Ask an Expert: How Can My Organization Benefit from Strategic Energy Management?

Ask an Expert: How Can My Organization Benefit from Strategic Energy Management?

In MCE’s Ask an Expert Series, MCE specialists take a deep dive answering questions and sharing insights about a specific topic or program. Do you have a burning question about energy or MCE’s work? Let us know at communications@mceCleanEnergy.org.

Strategic Energy Management (SEM) is a unique long-term approach to energy efficiency that targets low- to no-cost energy saving tactics. A successful SEM plan builds relationships with energy users within an organization to shift behaviors, building operations, and maintenance practices. MCE’s SEM program helps organizations build an SEM plan, set energy-related goals, track progress, and report results to encourage persistent energy savings.

How much money and energy can you save by applying SEM to your organization?

Most organizations save between 3% and 5% in just the first year of participating in MCE’s SEM Program, with some saving up to 15%. Savings depend on the number of energy-saving projects implemented and the level of employee engagement. An Energy Champion is dedicated within an organization to lead the projects and behavioral changes.

In addition to receiving incentives for saving energy, SEM participants earn incentives for attending workshops, sharing energy data, and tracking their progress during their energy-saving journey. SEM participants learn strategies to prolong the lifetime of their equipment and reduce the frequency of repairs and replacements.

During the two-year program, participants have access to a team of energy experts, including a dedicated Energy Coach. The cohort-style program provides participants with a network of similar organizations to share experiences, ideas, and strategies. One of the many tools that the SEM program helps organizations build is a site-specific energy model to track progress toward energy-saving goals.

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MCE Strategic Energy Management Program Participant Spotlight: Ramar Foods

How much does it cost to participate in the SEM Program?

You do not pay any fees to participate. Instead, you earn incentives when you participate. Your investment is the staff time needed to participate and implement projects, including attending free quarterly workshops throughout the two-year program.

How does this program differ from other energy efficiency incentive programs?

SEM focuses on low- to no-cost energy saving measures instead of equipment upgrades and other capital investments. An Energy Coach provides you with the tools, coaching, structure, and resources necessary to achieve energy savings through operations and maintenance changes. Behavioral changes can be as simple as closing open doors, windows, and louvers, or more involved shifts like changing the schedule for equipment and set points. Retro-commissioning looks at building systems to ensure that they are operating as expected. Operations and maintenance changes could include changing filters, fixing leaks, and inspecting fans.

Identify energy-saving opportunities with your Energy Coach on a site walk-through, apply learnings from your customized assessment, and take advantage of trainings to maximize your savings and gain energy insights through custom-built energy models.

Learn more and apply to participate at mceCleanEnergy.org/sem.

Diana manages MCE’s Strategic Energy Management programs serving industrial, agricultural, commercial, and multifamily property customers. She brings over a decade of experience in clean energy programs and a lifelong passion for protecting the environment to her role at MCE.

Before joining MCE, Diana supported a myriad of commercial and industrial customers in developing complex energy efficiency projects at CLEAResult Consulting. As a Sr. Strategic Energy Management (SEM) coach, Diana led engagement with many customers, delivered training and workshops, and played a key role in identifying, implementing, and tracking a wide range of energy efficiency and energy conservation projects. Prior to her time at CLEAResult, Diana worked with the Bay Area Climate Collaborative (BACC), where she fostered the development of several forward-looking projects, including the “Ready Set Charge” EV-Ready Communities guidebook and an energy efficiency toolkit for the SMB sector.

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