The saying "what gets measured gets managed" has been instrumental in helping to make energy savings a priority for individual systems like lighting, facilities, and whole sectors. Noticing energy waste by monitoring, tracking, trending, benchmarking and reporting has made energy management projects of all sizes get the expert skills, resources and planning they have always deserved.
In Ontario, we have seen incentives and energy rate structures put in place to motivate energy savings. Executive teams love the return on investment for energy projects. Energy saving lighting got everyone's attention in the early 2010s with payback on LED retrofits often under one year. For lamps that don't just provide the essential service, light, they also don't generate extra heat that needs to be removed with mechanical and energy consuming HVAC. They last longer meaning fewer service calls for replacement and often as good or better acceptance from users. This is what Dr. Beth Sawin https://www.multisolving.org/ calls MULTISOLVING. Providing solutions that address multiple challenges simultaneously.
In the age of multiple disruptions, more frequent and sever weather events due to climate change, current pandemics and those on the horizon, workforce turnover and I think I will stop there...It seems obvious that solutions that MULTISOLVE should be prioritized.
In energy management that poses a challenge because 'what gets measured gets managed' got us in the door and on the journey but it can't get us over the finish line because 'everything that counts can't be counted'. Now what? I have been pouring my time and attention into integrated, connected and dynamic whole solutions for over 20 years, mostly in hospitals and mostly in energy savings. There I have found durable, persistent 'sticky' solutions that are not more difficult nor more expensive to implement.
For organizations, teams, sectors, who have been facing energy challenges for decades and 'have tried everything' and those just turning their attention to this topic and 'don't know where to start' there is something to be said for a MULTISOLVING approach. An approach that focuses on the needs of users and operators while working with existing constraints in the environment are my favourite.
If you want to hear more about this, I'd be happy to introduce you to the Patterns in Energy Management Behaviour work. If you like it, we can work together to learn and practice MULTISOLVING to start addressing multiple challenges simultaneously. I am sure you will love it - but it might be hard to know for sure, because LOVE is top of the list of things that count but can't be counted. What do you think? Ready to try this approach with me and face some of your intractable challenges?
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