On January 26, 2013, the Chicago Tribune’s front-page featured an articleabout Shedd Aquarium’s plan to cut their energy consumption in half by 2020. An ambitious and impressive goal! West Monroe Partners worked with Shedd to develop a sustainable energy roadmap to help them meet this target.
Museums and other large institutions such as Shedd use a great deal of energy and face unique energy situations. These can include how to integrate with the electric grid and determine energy usage patterns, and determine power reliability and quality requirements. In addition, large energy users are aware of the need to manage operating costs and their environmental impact. Institutions may seek to improve their situation as a means to innovate (lead), replicate (compete), or comply (by mandate).
With the Shedd project, the West Monroe team coordinated important stakeholder input, budget, and mission objectives to holistically recommend a multi-year roadmap that would cost effectively reduce energy consumption and facilitate a more sustainable energy profile.
Energy improvement is a broad concept that should be approached in a comprehensive and thoughtful manner. Energy improvement comes in many forms:
- Energy Efficiency by design/upgrades
- Energy Conservation through induced behavior change
- Energy Control through demand management
- Energy Support through distributed generation alternatives