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Estimate Your Energy Use and Cost Reduction Potentials

Energy use and cost reductions are estimated for building EUI ratings (percentiles) in the table below.

Rating for
your building
Energy use and
cost reduction
potential (%)
Walk-thru
energy assessment
recommended?
below 20%
above 50%
Definitely
20 to 40%
35 to 50%
Yes
40 to 60%
20 to 35%
Maybe
above 60%
below 25%
No

Due to fuel cost differences and differing rate schedules, energy cost reduction percentiles should not be expected to exactly match energy use reduction percentiles. One is, however, often a reasonable good first approximation of the other. If a large portion of your energy costs consist of electric demand charges (often they make up 30-50% of a customers electricity bill), the difference between energy use reduction percent and energy cost reduction percent can be significant.

The extent of energy use and cost reductions achieved are proportional to your investment to achieve them—"the more you invest, the more you can accomplish." You do not, however, have to invest a lot to achieve a lot. For buildings with low ratings, below 50%, there are often operational improvements that can be implemented at low or moderate costs that can achieve dramatic reductions in energy use and costs. The lower your rating, the better your opportunity for this situation and the higher the potential benefits from operational improvements.

If you rank below 30% and are interested in energy cost reductions, you should definitely have a building energy specialist perform a walk thru assessment of your building(s). If you rank between 30 and 50%, you should still consider the walk thru assessment, particularly if your rating is closer to 30% than 50%. Investing in an assessment for buildings rated above 50% is less certain. In these buildings, assessments will most often identify improvements with limited energy cost reduction potential or improvements that have sizeable energy cost reduction potential usually will require significant capital investment.

If you rank above 85% or below 15%, check your energy use and floor area data. You could have some measurement units incorrect or be missing some of the yearly data. If you are below 15% and sure of your data, and do not have process energy use or some other factor that would cause your energy use to be dramatically higher than your peers, you are probably using almost twice as much energy as you should!