High School Interns Help Store Save Tens of Thousands in Energy Costs
To help keep energy costs down, JCPenney is piloting an enhancement to its Advanced Energy Management (AEM) program with New Energy Technology (NET) at approximately 75 Stores. This pilot brings aboard AEM Energy Captains, high school student interns from across the country who are rigorously trained through AEM Boot Camp by NET. These AEM Energy Captains provide General Managers a detailed AEM Weekly Financial Report summarizing their store’s weekly energy cost compared to their budget—including 15-minute Interval Data graphs showcasing where the store is saving electricity, and possibly wasting electricity. This Weekly Financial Report makes electricity use visible, relevant, and it empowers the General Manager to effectively manage this controllable expense.
AEM Energy Captain
Judy Jackson, GM of Store 1960 - Riverside, CA, was chosen to participate in this pilot program. She finds this program highly profitable and her store is currently more than $36,000 below budget in electricity expense, and on-track to exceed $40,000 below budget for the year.
Once a week Judy receives her store’s Weekly Financial Report, prepared by her AEM Energy Captain, Joanne, who is a high school student from Bellevue, WA. Joanne and her team work remotely to compile the energy data and prepare the Weekly Financial Report for Judy and her team to take quick “Action” on when needed, and provide praise when earned (see table to the right). “Working with these interns has been amazing. They are so intelligent, and the [energy use] information they’re researching and gathering for me is so helpful, it’s important to take the time to go over the information they provide”, said Jackson.
Having an AEM Energy Captain deliver a store’s performance report each week allows a busy General Manager like Judy to make conservation easy and actionable. Judy posts these reports on her store’s energy QUESTION board to make sure her whole team is aware of the effects everyone’s actions can have on the store’s energy.
“I share with my team how much we save and how much we might have overspent. We discuss actual dollar amounts for leaving the lights on or forgetting to turn off an escalator. This educational awareness ensures our Associates know not to override the lights!”
The savings results tell the story, illustrating the impact that comes from maintaining a teamwork culture of conservation and accountability.
“I am so grateful to Joanne, our AEM Energy Captain, and her team for providing our store’s Weekly Financial Report, which is now the center of our weekly conservation efforts. I love this program!”