Chapter 14 Overview

Each company has a different set of policies, personalities and decision-making processes. Some of these are formalized and in writing, others are cultural and unwritten. The more these elements are understood, the higher the likelihood a successful case for energy efficiency investments can be made. Unwritten company policies and processes can usually be learned through careful observation during meetings as well as by having candid conversations with trusted contacts.

There are a number of powerful arguments for making improvements to office space that have nothing to do with finance. It is frequently noted by people in the field that “no one asks for the payback period of carpet.” Nonfinancial arguments must connect with the host company’s goals and values and appeal to the emotions of the decision maker. Some of these arguments may include:

• Higher quality office environment (better lighting, air quality)
• Higher worker productivity and morale
• Reduced absenteeism
• Easier to recruit and retain skilled labor
• Meet regulatory requirements
• Follow industry best practices
• Public relations
• Demonstration of leadership on environmental stewardship

Even with an airtight business case, energy efficiency investments may not take place. In Chapter 4, several barriers to investments were discussed. One needs to address the organizational issues of scarce resources, language barriers, coordination challenges and accountability. In essence, who are the people responsible for the actual work and do they have the motivation and resources to accomplish it?

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