Facility Dude

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Iredell County, NC, reduces county utility expenses by 15% with UtilityTrac Plus

By Emma Finch
Jul 24, 2012

Energy, Government, Case Studies, Energy Management

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Iredell County, North Carolina, manages 45 public buildings. Martin Perry, the Energy Coordinator for the county, was struggling to have a grasp of the total cost of utilities because it was difficult to aggregate the information he needed to see the big picture. By implementing UtilityTrac Plus, Martin can now understand the energy cost and usage across the county’s buildings. He also has a record to track improvements and see trends. The result is that the county saved over $10,000 on just one building in the last year. Overall, utility expenses have dropped by 15%.

Here is their story:

UtilityTrac Plus has been an invaluable tool. It has helped us realize the total cost of utilities for our county. It has raised the visibility of what we are paying for and which facilities are billed to us. This tool has given us the ability to benchmark our buildings, recognize improper billing, identify ineffective metering and to spot abnormal changes in consumption patterns.

Using UtilityTrac Plus, we were able to identify what facilities we needed to address using grant funds and subsequently measure and verify the savings from the improvement projects we implemented.

Utility bench marking graph

We’ve repurposed old buildings for offices that were built for other uses. Using UtilityTrac Plus, I was able to look at the utility charges for a hospital repurposed for office space and recognize several issues. I consolidated multiple water meters in the facility and saw immediate savings as a result in reduced facility charges and 20% less measured use. I also saw that we had meters in other buildings that the hospital used to pay for which were mistakenly put on our bill. The savings from resolving these issues is $10,000 a year—that’s on one building without even reducing utility consumption.

Screenshot of improper utility billing

I found where consumption was increasing in vacant buildings due to improper controls settings and failing equipment. Because we were monitoring our utility use, we quickly caught these things. In one case, such issues in one building could have cost us over $7,000 a year. 

I enter our bills each month and the system identifies anomalies before we pay the bills. For instance, I’ve been able to get improper late fees reversed. UtilityTrac Plus has made it possible for someone to have their eye on these things. It’s no longer that the bills come in and get paid without being scrutinized.

Graph showing utility usage

A very useful feature of the tool is the reports. I’ve provided numerous reports to our county commissioners and county manager. I can show them our savings and the impact of the projects we’ve done. I’ve also used UtilityTrac Plus to identify ways for us to save on utility consumption with future projects.

I am very happy with UtilityTrac Plus. The savings we’ve found are significant, plus the cost avoidance we’ll see going forward is substantial. I don’t know how people can afford to not have an energy management program in place to catch all these things. The savings we’ve found with UtilityTrac Plus have more than made up for the subscription cost.


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