"The payback is extremely quick when you have the right people trained in energy management."
Richard Krick, Operations Manager for the Blue Cross Centre in Moncton, New Brunswick, is a great advocate of energy management training. He attributes the annual 20 percent reduction in energy consumption at his facility since 2007 to the Natural Resources Canada workshops and other types of energy management training that he and his maintenance supervisor have attended.
Twenty percent is significant savings, especially when the building was averaging $70,000 in electricity bills every month. To Richard, these results are proof that "the payback is extremely quick when you have the right people trained in energy management." Since 2007, Richard has attended one training session a year, which represents annual costs of approximately $2,000 in labour and training. Five years of training paid for itself 16 times in 2011 alone.
Richard says that attending the workshops got him thinking about how they could become more efficient at his site, and he has implemented some pretty major renovations as a result. Of the 20 percent drop in consumption, 11 percent was due to a major HVAC retrofit and 8 percent was scheduling changes and other "low hanging fruit" opportunities; changes that "wouldn't have been done without the training we have had." Richard is an electrician by trade and he points out:
"I've been dealing with electricity ever since I started working, but there are still things that I don't think about until someone brings it up and I think 'oh wow' that's a great idea. There's always something to learn."
Another reason training has been important to Richard and the building he manages is that it has helped him identify which are the better new technologies and products to invest in. He describes how technology is changing so quickly and the "the market is flooded with all of this new [technology], most of it is expensive. You've got to pick the right pieces [and] to do that you need training."
When asked if he would send any other members of his staff to training, he said he would consider it, but makes the point that staff need to be interested and engaged in training. Training does not guarantee savings and he does not see the value in sending staff to training who are not interested in attending.
The Blue Cross Centre building is owned and operated by a Canadian commercial real estate company. They do not have an established training program for their employees, but Richard says that "I am always able to get the training I need, as well as the training I need for my staff. As long as I can show the results, the support for training is always available." Richard continues to show management, with regular consumption reports and shrinking energy bills, that training has been a very good investment.
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