Energy Accountability: The Best Insurance Policy

As we rapidly head toward the end of the calendar year, it’s typically a time when many of us put the microscope on all things financial such as revenue performance versus plan, annual expenses versus budget, revenue per square foot or transaction, and planning for the upcoming year.

Lost energy = lost profits
Image courtesy of the Food Service Technology Center

One area that should be on the list for many small commercial facilities is insurance… but not the kind you’re probably thinking about. I’m talking about reducing your energy consumption and spend with equipment monitoring and asset management. Quick service restaurants, casual dining restaurants, and convenience stores use 2-3 times more energy per square foot than other small commercial facilities. The annual costs for electricity, gas and water for any corporate brand or franchisee with multiple locations are significant but unfortunately these costs are not managed the same as food or labor costs – who couldn’t use an insurance policy to keep those costs in check?

The good news is that energy consumption costs for small commercial facilities can not only be managed but also significantly reduced with an investment strategy that includes an energy and asset management platform. Monitoring and control of major cost areas such as HVAC, refrigeration and lighting becomes the insurance policy. And, in cases where ROI is as good as one year or less, it’s some of the best insurance money can buy. In addition, a 15{9e9e99e0aa33304967f3b3f95b41a9c8b857afbbbf6b3eae28bf86859e197ae9} reduction in electric, gas and water expense is a very achievable goal. Imagine a franchisee with 250 locations that can experience, on average, $1,000 per month per store reduction in spend. That’s $9 million saved over 3 years: pretty significant, don’t you think?

In addition to reducing energy consumption, a robust energy management platform can also provide a proactive preventive maintenance plan for equipment, allowing you to manage assets and reduce R&M costs. This can be done at the enterprise level with the right balance of reporting and analytics to get a very clear understanding of how facility assets such HVAC and refrigeration are performing, what equipment should be maintained and what potentially should be upgraded or replaced. All of these additional savings are delivered by the energy management insurance plan.

Lastly, how much insurance would you buy to help prevent potential food safety issues? Again, imagine a casual dining establishment with a faulty walk-in-freezer that is not meeting the proper temperature standards and is not being properly monitored. The potential cost of food waste, or worse, is orders of magnitude larger than the cost of an efficient energy management system that can remotely monitor and alert the right personnel before bad things happen. Talk about an insurance policy!

A commitment to energy management enables small facilities to make energy and water a controllable expense by determining where and when these consumption dollars are going. An energy and asset management platform will also eliminate inefficiencies while turbo-charging sustainability initiatives. All good for the environment while good for the bottom line. All in all, energy management is an insurance policy that actually pays for itself, and while you’ll still need other kinds of insurance, at least you can rest easy knowing that your energy and operational costs are being managed.

Now if we can only reduce the excessive hot air that comes from insurance agents…

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