Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

Transparency, trust and partnership — the pillars of Cenergistic’s culture. If you do not see your questions answered here, please let us know.

Won’t we save more money by implementing our own internal energy management program and keeping all savings?

Organizations that have attempted to implement an energy management program on their own have typically had the following experiences:

  • Many never get the plan past the concept stage and off the ground.
  • They have no way to accurately measure results so can only rely on raw changes to utility bills.
  • None have assembled the level of depth and expertise that has enabled Cenergistic to identify over 1,200 evaluation areas.
  • Those that actually implement a program achieve at best only a 5–7% savings over time, typically by mandating behavior. Cenergistic achieves a 20–30% savings, and higher, using positive reinforcement, rigorous and accountable follow-through, data and technology, and proven techniques that eliminate roadblocks, optimize your infrastructure, and change behavior long-term.
  • The vast majority are not able to sustain an energy program long-term.
  • The “Energy Specialist” quickly becomes the “Every-other-job-nobody-else-wants” Specialist.
  • Most in-house efforts frustrate staff and create strong resistance to future conservation efforts.

The true value of an energy conservation program is not found in its perceived low cost but in the net savings it generates. Success must be measured, not only against past energy expenses, but compared to the best, most effective option available — because that difference between do-it-yourself savings and maximum savings will be spent each month on unnecessary energy consumption. Significant net savings will not be achieved without double-digit reductions in energy consumption — something only possible through the team efforts of highly trained and experienced energy experts and a rigorous, proven, repeatable process for execution.

Why can’t our Director of Facilities implement and manage this program without help from an outside vendor?

We recently tallied the responsibilities we have seen assigned to facilities departments. The list came to more than 70 individual responsibilities. Undoubtedly your facilities staff already has a very full plate. On top of that, a recent study showed that funding for maintenance and operations is down 22% over the last 10 years.

Facilities, maintenance and operations, and other departments are absolutely critical to the success of your energy program. With Cenergistic, your team of professionals — already busy — supports the program that Cenergistic implements, versus having the responsibility to design, optimize, implement and sustain a program from scratch — without our expertise. It’s the difference between low savings that aren’t worth the effort, and maximum savings and impact.

Why select Cenergistic? What makes Cenergistic’s program truly unique?

Here are 10 reasons our offering is unique:

  1. 1,200 Evaluation Areas: We leverage over 1,200 evaluation areas to identify consumption-saving opportunities — without capital investments in new equipment, new control systems or new budgeted dollars for staff.
  2. Proven Implementation Process: Our proven energy management process is a rigorous, time-tested implementation methodology that strives to save every dollar possible.
  3. Immediate Savings: Because our program includes an initial launch period where we ramp up savings before your first payment, Cenergistic produces net savings in weeks or months, not years.
  4. Our Guarantee: Our industry-leading guarantee states that you WILL net savings. No client has ever lost money implementing our program.
  5. 20–30% Savings: Most of our clients have saved 20% to 30% off their utility bills. Many have saved even more.
  6. 20,000 Facilities, 500+ Years of Combined Experience: We have unparalleled experience focusing purely on energy conservation.
  7. Measurement Integrity and Transparency: Your savings are verifiable because they are based on data collected directly off of your utility bills and reported through the software you license directly from the manufacturer.
  8. Continuing Support: Our support services continue to be available long after the contractual period (and payment) has ended.
  9. No Impact on Headcount: Cenergistic employs and provides one or more on-site dedicated Energy Specialists for your program during the term of the contract. These people are typically former employees of your organization or members of your community. Cenergistic has hired and trained more energy managers than any other company in the world.
  10. ENERGY STAR® Validation: Out of 15,000 organizations, Cenergistic was the only energy conservation Service and Product Provider to earn the 2014 ENERGY STAR Partner of the Year - Sustained Excellence Award, 2011, 2012 & 2013 Award for Sustained Excellence and be recognized as an ENERGY STAR Partner of the Year in 2009 and 2010.

Don’t local utility companies or government agencies provide advice and tips for free?

Energy conservation is a hot topic. Many sources provide free advice, including National Green Schools, ENERGY STAR, university programs, and the United States Department of Energy. Most offer free tips. A few offer a free “energy audit” or a fractional share of a rotating energy specialist’s time, a person who supports many organizations.

Utility companies thrive only when you increase your consumption of energy! Equipment companies thrive when you buy equipment. But only Cenergistic thrives when you reduce your consumption of energy.

Maximizing savings demands more than a list of things to do or a one-time evaluation. Cenergistic’s energy management process synchronizes assessment and action planning, technology and data tools, measurement and verification, behavior modification, accountability, and execution to ensure your savings are maximized. 

Will our staff need to devote additional time to make this program a success?

Cenergistic’s program does not require any significant added-time commitments from current staff. Our clients hire us to reduce the burden on their existing staff. The program does require strong support and commitment from both your board and senior leadership. If you will provide the commitment, we’ll provide the resources needed to generate significant savings.

What if we want to hire Cenergistic, but don’t have the funds in our current budget to take on any new projects?

Hiring Cenergistic is a budget-neutral decision. All of the dollars needed to fund Cenergistic’s energy management program are paid out of your current utility budget. No new funds are required. You don’t need to purchase any equipment or budget any new dollars to achieve these savings. No capital outlay is required.

Why can’t this be done in one year?

Our 28 years of experience have taught us not only what needs to be changed in your environment, but also how to encourage support for your conservation program so that you can produce and sustain the greatest level of savings possible. That’s why our contracts run multiple years. Building a sustainable program requires time — time to change long-standing habits, time to adjust to variable weather conditions, time to optimize your existing plant and equipment, time to transition during facility and staff changes, and time to review results. By creating an energy conservation ethic and culture, your program will last long after the payment period ends while continuing to yield the best results possible.

What are the upfront costs and financial risks involved?

There are no upfront costs, or any net cost to you, since we guarantee the entire cost of our energy management program: fees to Cenergistic and the energy accounting software license will all be funded from savings generated by the program. There are no new budgeted dollars required because the program is funded from your existing utility budget — dollars you are already spending on energy and will continue to spend until substantial behavioral changes are made.

We’ve already installed, automated or upgraded equipment to control our energy consumption. How will Cenergistic's process still save us money?

Equipment solutions focus on energy efficiency — making sure your equipment runs on as little energy as possible. Cenergistic’s program, on the other hand, focuses on energy conservation — making sure equipment only runs when it is truly needed, and is optimized to achieve peak performance. That, coupled with our energy management process — a proven methodology for ensuring comprehensive and consistent implementation — creates savings over and above what energy-efficient equipment generates.

Performance contracting companies tell us they can also train our people as part of their equipment program. Do we still need Cenergistic?

Absolutely. Performance contractor training is typically limited to teaching the maintenance and operations staff how to run the new equipment. Cenergistic’s energy management program typically produces savings of 20-30% on top of those produced by mechanical programs because we target a different area of savings opportunity. While the bulk (if not all) of the savings produced by mechanical programs goes toward paying off the equipment, our program produces net savings you can invest in personnel, programs, maintenance and even mechanical retrofits within the first few months of implementation.

Will the savings be achieved by making our staff and students uncomfortable?

Our goal is to produce savings of at least 20–30% while ensuring an effective working or learning environment. If anything, Cenergistic clients experience improved conditions, because systems are optimized and continually monitored.

How will we know how much money we actually save through the program?

Cenergistic believes that total transparency between vendor and client is essential when measuring and verifying energy savings. We empower our clients through training and unfettered access to the third party software to validate that their program is reducing consumption and saving money.

To make this transparency in accounting and reporting possible, every Cenergistic client licenses EnergyCAP® software from an independent software company. EnergyCAP is the web-based industry leader, used by hundreds of major corporations, nonprofit organizations and government agencies, including the Smithsonian Institution, the State of Georgia, Yale University, the City of Washington, D.C., the University of Central Florida and a division of the United States Department of Energy.

EnergyCAP adheres to industry guidelines that define how utility savings should be calculated and measured. You can view a brief demo of EnergyCAP here.

© 2014 Cenergistic