Low-Cost Energy & Water Management for Tight Budget Environments


The current pandemic has overturned daily life and tightened budgets for many companies, heightening the focus on cost-saving measures. Energy and water management initiatives typically have a combined sustainability and cost savings impact, but often require an up-front investment. The initial investment can be difficult in this environment.

This presentation shares case studies of energy and water management initiatives that were implemented at no or low cost, leaving participants with ideas they can apply at their own buildings to continue to make an impact with limited resources. The examples discussed draw from an energy management program at a healthcare company. Participating buildings included cancer treatment clinics, office buildings, and warehouses, so these measures can have an impact across a broad range of building types.

Initiatives discussed include:

  • LED lighting retrofits financed through shared savings (no up-front cost)
  • Correcting operational water and HVAC problems found through utility data analysis
  • Competitive electricity procurement
  • A utility bill audit, funded through shared savings, to identify problems in electricity contracts and opportunities for lower rates


Holly Gaston, CEM
Energy Manager

As an energy manager at CBRE, Holly Gaston develops energy and water efficiency, solar, and utility rate management programs for her client. Before joining CBRE, she worked on the technical team at the Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute, a non-profit centered on the circular economy. She holds an MEM in Energy & Environment from Duke University and a BS in Environmental Science from the University of North Carolina.