RILA Retail Advisor for Energy

ACCELERATING ENERGY PERFORMANCE IN RETAIL 

The Advisor is a free cloud-based analytical platform that provides program evaluation, customized guidance, peer benchmarking and goal setting for retail energy management programs.  

The RILA Retail Advisor for Energy Management is free for verified retail companies. To get started, register for RILA Retail Advisor access. Contact us at energyadvisor@rila.org with any questions or feedback.

ADVISOR FEATURES

Customizable 

The RILA Retail Advisor for Energy Management is built around a customized program assessment, based on the Energy Management Leadership Model (EMLM), that evaluates and optimizes a company’s specific energy management program.  

Secure 

Role-based access control and end-to-end data encryption ensure user and company data remain secure and confidential. 

Enables Collaboration 

The RILA Retail Advisor for Energy Management collaboration function engages teams and allows work across departments and even with consultants and contractors to gather the most accurate data, enhance understanding, and communicate the importance of energy management across the enterprise. 

Provides Guidance 

Users receive tailored expert guidance based on their assessment with information on how to optimize their energy programs. 

Reporting 

Reports from the RILA Retail Advisor for Energy Management can be used to compare program elements with peers, optimize audit program strategy, in strategic planning, and to communicate the value of your program internally. 

Scoring & Visualization 

The RILA Retail Advisor for Energy Management scores help to identify program strengths and areas for improvement. 

Benchmarking 

The RILA Retail Advisor for Energy Management is the only way to compare you program elements with other retailers, including companies with similar operations and to view industry trends. But only retailers who complete an assessment can see the benchmarking results. 

Frequently asked questions about RILA Retail Advisor for Energy Management 

WHAT IS RILA RETAIL ADVISOR FOR ENERGY MANAGEMENT? 

RILA Retail Advisor for Energy Management is a platform that companies can use to evaluate their energy management programs. The platform has benchmarking, reporting, tracking, and goal setting functions. RILA Retail Advisor for Energy Management uses the collected data to provide tailored guidance to help retailers improve program performance. 

WHAT DOES RILA RETAIL ADVISOR FOR ENERGY MANAGEMENT CONSIST OF? 

RILA Retail Advisor for Energy Management consists of an assessment that provides an evaluation of the organization’s program and guidance on program gaps or risks. For example, the system may suggest that a company may want to move their Initiating Level HVAC Program to the Progressing or even Excelling Level to reduce operational expenses and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Users can compare the elements of their energy management to other retailers, which can help spark conversations internally on the desired program levels, areas of potential risk, and goals for the future. Reports are helpful for internal strategic planning and corporate reporting.  

HOW CAN COMPANIES USE RILA RETAIL ADVISOR FOR ENERGY MANAGEMENT? 

Companies have used RILA Retail Advisor for Energy Management to: 

  • Better understand their current energy management program and design a more effective program 
  • Identify program gaps and/or areas of risk 
  • Start internal discussions about the optimal program for the company 
  • Share reports with management to build understanding and support for program optimization  
  • Benchmark with peers 
  • Benchmark and track different parts of the company (e.g., regions, types of facilities, retail banners, etc.)  

WHO CAN USE RILA RETAIL ADVISOR FOR ENERGY MANAGEMENT? 

Only verified retailers can use RILA Retail Advisor for Energy Management and only retailers with completed assessments can see the benchmarking information. 

WILL MY DATA BE SECURE AND CONFIDENTIAL? 

Company information entered in RILA Retail Advisor for Energy Management is stored in an encrypted, secure database on a cloud server. The detailed assessment results are private and only available to the specific company and then, only to individuals given permission by that company’s Organization Manager. Shared benchmarking reports only show aggregate information and do not include individual company names or data. RCC staff only have access to aggregated data and not to company-specific information. The RCC may make some aggregated data public, but only in summary form without any identifying information. 

HOW DOES RILA RETAIL ADVISOR FOR ENERGY MANAGEMENT HANDLE ORGANIZATIONS THAT HAVE MORE THAN ONE ENERGY/SUSTAINABILITY PROGRAM PER SUB-BRAND OR WHERE IMPLEMENTATION IS DISTRIBUTED? 

RILA Retail Advisor for Energy Management allows multiple assessments for an organization. Users can name the assessments to reflect the scope of the energy program covered by that specific assessment. For example, it may make sense to have one assessment called East Region and another called West Region. Users can also complete assessments for different sub-brands. 

WHAT IS THE ENERGY MANAGEMENT LEADERSHIP MODEL (EMLM)?  

The Energy Management Leadership Model (EMLM) is a tool to help retailers develop and evaluate their energy management programs. The EMLM is the framework for the RILA Retail Advisor for Energy Management. 

WHAT DOES THE EMLM CONSIST OF? 

The EMLM consists of 5 program dimensions with 5 possible levels. The dimensions are:  

Strategy & Commitment – the reach, structure, and public goals associated with an organization’s energy management program - and how the organization identifies and tracks priorities, defines the operating environment, assets and challenges and engages key stakeholders and executives. 

Resource Investment – Structures internal energy teams and manages relationships with relevant external stakeholders, such as utilities and shopping center landlords. 

People & Tools – how the organization manages and interacts with key personnel and processes for implementing an energy management program 

Projects & Data – Implementation of the energy management program, including financial considerations, systems, and auditing and maintenance practices. 

Visibility – how the organization interacts with internal and external stakeholders, including communication strategies and partnerships 

Energy Consuming Systems – how the organization manages efficiency and procurement practices for key energy-consuming or -generating systems and building characteristics, including lighting, HVAC, energy generation, build-out design, etc. 

WHAT IS THE OPTIMUM LEVEL FOR A RETAILER? 

The first or Initiating Level often represents a new or relatively inactive energy management program. . Beyond that, the optimum level for any element depends on the organization’s specific operations, capacity, internal or external commitments, peer competitiveness, and corporate culture. For example, a standalone large format grocery retailer with energy demand driven by multiple high-consuming energy loads has different energy priorities than a small format accessories retailer in a mall.  

WHAT IS THE EMLM FRAMEWORK BASED ON? 

The EMLM was originally developed in 2014 with retailer input as well as review of existing tools like ISO 50001 and EPA’s ENERGY STAR Guidelines for Energy Management. The Model undergoes periodic reviews by retailers, the U.S. Department of Energy and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency staff and contractors, and other energy experts. The Model is organized according to the Virtuous Cycle of Strategic Energy Management, a resource pioneered by MIT and Environmental Defense Fund. In an optimized organization, all components of the “virtuous cycle” function at full capacity to improve the performance of the energy consuming systems, generating maximum financial and environmental returns. 

ARE THERE OTHER RESOURCES AVAILABLE? 

Many RILA resources complement the EMLM. RILA created an Energy Management Resource Library structured around the EMLM, as well as a number of deep dive tools specific to financial management, landlord engagement, and renewable energy procurement. These resources range from reference guides to case studies and collaborative initiatives.

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