After a red-eye flight from San Francisco to Syracuse and getting only two hours of sleep on the plane, I spoke at the closing session of National Grid’s Business Customer Energy-Efficiency Expo in upstate New York. The expo had great turnout with more than 850 attendees. I want to share a couple of things that I learned from some of the people I met.
I spoke at a session for large business customers on “making energy efficiency part of your mind-set.” Some of the main talking points included dedicating resources to energy efficiency (EE), building EE into your budgets, starting small, forming energy teams, getting partners like National Grid or vendors involved, doing more grassroots programs like behavior change, and making energy efficiency contagious. My key take-away: you can make energy efficiency contagious by engaging employees in the process, celebrating successes, and sharing the results.
I then facilitated a large business customer panel featuring companies that had implemented some awesome EE projects. The panel included a large nursing home facility, two colleges, and a regional craft brewery. The brewery was Matt Brewing Co., which is one of the oldest breweries in the U.S. and makes Utica Club and Saranac. A common theme for all of these businesses was to work in close partnership with their utilities and leverage the incentives available to help justify the costs of projects.
After consuming the best pulled pork BBQ sandwich I have ever had in my life at The Dinosaur in Syracuse, I headed home for some much-needed rest. It was great meeting so many businesses that are having success with their energy-efficiency programs.