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September 28, 2012

Ecova Takes Energy Savings to the Bank



The National Bank of Arizona (NB|AZ) is taking a “measured approach” to its power usage now that it is working with Ecova, a provider of technology-optimized energy savings solutions.

For years, NB|AZ, a full-service financial institution with headquarters in Phoenix, tracked utility expenses individually for each of its 70 branch sites—making it difficult to identify anomalies and track specific expenditures month-to-month or year-over-year, in order to streamline budget forecasting and identify savings opportunities.

Now, NB|AZ has engaged Spokane, Washington-based Ecova and implemented its Utility Expense and Data Management solution (see video). This solution gathers monthly energy usage and expenditure data from across the bank’s entire portfolio—turning those facts into specific, strategic insights to help increase operational efficiency, reduce costs, and set sustainability performance standards.

“National Bank of Arizona faced a challenge that many companies are facing today – [asking,] how can we improve our energy costs and increase our sustainability efforts? The simple answer is that you can’t improve what you don’t measure,” said Seth Nesbitt, vice president and chief marketing officer, Ecova. “Implementing a system to aggregate all energy consumption and expense information is the first step toward making a real impact on a company’s bottom line and sustainability efforts.”

Ecova started by gathering the prior years’ utility invoices for each location to create a baseline from which it could begin measuring performance. Ecova’s simple-to-navigate reporting interface enables the NB|AZ team to compare year-over-year data, providing visibility into consumption trends down to the specific meter level.

“Energy management has become more complex, and with that complexity comes opportunity. My ability to control rates might be limited, but I have unlimited opportunity to forecast, budget and manage consumption, thanks to the data that Ecova empowers us with,” said Nation Bank’s SVP and Corporate Properties Manager Dennis Calik.

Image via Shutterstock.

For example, he said, when the bank was approached with an opportunity to install solar power panels at its corporate headquarters, analysis facilitated by Ecova was key to making the right decision. NB|AZ says that, with Ecova’s help, the bank’s team was able to identify how much energy the $1.5 million solar initiative would produce and determine how much of the cost would be covered by government rebate funding and tax credits.

“We were able to demonstrate to senior management that the majority of the cost would be mitigated by credits, tax breaks, and rebates,” says Calik. “Ecova’s data provided business intelligence to secure approval by demonstrating that the end-of-the-day price tag (News - Alert) for the project would quickly pay for itself.”

Additional solar energy projects, lighting retrofits and upgrades to HVAC systems followed quickly. Calik and team credit the Ecova reporting platform with providing the data to support these decisions, laying the foundation for what will become a comprehensive sustainability initiative.

Want to learn more about the latest in communications and technology? Then be sure to attend ITEXPO Austin 2012, taking place Oct. 2-5, in Austin, TX.  Stay in touch with everything happening at ITEXPO (News - Alert). Follow us on Twitter.




Edited by Rachel Ramsey

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