Compare Performance Periods Side-by-Side with SENSEI

Q&A with Ben E. Keith Amarillo’s Kavan Yarber, Facility Manager, and Scott Markham, Refrigeration Technician (plus, resident computer guru)


SENSEI: How long have you been trying to roll back the meter to save energy at your facility? What have you accomplished so far?

Kavan Yarber: We started an energy program with Cascade Energy in 2009. We’ve reduced our energy usage quite a bit. Our baseline was 2.5 million kilowatt-hours; now we’re at about 1.5 million kilowatt-hours, so that’s a 39% change. We’re continually dropping our energy intensity by adding LEDs and a new control system for refrigeration, which helps us a bunch.


SENSEI: Why does Ben E. Keith pursue energy efficiency as a corporate strategy?

KY: We’re looking to save energy, and also save money. Our electrical bill went down from $70,000 a month to $39,000. That’s a lot of money. And when you do that for six branches, it amounts to a lot of savings. The company as a whole is down 27.6%. It makes sense to save money and reduce our carbon footprint. We’re still looking every day at what we can do to reduce electrical, refrigeration, lighting usage.


SENSEI: How do you think SENSEI will help you achieve your energy reduction goals?

KY: By monitoring it, we’ll be able to view impact of the energy improvements we’re making. Without monitoring, we can’t see the effect of those changes. In the future, we’re going to be able to view some of the other corporate location’s logs, and see what they did to improve performance. I think that will be a great feature. We’ll be able to see other branches’ action items and how those items affected the energy use of that location. That will help us a lot.


SENSEI: Scott, what features in SENSEI have been most valuable to you?

Scott Markham: The comparison of data week-to-week and month-to-month [data overlay] can tell me whether a change has helped or hurt energy performance. With that intelligence, I can keep making adjustments to help lower energy use.


SENSEI: How does SENSEI compare to the other energy management software you’ve used?

SM: SENSEI is a lot more user friendly. It also displays information much faster and more clearly than others. And now that my saved views on the dashboard are set up, I just log in to look at what I need to see.


SENSEI: I have one more question for Kavan: You’ve worked with Cascade now for a few years. What is it about the partnership that you’ve had as a facility manager with Cascade that’s made your energy program successful?

KY: They’ve been a great help. It’s nice to get a second set of eyes to come in and see a little bit more than what I usually see. Any advice they give, we all go over it and look at implementing it.