First off, we hope you and your family are staying safe and healthy! Like many people and industries, the energy efficiency community is getting hit hard by COVID-19 or “coronavirus.” We, over here at Fairbanks Energy, are working remotely and supporting companies providing “Essential Services” and critical infrastructure during this time. I can honestly say I’ve never seen so many of my coworkers using the webcam during a video conference!
While we don’t have all of the answers as to how this outbreak is going to affect all our projects or the energy efficiency industry as a whole, we wanted to compile and share with you the resources and information we’re finding most helpful right now as we navigate these rapidly changing daily circumstances.
Energy efficiency and COVID-19 impact
A 3-step list of suggestions for managing your now-empty building
A writer for the Institute of Market Transformation offers a high-level list of tips for empty office buildings. They include adjusting building schedules, confirming how long the building may remain empty, sharing resources and turning off equipment where possible »
An editorial that examines energy efficiency as an industry during the COVID-19 outbreak
This article on Energy Central takes a look at how utilities, ESCOs and other efficiency project service providers are able to complete work during this virus outbreak. The answer is: it varies.
Some, like us here at Fairbanks Energy Services, continue working and supporting Essential Services. Others may need to postpone project completion or negotiate with their local utilities. The bottom line: energy efficiency is a valued economic contributor and because of its paybacks and project ROI, it remains an important part of many facility operations.
ASHRAE released guidance for building operations during the COVID-19 outbreak
Covering the basics, like proper sanitation, to increased policies and outdoor ventilation, the article outlines additional strategies facilities managers and building operations teams may want to consider »
Information about utilities and local utility programs
The US power sector and coronavirus
How local utilities are responding to coronavirus
The best way to find this information is through your local utility’s website and individual response plans. Here are some direct links to utility websites that impact markets where our offices are located and many of our clients are based.
- New England – MassSave including Eversource and National Grid »
- New York – ConEd »
- Chicago – ComEd »
- Denver – Xcel Energy »
Forbes offers a 30,000-foot view of how COVID-19 is affecting electricity demand
Although the author speculates on how this crisis may or may not affect our local utilities, he reviews some key facts about some of the largest utilities in the US and suggests that – like in years past – the power industry is pretty well equipped to absorb the impact of the rapid economic and operational changes that hit the US in March »
Helpful resources for people working in or around the energy industry
The Department of Energy’s information hub
The DOE is publishing news updates and information to a central webpage. It includes CDC links, National Labs articles and this PDF with the DOE’s current response plan, among other resources. Access the hub here »
A map of US closures by state
ThomasNet pulled together this useful guide with links to individual states’ lists of essential services, updates from state governments with the date of the announcement and resources specific to each state’s response to COVID-19 »
Image source: Thomasnet
A quick hit-list of resources for people working in buildings
FacilitiesNet is publishing plenty of helpful content. This link gives a list of the primary governing bodies (BOMA, ASHRAE, OSHA, etc.) for people working in facilities »
Data centers are scaling up
Empty whitespace and any extra capacity is more important for many data centers now than ever before. Data Center Knowledge covers how COVID-19 is affecting the data center industry. This piece looks at a few of the big bandwidth giants of the moment: Zoom, Netflix and Dropbox »
For those working in healthcare, this list offers a few recommendations
Health Facilities Management released an article directed at facilities managers working in hospitals and healthcare facilities. This list was pulled from the American Society for Healthcare Engineering and includes the top issues facility managers may face in order to prepare »
Things have changed fast and we’ll continue to change with them
The sudden shift from office-based work to digital and remote work for many companies at this time – including those of us working in energy efficiency – means change. For some companies this has been quite disruptive as they were not setup to handle a shift to remote work without significant system changes.
Here at Fairbanks Energy, we are fortunate that around 50% of our company is remote at any given time (on jobsites, at regional office locations) and for years had already used the cloud-based tools that allow us to collaborate, so the shift wasn’t as disruptive for us.
Our main goal remains: ensuring energy efficient and financially smart solutions for you. As we continue to support our clients across industries critical to our health and our economy, we want you to know we are here for you however we can help.
Between resources from the experts and a commitment to innovate over time, we stand ready to tackle challenges as they arise.