Facility Energy Prices Are Rising
The forecast (and why you should care)
Last month, the Energy Information Administration within the US Department of Energy issued a forecast showing wholesale natural gas prices increasing by 50% in 2021. Naturally, this will directly increase operating costs for building systems that consume natural gas such as boilers and furnaces. Less obvious however is the relationship to electricity prices – because market-clearing power plants predominantly use gas as fuel, electricity prices move together with gas prices. So the cost pressure in facilities will also show up in electricity use from air conditioning, lighting, etc.
Focus on what you can control
As a facility manager, you have zero control over natural gas and electricity prices. However, you do directly control how much energy your building systems consume every day by how you choose to approach maintenance. Furnaces, boilers, cooling towers, and air conditioning units all come with nameplate efficiency ratings that are only achieved when they are well maintained. Deferred or sub-optimized maintenance reduces efficiency and drives up energy consumption and cost.
Boilers are a great example. If the water chemistry in a boiler isn’t optimized, the dissolved minerals that are naturally in the feed water deposit on the hottest surfaces, forming scale. Scale is highly insulating (which is exactly what you don’t want in equipment that transfers heat). Just 1/16th of an inch of scale on boiler heat transfer surfaces can reduce efficiency by 40%. If you’re in charge of your facility’s energy spend, you definitely don’t want a 40% efficiency reduction on top of a 50% price increase.
Stay ahead of the curve
As we have covered in several of our previous blogs, computerized maintenance management systems (CMMS) like SimpleFM help you get preventative maintenance done on time for your key building systems by making it easy to create work orders and providing a national network of trusted vendors. By eliminating the wasted time that comes with manual systems and vetting vendors, you can do a lot more in the same amount of time.
CMMS that is Right for YOU
Are the important systems in your facilities up to date on preventative maintenance? When energy prices go up, are you comfortable that your facility is ready to minimize the cost impact?
SimpleFM’s software and experienced team help organizations manage, monitor, and control maintenance including: equipment, resources, and regulatory compliance. Let us handle your facility and job management needs and help your organization save time and money. Interested to see how easy facilities can be? Sign up for a Demo or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.