Making energy costs real to consumers

Topics: Energy Management and Sustainability, Facilities and Operations, Administration and Finance, Cost Savings, Budget Models and Cost Allocations, Budgeting, Space Utilization

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John Workman John Workman, Practice Manager

Energy costs are 5-10% of non-labor operating expenses at most universities, and often one of the fastest growing line items on the budget.

Yet, faculty and staff who consume energy typically have little to no accountability for its cost. On most campuses, energy is perceived as a free good.

As most leaders have experienced, the majority of campus consumers will not change their energy consumption behavior without incentives. So, some institutions seeking to curb energy costs have created financial carrots and sticks for unit leaders in order to make energy costs more “real.”