Case Study: 2884-Austin, TX
Saving Both Time and Energy Cost,
Thanks to AEM Energy Captains
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
Melanie Wergin, GM of 2884-Austin, TX saved over $19,134 in utility costs last year, and today her store remains 8% under budget. Melanie attributes these savings to JCPenney’s energy-saving resources and the help she receives from working with an AEM Energy Captain intern such as Tia, a high school student from Grand Junction, CO.
When Melanie receives her Weekly Financial Reports from Tia and team, graphing the store’s energy cost compared to budget and noting savings opportunities, she prints them out and shares them on a team bulletin board. She also brings them up at management meetings.
Melanie has been dedicating even more attention to energy use ever since she was alerted to a significant energy spike through the JCPenney AEM Program. She then scheduled an energy audit, which revealed a need for repairs. Additionally, this emphasized to her team the proper use of lighting and HVAC override switches.
Now Melanie finds these weekly reports even more useful as she continues to search for ways to save more. She finds it particularly helpful that these highly-trained interns can do the busy work for her, and she appreciates the notations on the graphs that call out savings achievements or unique situations.
“When I share these reports with my team, it builds awareness of why the scheduling must be correct—that when you come in first thing in the morning, it should be dark, and when you use the LMO switch, everything should turn off. If that’s not the case, we take a look at the schedule.”
Melanie also finds it a privilege to be involved in influencing the future of high school students.
“I noticed in the last call I had with them that their confidence is growing. I like to listen to their explanations and ask them questions. They’re clearly running the show, and it’s exciting to see their development as they prepare for their future.”