In a previous blog post, Jennifer Chiodo discussed why energy benchmarking is beneficial for everyone, whether it’s for a residential building or a commercial building. Benchmarking allows you as the building owner to not only understand how your building is doing from an energy standpoint over time, but it also compares the building to other similar buildings in its class. Using the Energy Star Portfolio Manager online benchmarking tool, you can monitor a building’s energy usage over time by setting goals and comparing the overall energy use intensity to a baseline year.
Have you ever wondered how utilities and energy agencies run energy efficiency programs for installing recommended products such as variable frequency drives and LED lighting? Evaluation, Measurement and Verification (EM&V) is a crucial part of evaluating energy efficiency programs. EM&V provides an assessment of how well the program is performing. This goes beyond assessing the performance of the installed energy efficient measures; it also provides an assessment of how customers perceive and use the program. EM&V makes energy programs sustainable by providing feedback through multiple and diverse sources of information.
With the holiday season in full swing and airline travel at one of its annual peaks, I thought I’d take the opportunity to geek-out on the subject of HVAC systems on commercial airplanes.
Wireless networks are everywhere in 2014. I have on my person 3 wireless networks happening at any given moment (4G LTE, Bluetooth, and Wi-Fi). I am a walking source of radio everywhere I go. And this is only the beginning. As more wireless devices proliferate for personal and commercial use, the spectrum will only grow more crowded and complicated. Are you prepared as wireless technology penetrates the HVAC automation market? Do you understand how radio propagates with respect to data and networks? I hope to scratch the surface and share some of this with you in the following paragraphs.
In a previous blog post, I discussed our process for constructing a scope of work to perform a campus water consumption analysis. At the time, we knew a minimal amount about the existing metering system. A site visit was conducted to allow us to put our eyes on each meter listed for the campus. After this was completed, we were able to provide helpful information to our client regarding the current water consumption and metering system as well as next steps for reducing their consumption using a greater level of water use monitoring.
We have posted several times about the importance of building control systems in achieving efficient building performance. In particular, building control graphics screens are a critical interface for understanding, operating, and maintaining building systems. Through my work in commissioning building systems, I have found opportunities to improve the effectiveness of the control graphics screens provided to clients. The following are a few observations and recommendations that I would like to share:
Topics: Standards and Metrics
In a previous blog post, I discussed the features of the new Energy Star Portfolio Manager, a free online tool for benchmarking your building’s energy usage. Recently a client introduced me to another online benchmarking tool called Wegowise. This client has been successfully using Wegowise for their multi-family buildings. They started using it before multi-family was included in Portfolio Manager, and continue to use it because they like the easy to use interface, the automated features and how their building’s energy usage is displayed in a simple way that is easy to understand/analyze.
Energy savings opportunities can be difficult to implement at times because of the perceived financial impacts they may have on a project. All too often a short-sighted view is taken with regard to a marginal increase in project cost vs. the long term cost reduction impacts that marginal cost will achieve.
Investments in energy efficiency are often evaluated in terms of their relative financial performance. In the realm of building energy efficiency, the relative financial performance of investment alternatives is typically quantified in terms of a simple payback. Simple payback calculations may be helpful for initial screening and ranking of project alternatives, however, they can oversimplify financial evaluation to the point that the best performing alternatives are not properly quantified and identified. Life Cycle Cost (LCC) analyses, in comparison, include a comprehensive examination of all of the costs and savings attributable to the investment.