Bright Employee: Punit Shah, Manager of Audits & Senior Energy Engineer


Punit ShahWe’re proud of the intelligent, passionate, and hardworking people that make up the Bright Power team. Each month, you’ll get a chance to meet one of them, understand how they contribute to the organization, and what makes them excited to come to work every day.

Meet Bright Power team member Punit Shah, Manager of Audits & Senior Energy Engineer.

What are some of the things you like most about working at Bright Power?
Everyone at Bright Power is really smart and really good at what they do. But we also collaborate across teams and share knowledge and resources. That’s very important for a company to thrive. By doing so, we can collectively solve any problem.

The company’s mission is also very important to me. Our mission is beyond compiling reports and helping our clients check the compliance box. We care about people, the buildings they live and work in, and the impact those buildings have on the social fabric of their communities and the environment. It’s not just about one system or one building, it’s bigger than that at Bright Power. It’s the impact of that system and building on everything around it.

What are some projects and accomplishments you’re most proud of?
I am proud of all my projects but the ones that I am particularly fond of are the ones where we have made the most impact as a company. That’s especially the case when I have worked on affordable housing projects, many of which have been quite large buildings.

I have also been really proud of when I’ve gone into buildings with recently installed high-efficiency systems that were not providing the expected results, analyzed the problem, and recommended actionable solutions to resolve their issues.  I wrote a blog about one of those projects. It’s exciting to know that I can give an owner or facilities engineer guidance, address their concerns quickly, make an impact on their building’s operations, and reinstill their confidence in the high-performance system.

What’s something people might not know about you?
At my previous job, I worked on some very different buildings—prisons, state fairgrounds, university campuses, and very large commercial buildings. I’ve taken that experience and applied that to my role now. It has given me a unique perspective on how critical it is for a person’s environment to be comfortable.

What advice would you give a property manager looking at energy efficiency projects for the first time?
First of all, it is very important you identify any critical concerns with your systems. Are things working as they should? Is my utility consumption close to or within my budget? Am I getting a lot of complaints from my residents or building engineer?

Then look at the “low hanging fruit” measures. Those are no brainers—they will improve your operations and provide energy savings. For example, do you have LEDs across the property, do you have occupancy sensors in appropriate areas, do you have low-flow fixtures in the bathrooms, are there any major leaks that need repair? Most owners and property managers I speak to understand that LEDs will save them money on their electric costs, but they are always amazed at how much more time their site staff has when they aren’t changing light bulbs all the time.

After you check off the more obvious, really get to understand your asset. A comprehensive energy audit (like a Level 2 ASHRAE audit) will give you a full understanding of all of the possible improvements you can make and their associated savings. But more importantly, those improvements will result in better maintenance and tenant comfort. You’ll get better reviews of your property, which will result in improved occupancy rates and higher rent rolls in market rate buildings. We’ve seen the effect of inefficient systems where tenants have publicly complained.

Last, seriously consider those top three most impactful measures and keep referring back to that report. If some equipment is aging, is it close to the end of its useful life? If so, it’s best to plan now for a replacement—potentially with a more efficient system—than wait for a catastrophic failure.

What’s the one service offering we have that you think is the most beneficial to clients and why?
Our targeted audits! Bright Power’s targeted audits focus on providing the owner with all possible measures that their property can implement quickly in a cost-effective manner. These audits are a great way to get a deeper understanding of what you can do now to impact your property without an extremely detailed, dense report. With our targeted audits, you end up with an easy to read, short report that only has the measures that you can reasonably implement. These are great for buildings that are getting ready for a major renovation and want to include energy measures in their scope.

A targeted audit is different from a Level 2 ASHRAE audit (which I mentioned earlier) in that a Level 2 ASHRAE audit looks at all of the possibilities for improvement at a property. It heavily analyzes everything at a property including possible deep retrofits. But all of the measures outlined aren’t always feasible to implement without substantial capital expenditures.