Energy costs at educational facilities can contribute significantly to the overall operations budget. Such costs are too often accepted as a necessary evil, instead of as an opportunity for savings. But there are ways to plan a more efficient future and turn energy assets into a profit center. "Energy master plans" or "strategic energy plans" are helping such facilities cut their operating costs in a coordinated fashion.
Divided authorities and goals. Institutions may have two separate groups tasked with designing and installing energy-related systems: Design and construction (D&C) oversees new buildings and major renovations, while facilities management (FM) handles maintenance and upgrades to installed systems. To meet construction budgets, D&C may have first cost as its main criteria, while FM deals with ongoing operating costs, preferring options that may cost more to install, but less to run.