As a club or studio operator, there’s no doubt you’re feeling the recent increase in the price of, well, everything. Whether it’s the cost of new equipment, cleaning services, payroll, or monthly utility bills, prices are sky high.
While these costs are essential for running your club or studio, it’s imperative you understand what drives them so you can better predict and manage them.
Why is inflation up and how can you manage it?
One big driver of inflation is the recent increase in energy prices — which have more than doubled this year — leading to eye-popping utility bills and lots of headaches.
And while you can’t exactly influence global energy markets, you can manage how your facilities use energy to ensure everything is running interruption-free and at the lowest possible cost.
The way to do this? Invest in energy efficiency.
Energy efficiency is the process of using less energy to accomplish the same excellent results. For example, energy efficiency means using less air conditioning while maintaining member comfort in your clubs or setting up the correct thermostat schedules so your club is always the right temperature, no matter the time of day.
Historically, energy efficiency solutions have been limited to large commercial buildings with big teams experienced with building management. But, as new technologies have emerged over the last decade, better energy management is increasingly available to smaller operators.
Below are three ways your club or studio can become more energy efficient today:
- Invest in smart thermostats. Wifi-enabled thermostats like Nest, Ecobee and Honeywell are relatively inexpensive and enable you to monitor your thermostats remotely — saving time you’d spend calling or visiting physical locations to check on things.
- Overhaul facility operating procedures. Sometimes, the old-fashioned way is the best way. Onsite employees typically change thermostat settings, leave doors open or leave lights on overnight. These seemingly small actions have a big impact on energy usage. One way to prevent this is by implementing and enforcing simple facility operating procedures. For example, you could set rules for when thermostat setpoints are allowed to be raised or lowered. While managing this across a portfolio of clubs could be challenging, it’s a low cost option that could have a big impact.
- Ensure HVAC equipment works. Surprisingly, HVAC systems often underperform expectations, unbeknownst to many a club operator. Underperforming HVAC systems may never reach the requested temperature setpoints, create peak demand events if set up incorrectly, and may even run when your facilities are unoccupied. By identifying HVAC issues and resolving them, you could reduce member comfort complaints while saving energy. A definite win-win.
While none of these strategies alone are a silver bullet that will grant you total control over your energy costs, they’re a critical first step to take on your way to gaining visibility into and ultimately managing your energy costs across your clubs.
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