When it comes to energy efficiency, picking the low-hanging fruit might not be the best solution. While energy efficiency and utility savings are attractive, many companies implement the most cost-effective retrofits and quickest return on investment.
Picking the low-hanging fruit implies there's more work to be done, and most people don't do the latter. Progress towards energy efficiency typically stops with one project, such as turning off lights when they aren't in use. And while that's helpful, it's hardly the only means towards efficiency.
In fact, when it comes to efficiency most businesses would do better by completing all efficient upgrades at once.
For example, if a large business undertakes a company-wide lighting retrofit, they are saving hundreds of thousands of dollars in utility savings and incentives. But a few months later, may need another energy efficient retrofit on the HVAC system, which will require more work to be done on the building.
By doing the lighting retrofit on its own, you missed the opportunity to bundle it with other lower efficiency projects, which makes it easier to schedule and oversee outside contractors, potentially reducing the demand on an in-house maintenance staff.
Energy efficiency is a global challenge, but from a purely financial standpoint, the benefits are substantial for commercial spaces.