In late May, I was privileged to attend Dude University 2017, the annual user conference held by one of ICMA’s Strategic Partners, Dude Solutions. ICMA organized a panel for the conference that highlighted Smart Cities technologies being employed by both small and large cities. Energy efficiency and management were among the technologies underscored by cities no matter what their population size.
The topic got me thinking about when I was a kid. I remember my dad yelling at me to turn off the television and lights, and come to dinner. And of course, we weren’t to “heat the whole outdoors” -- or cool it depending on the time of year – but saving energy was important to him. And his values were passed along to me. Many of the improvements I’ve made to my current house were designed to save energy. Whether it’s adding extra insulation in the basement or installing programmable thermostats to control energy use at different times of the day, homeowners can realize significant savings by making energy efficiency improvements. For example, when I installed a hybrid hot water heater a few years ago, I saved nearly $2,000 in energy costs in the following years. That’s a significant difference for just one individual.
For local governments looking to improve their budget outlook, investment in energy efficiency technologies can also realize significant cost savings. Tracking energy data over time enables local government officials to determine what costs would have been and what the actual savings over time are. Those savings can then be reallocated back to the department for other uses. Reallocating unspent budget dollars back to departments encourages better energy management practices within the local government organization. It also inspires personnel to consider other innovative ways to manage energy costs.
To learn more about improving energy efficiency and management in your organization, check out Dude Solutions Energy Manager.