Vail Resorts Uses Energy Audits to Understand & Optimize Capital Improvement Projects
With the announcement of Vail Resort’s Commitment to Zero last year, Vail and Beaver Creek have committed to reducing their energy consumption by another 15%. With much of the low hanging “fruit” having been done over the past 5 years, we changed our tactic and decided to invest in professional Level I and II ASHRAE energy audits at all of our major facilities and office spaces.
Committing the resources (both money and time) for these audits was not an easy sell. We had to build the business case for investing in something that, on its own, does not result in energy savings, but helps achieve our goals while reducing operating costs. Projecting the future impacts of capital improvements, as well as, operational changes that would be identified in the audits was essential to secure funding for the audits. We were able to show leadership that an investment in energy efficiency now would translate into years of capital investment opportunity, as well as, improvements in building function that would improve guest comfort.
The process was relatively easy and painless, although time consuming, and we worked closely with our consultant and the department on the ground to do the audits. Having our facilities teams bought into the concept was key, as the more information and historical data they could provide the better the consultant could hone in the analysis.
The result was a long, detailed report and accompanying analysis documents that have allowed us to put together a 3 year road map of how to best allocate our capital resources at our facilities. These will be allocated with a focus on reducing energy impacts, as well as, improving guest comfort and upgrading equipment that may have not otherwise been identified.
When it is all said in done in 3 years we hope to invest a good chunk of the $25 million committed, as a part of our company goals, here at Vail and Beaver Creek to achieve our 15% energy reduction. We are already working to take this same strategy to our other resorts across the enterprise, as it has proven to be an effective way to plan for the future and take much of the guess work and time needed to identify these capital and operational improvements that will help us achieve our goals!