into the energy audit and active management?

Steve: No. I'm ready for that.

Melissa: Okay, perfect. Before I actually get into that, I do want to take a moment and kind of state this because I hear this all the time, oh, we've done retrofits for LEDs, which I think is great, but the thing that I always tell people is, not all lighting solutions are created equal. I was just having a discussion yesterday that three of our retrofits that we just did in the last week were for people who actually did LED lighting upgrades already. This is because, you know it's a case in point, when you look at the efficiency of the bulb, what is the lifetime of the bulb? I see a lot of times when people maybe go to HD Supply or Costco and those bulbs’ operational hours are 8000 hours; which basically means in one year, that's the lifetime of the bulb. You know really when you're buying a high quality bulb, it should last at least 50,000 hours, which is around six to seven years.

Other things to take into consideration is warranty. It should have a warranty anywhere from three to 10 years depending on the product. So if something does happen, something goes out within the lifetime of the warranty, you can get a new bulb for free. Other things to consider is ENERGY STAR. A lot of times people don't take advantage of this. If you do buy ENERGY STAR lights or LEDs, usually you can qualify up to 75% offer rebates. So again, yes, when you're upgrading, I think it's great, but there's other things to consider. And then the last piece is design. Again, like I said, I'm an architect. When I go into a building, I take a look at the color of the lighting; I take a look at the lumen output or the brightness. So what I say is yes, I think it's great, but why don't we use the bulb to help transform the building? It's our opportunity, why don't we take advantage of that. So that's just a couple of things to kind of note on lighting solutions while upgrading.

Steve: Yeah, I'd like to comment on that Melissa. I think you make some really good points there. I'm an engineer, and as an engineer, we tend to think like we can figure it out on our own. We don't really need help. You know we're smart. But when we had the last session with University of New Mexico and their behavior based program, there's certainly a lot of organizations who say I don't need a consultant to help me with behavior based. That sounds simple enough. We can implement our own program. But what we have seen over and over again is people who try to do it yourself just don't have the wealth of experience to be able to do it very effectively. So New Mexico brought in Cenergistic. Yes, there's a fee associated with it, but the program is four times more efficient because they're bringing in experts in all these different areas and it's a much more effective program. And what you're saying points out the same thing with retrofits; like, yes, we can go to Home Depot and buy some LEDs. I know the mindset of, well, let's just replace every light, every lamp we have with LEDs and we'll be great. But as you point out, there's a lot more to it than that and the Do It Yourself approach sometimes sounds like the most efficient way forward and the lowest overall cost, but it's not. So you raised some really good points that the expertise and you having worked in a lot of different buildings around the country, and really understanding everything that impacts it brings a deeper level of savings over time than the Do It Yourself program. So thank you.

Melissa: Yes, you're welcome. And just actually, when you were saying that, you know, one of the things I was thinking about is your bulbs and lifetime of the bulbs and the technology. I'd say the technology changes every six months. And I was just in a building on Friday and they were showing me this bulb and I'm like they replaced it with something else. I’m like why wouldn't you just replace it with a bulb? It's half the cost. And they just didn't even know the technology was out there, and what's the best technology and do I need to replace my ballast. There's just a lot that goes into it. And then also, sometimes people might not have a budget to replace it all at once. So really being able to have return on investment for every single different bulb type in different area allows you to upgrade at your own convenience. It allows you to upgrade at your own pace. So that's another thing that adds to this equation.

Steve: Good.

Melissa: So let's jump here and say, what is an energy audit? So I think a lot of people have probably heard the term energy audit a lot. One of the things I just want to touch on on what an energy audit is not, before I go into what it is. So what is not, I hear a lot of times people have gotten an energy audit by their utility company. Again, it's not a bad place to start but that is not a robust ASHRAE level two or three energy audit. That is just a simple walkthrough with a couple of tips to kind of get you started. What it also is not is I’ve seen a lot of nonprofits, I think, again, they're great, but it's similar to the utility walkthrough. I think it's a great way to get your feet wet. So that's what it's not. What it is it provides a strategic roadmap and it minimizes your operating expenses between 10 and 40%. And usually an audit could payback between one and two years. And I'll get in a little bit more into what the process is. So if you ever decide to go down the route of an engineering grade, ASHRAE level two or three audit, you can know what to expect there. So just diving a little bit deeper into what the process is, you see up there the client interview, the on-site analysis, and the energy report.

So it's a three phase process. The client interview it's not just about your energy saving goals. There are other focuses such as water, maybe improving your facility maintenance plans, building durability, occupant comfort. So really the client interview is kind of having an overall or big idea of what's going on with your building and from there, that is what will take our focus through your building or what makes most sense for you. Next is the on-site analysis. That could take anywhere from one to five days. You might have anywhere from two to three engineers, and that just depends on the size of the building and the complications of the mechanical equipment. What we take a look at on site can be any mechanical equipment. So anything that produces heat or cooling; so your boilers, your chillers, your heat pumps, pumps and motors, air handler units make up air. Take a look at you know your water. So, we’ll take a look at your pools, your spas, any low flow toilet aerators, and we'll also look at the envelope of your building. So we'll do a blower door test and use our infrared camera to take a look at the air leakage at the envelope of your building. And this is important because if you have efficient equipment but your envelope of the building is leaking like a sieve, it's not as helpful. So it's really a whole building approach.

And lastly the energy reports. There's four sections to the energy report that's useful or helpful. The first one is top five recommendations. This is where we call top five recommendations, low cost, no cost, energy measures. We like to train the onsite staff. So while you're sitting and waiting for the report, they can go and do that themselves. And that usually pays back the energy audit within one to two years; just that initial top five savings. Also, you'll have we call them ECNs - Energy Conservation Measures. We'll do a list of anywhere from 10 to 30 of them, and we'll write them out based on return on investment. So you only have 5000 that year, hey, I'm going to pick this three top recommendations to install because that makes most sense based on return on investment. We'll also touch base on capital improvement projects, and then the last section we call FIN - Facility Improvement Measures. So that might be the health and safety of a building such as gas leaks, we might look at occupant comfort such as lighting design or building durability, hey, there's valve leak somewhere. So again, this is a rough overview of what you can expect from a full engineering energy audit.

So the next slide is what is active management? Before I go in here, I just want to tell you the difference between an energy audit and active management. So an energy audit and active management, they are two different strategies on the same highway to efficiency, or I kind of like to look at it as two different on ramp where you're on the same highway towards efficiency. What makes the difference between them is an energy audit puts you on that fast track. It focuses on optimizing your capital improvements, especially those maximizing efficiency. And you know an energy audit it gets you down the road at a more accelerated pace but I would definitely say to people who are interested in energy audits, make sure you have the capital investment earmarked for that. So again, it's a full robust audit, which I think is great. If you're like, hey, I want to hit 30% energy savings by this time next year, an energy audit can get you that.

Now, I created the active energy management. I said I've been doing this for about 15 years now. I saw there was kind of this need inside of efficiency; hey, I might not have that capital upfront investment to do a full blown audit but I definitely want to still get on the same road towards efficiency, but maybe at a slower incremental gain. And that's where the active management comes about. What it is is three parts. This is where we're more identifying low cost, no cost measures. This is where we help you implement them to get them done. And this is where we use EnergyCAP software to measure the impact for continuous improvement. And usually within the first year, you can see about 3% to 7% savings on utility bill.

Steve: So Melissa, let me ask you a question about that. You characterized the full blown energy audit is more of the fast track. But as the way you described this, I would say the full blown energy audit is the fast track approach to your ultimate goal of maximum savings.

Melissa: Yeah.

Steve: But it’s like your active energy management is actually faster in that your objective here is the kind of get the low hanging fruit, knock that out quickly. Now that doesn't get you all the way to your end goal but it does get you some savings very fast. And I would think that your active energy management is actually going to return savings before the full blown energy audits are even done. So in that sense, maybe your initial savings efficiency revenue as you said would start sooner with active energy management, but it's not going to be as deep and might not be as long lasting. It's more of the shorter term, low hanging fruit stuff. Is that an accurate characterization?

Melissa: It depends on the client. Most people who are ready to do an energy audit, Cardinal Group, Westmar, which is University Housing up in Atlanta, Georgia. We did an energy audit and right out of the gate, they wanted to hit I think 45% energy savings within eight months. And we did that.

Steve: Okay.

Melissa: But they also had the investment earmarked to do it. So within eight months we hit. And because we tracked it in EnergyCAP, they see the track results, they were able to hit that. I also have clients who do the energy audit and then in three years they want to upgrade. It's just a very comprehensive way to get started. The active management, yes, it is a quicker payback. We are identifying low cost, no cost measures, but we're only doing a top three to a top five, depending on the size of your building. And the reason we're doing that, yeah, it’s because what I hear a lot of times is I’ll handle in, say, I handed in an energy report. Sometimes I've seen that sit on people's desks. With the active management, they don't have to worry where am I going to get the extra people because we're here to be an extension of their team; or how do I have the expertise for that? We're here to help them implement. So if say there's a top three or top five recommendations we want to make sure by the end of the year, everything's implemented so that they could see the results.

Steve: Right. Okay. Thank you.

Melissa: Yeah, so it kind of explains what you're saying. Great questions. You're on the same highway of efficiency but it's two different strategies to get there. I'll kind of dive a little bit deeper into what that process looks like, similar to what I did with the energy audit. So if people ever engaged in this, they know what to expect.

So program approach. There's two main steps. Step one is the initial startup. It's really understanding your building or your consumption patterns. Looks as similar to an audit but again, it's not as robust. First you have project launch; it's setting up the energy management software. This is where we partner with EnergyCAP and we make sure on the client's behalf we upload the utility bills, and then we collect data on their building, we do a client interview and an on-site walkthrough. And again, this onsite walkthrough is a bit different than an energy audit. This on-site walkthrough is like hey, I'm going to focus on items that I know we're going to pay back in one year or less. And it's only going to be a top three to a top five recommendation. And I'll get here to a case study of what that can look like for your building here shortly. Also customize dashboard set up. Again, on your behalf, we'll go into EnergyCAP, and we will set up customized dashboards for each one of our clients and then we are actually handling all the back end work that happens on EnergyCAP to make sure as we're implementing projects you could track your savings. So that's kind of step one. If you engage with us this -- go on.

Steve: Pardon me. Let me ask you a question about data collection. One of our listeners asked the question about 15 minute interval data. Do you find that that's available or not? Are you able to get your hands on it? Have you ever analyzed that? Has it been of any help to you in understanding startup times or peaks or anything like that? Is that a normal part of the process or just helpful if you have it?

Melissa: I think it's helpful if you have it. This is what I've said to people. Many years ago, we used to do some metering. The thing that we saw was there's a high upfront cost for that. And what I noticed, and this is why I took my business in a different direction, was so the amount that you're going to pay for sub-metering, if you took that money and reinvested it into a full blown study or upgrading your measures, at least what I've seen, I can get a much quicker payback there than having more data. A lot of times what I've noticed is people have tons of data and I say great, where's the action items to it? And I think data can be powerful but sometimes I want to get them going right away and not be bogged down by too much information. So sometimes we use it if you have it. I think it's great. I'd say 98% of our clients never had it. And we can hit anywhere from 10 to 40% savings without it. So you know-.

Steve: Okay. Good. I think that answers that. That's good.

Melissa: Yeah. And we have a lot of results. I rather than reallocate that money into something that's more actionable. So next step -- great question by the way, next step is quarterly action plans; what people can expect on a quarterly basis if they've engaged in active management. Quarter one, setting up baseline and establishing an annual plan. This is where we kind of tell a story: how we're using energy and that is when we go into EnergyCAP and look at utility bill data. And then we also, the second piece, is deliver that annual efficiency plan. This is when we're going to deliver a top five recommendation of low cost, no cost measures. And this plan is what's going to guide us for the next year to make sure you see those results. Quarter two is launching implementation strategy. This is where we just start teaming up with you and becoming your partner to make sure it happens. We create an energy action plan, and what it looks like is we're armed like a Google Doc. We're literally just creating a task list. Say you have to upgrade motors, that's ECM number one. It's like, okay, who does the low cap to make sure they're sized correctly? Who's looking at the rebate? Who's looking up the technology?

So it's really just, in this piece, it's who's accountable for what action or what part of the upgrade. And like I said this is when you have a whole team of engineers, so you might as well leverage that resource; so that's Quarter #2. And then if you look at step number, as we continue here, Quarter #3 and Quarter #4. Quarter #3 on ground technical work. This is where I want three to four months, and it's get it done. You know, what do you need from our team? Say you guys are putting out fires, how can our team help you out? Do you need us to collect RFPs on your behalf? Do you need us to research your technologies? Do you need me to come on site and literally set the set points and train your team? I've done everything. It's making sure that it gets done instead of saying, oh, we'll do it later. And then Quarter #4 is celebrating your results. This is where, again, we're inside of EnergyCAP the whole time and we're measuring your impact and we're seeing what you're saving. So we'll provide a case study there to kind of show you that result so you can hand that into your ownership team or your manager to say hey, we invested X, Y, and Z, this is our payback. And again, the payback is usually one year or less that I've seen on inside of the active management.

The other piece that I kind of want to speak on and you kind of touched on it lightly before was also really working with you guys inside of your budget. So I was just speaking to efficiency revenue before and it is recorded as a new budget line item, which contributes to your total annual revenue. So then your savings can be rolled over to fund next year of project. So I hear a lot of times like, hey, I have cost savings. I go great, have we put that in the budget as a new line item; and we call it efficiency revenue, you can call it whatever you want; so every year it grows, so by year three, you don't go hey, where do I get the budget to upgrade my boiler plant? We've created that through this incremental program. So that's how this becomes longevity. So that's our program approach or what you can expect inside of active management.

So here you’ll see High IMPACT Results: A Case Study. I'm sure you're wondering what does this look like for my building. I'll get to a couple of slides to show you what we've implemented and maybe some ideas to think about for your building. So this is Westmar Student Lofts. We're doing active management for them. We've done active management plus improvements. You see that $14,000; that is what they set for the first year. Keep in mind their building is 565,000. So if you have a smaller building, the active management and the improvements are less. If you have a larger building, it might be a bit more. But again, it's a low cost program, and the first year they invested around 14,000. They ended up seeing that annual cost savings around 11,494. So that's simple payback for the active management, and the top five improvements end up being about 1.2 years. And again, you'll see efficiency revenue. We'll look at 10 years. That basically means that if they decide to do nothing else after year one, and they just track their savings over time, and they reallocate that money into that budget, they can see around $114,000 savings. Usually, most people see the results and they grow the program year after year.

So let's take a look at what those top recommendations were for them. Some of the recommendations super easy: adjust elevator machine room temperature set points, adjust outside minimum flow set points. So basically what that means is the dampers were completely open, letting in 100%, outside air, especially in Georgia, if you let in all that hot air that means your systems have to work that much harder to cool down that air. So really, just with a simple calculation, we were able to adjust that for them, you know, with the damper position. Number three was LED. Number four was programmable thermostats and adding a nighttime setback. Again, I think Steve when you talked in the beginning, for me, we're all about control strategies. For us, we like to take the human behavior out of it, and use different controls. So we make sure that we're targeting the savings that we want. Even though you have a programmable thermostat, maybe at the hallways, we're providing a lockbox. And that means nobody can go around and just readjust when they want to. We're making it sort of happen.

Steve: How do the students respond to things that are locked down? Is that seen by them as a negative?

Melissa: They've -- honestly they have never seen it. I've never heard anybody. We do it in hotels. I mean, we do a ton of facilities. It just makes sense. And it's a teeny little clear lockbox. It's like your thermostats that sit in the hallway. I've never heard anybody have a complaint on it.

Steve: You never had pushback. Okay.

Melissa: Yeah, there's never been push -- they don't even notice it's there. And then the other thing that we end up doing is occupancy based thermostats, and there's high step points and low step points. And we pre-program it on the back end where they can put their heat above 78, and they can put their cooling below 66. I call it the 90-10 rule; you know, if 90% of the people are happy, we're good. You usually get maybe 1% of complaints, but that's not enough for the energy you usually capture in 20% to 30% energy savings right there. So I love control strategies. I think that's the way to go because you know it's going to happen. And it accounts for human behavior. It's a way to kind of get around it and make sure it happens. There's nighttime setbacks and everything else that's going on. The last two is just VendingMisers; just an occupancy based sensor for your vending machines. And then I'm all about systematic upgrades to low-flow plumbing fixtures. I deal with so many clients, not everyone has the budget to do everything right away. So based on ROI, that's how I'll say, hey, these are the one or two items you should do first. And then as we create more money and a larger budget, we'll start to upgrade everything else slowly. So that's the top recommendation for Westmar.

On the next slide this is just really broad overall, hey, what are some of the low cost, no cost measures. There you see lighting. Also you have your primary systems, your heating, ventilation; it's really about adjusting step backs, adjusting runtime schedules, adjusting resets on your chillers, your condensers; basically, it's a lot of mechanical systems set points. I'm not sure the people who are on the phone how familiar you are with it, but that's where you're going to see if people who provide your schedules or set point adjustments, that to me is no cost, because you could do in house and you don't need an outside resource to kind of get that moving. Other things; secondary systems, your hot water heaters, your pumps, your motors, again, runtime schedules. Here a lot of people who have VFDs, this is the other thing I hear a lot, hey, I have a new building. I have these beautiful controls. I see it all the time, like Johnson Controls; they're there to install the control. They're not there to get you the best sequence of operations or optimize your control. So a lot of times people have these beautiful controls but nobody's gone in and optimize the set point. I see it all the time. VFDs are the biggest ones. I go in, it's running at 100% speed and I go why? They have this great technology, nobody's just using it. And then also you see water conservation and envelope of the building. So these are just a really quick list of what you can expect for some top recommendations that are low cost, no cost. So I'm going to go to the next slide. And this is our software features-.

Steve: Yeah, you’ve finally gotten to the good part of this. The EnergyCAP slides.

Melissa: Yes, and I was going to say that. So again, IMPACTenergy, we are partners with EnergyCAP. This is where we track all utility bills. This is where we set up dashboards on the clients that have to really just start tracking savings; to make sure they're all proven results. So first slide you see is the dashboard number one. We create two dashboards: we create the cost savings and we create utility expenses. And we just want to make it easy because if you're running around putting out fires, it's a way to sign on for anywhere from 30 seconds up to five minutes, and you get everything that you need what's going on inside of your building within that timeframe. Again, we're taking care of everything on the back end. So then-.

Steve: I noticed this is just an EnergyCAP point. This is a dashboard actually within EnergyCAP version seven that would require a user to log in and then look at the dashboard. EnergyCAP has another feature where this dashboard can be made shareable and public, and it will give you a URL that you could email to a client or text to a client. And when the client clicks on that link, they'll see this, well, they won't see the left hand side that has the navigation, they'll see everything on the right. With up to date data, it updates immediately. So it's current data; it's not just the screen capture. Its current data, but doesn't require the client to log in to EnergyCAP. So there is that other way in version seven that you can share this data very easily with your clients or anyone who you want to give the link to. Just wanted to mention that.

Melissa: Great, yes. So this is just the dashboard set up for cost saving. On the next slide, you'll see the dashboard that’s inside of EnergyCAP. We help set up for utility expenses. We like to make it easy, hey, what am I saving? What am I using? Now the next dashboard is if you want to dive a little bit deeper. Well, you can look into your buildings and meters. Here you see East West; that's just a client of ours. And most people that I've seen they tap into the savings tab, and you can look at the summary. So you can look at the cost avoidance that's happening each year. It's also broken down by commodity. And it's also you could see your overall program savings. Do you want to touch on that Steve any more on that tab?

Steve: No, go ahead.

Melissa: Okay. And then it's also the savings tab, but you can also see the commodity. And here you see electric. But again, you can click here on the black arrow. There's a drop down menu and you can see electric, you can see water, you can see natural gas; whatever commodity that you have inside of EnergyCAP. And then again it breaks it down for cost avoidance for that particular commodity.

Steve: So I will comment something here, Melissa. And that is in the lower portion of the screen, where you see the green arrows that means your savings or cost avoidance is up, you'll notice that where the dollar figures are shown, for instance the $641,000 that says actual, above that the $736,000 it says BATCC - B-A-T-C-C. Just to explain what that is to our listeners, that is the baseline that has been adjusted to current conditions. In other words, one of the principles in cost avoidance M and V from the IPMVP international guidance document says that when we calculate savings, we compare today's actual bills against the baseline. But in order to assure apples to apples comparison due to weather changes or rate changes, we have to adjust the baseline to today's conditions - to current conditions. So what this is saying is, had this building continued its wasteful ways they would have spent an estimated $736,000 under today's conditions. They actually spent 641,000 during the life of the program. Therefore they avoided spending $95,000. And that's what you would call, I believe, your efficiency revenue.

Melissa: Yes.

Steve: So the 95,000 was just like, if I continued my wasteful ways, I'd have to go out and earn $95,000 from some other revenue stream to be at the same place I am today. Okay, thank you for allowing me to interrupt.

Melissa: No, absolutely. Thank you. So I'm going to kind of start scrolling through because I definitely want to leave some time for questions. Just real quick next steps. If there is an interest, we can work with your team on what makes the most sense for engagement. So I just want to touch base on that. And then let's shift, and here's our information right here. And let's open it up. I know we only have a couple minutes for any questions.

Steve: Okay, that's a good one. Water usage. You said water usage was important. And actually what we see with all the EnergyCAP data, of course at this point in time, we have almost 40 years of EnergyCAP data of utility bills, we have tens of millions of utility bills and approaching $60 billion of utility bills and EnergyCAP. So we have a lot of data. And when we look at water usage and water costs and water savings, it’s interesting. Of course that varies a lot in cost around the country. California, for instance, Southern California, where they've had some drought problems it’s particularly expensive. But it's very common that the cost of sewage would be more than the cost of water. Not uncommon to see the water cost is $2 per 1000 gallons and then they add $8 on top of that or $10 on top of that for sewage treatment. So of course when you're saving water, you're not just saving water, you're also saving on sewer charge. So what are your favorite strategies for reducing water and sewage charges?

Melissa: Well, first, I just want to talk on utility bills. The first thing we do before we even take a dive into water is what is your rate structure? I've seen probably 10 to 15 different types of rate structures throughout the US. Some of the rate structures I see here in Colorado, Wyoming, different areas, they'll have rate structures where it doesn't make sense to do water conservation; where even if they saved 100,000 gallons, because of the rate structure, they're paying the same rate whether or not they use 100,000 gallons or if they use 10,000. Because the way it's set up, they just pay a certain fee every month. So before I would even go down the route of what strategies, the first step is what is your rate structure? Because it doesn't pay back -- yeah.

Steve: I think that's a great point that just shows part of the services you offer when I commented earlier that some people say I can do it myself. There's a lot of different competencies involved, not just engineering competencies or operational competencies, but also the rate competencies, understanding the impact of some measure on what the actual bill cost is going to be. So we're going to have to wrap it up because we're just about out of time. I think you had a great presentation. Thank you very much for that. Again, thank you very much for joining us. Steve Heinz, thanking you all very much for today, and I wish you the best and we will be in touch. Thank you and goodbye.