Babel Buster Network Gateways: Big Features. Small Price.
EMAIL INTERVIEW Mike Taylor & Ken Sinclair
Mike Taylor is the vice president of Americas marketing for Honeywell Building Solutions
In this role, he manages strategy, marketing, product management and training for service offerings to the commercial buildings market. Mike has been with Honeywell for more than 25 years, and has held a variety of sales, marketing and management positions. He has a bachelor’s degree in industrial distribution from Texas A&M.
Energy Manager is an advanced energy management and information system that integrates with building systems.
Sinclair: Energy is a large part of your business. What are you hearing from your customers in this area? What are their major concerns?
Taylor: Almost everyone we talk with wants to reduce energy consumption and costs. The reason: most organizations are dealing with volatile energy prices, declining resources and aging, inefficient buildings — or some combination of the three. As a result, energy has become one of the largest operational expenses. And it’s devouring more dollars every year.
But while energy is top of mind, it also is the least understood line item in a budget. Companies may have a general idea of how much electricity, oil or natural gas their facilities use. However, many don’t know the specific pieces of equipment that are inefficient and responsible for a large portion of the monthly bill. In addition, they may not understand the agreement with their utility or have the data to negotiate a more favorable rate structure. That’s the problem we’re trying to solve with our energy services and tools like Honeywell Energy Manager.
Sinclair: What is Energy Manager and how does it work?
Taylor: Energy Manager is an advanced energy management and information system that integrates with building systems. It allows users to view and control energy use in a facility. With the software-based tool, organizations can analyze data — including weather reports, market conditions and systems demand — to create a comprehensive picture of energy usage patterns. This information can ultimately help lower overall consumption and utility bills. Specific features include:
Meter Management – Collects gas, water and electric meter data to establish a real-time energy usage baseline for meters in a facility or across multiple locations.
Predictive Energy Modeling – Creates predictive models based on weather patterns, past and present energy usage, and metering data to show how operational changes affect an organization’s energy consumption.
Facility Load Management – Monitors and analyzes energy consumption data to keep loads in line with set parameters established by the user.
Web-based Reporting – Converts raw data into actionable charts, graphics and customized reports that are Web accessible.
Sinclair: How is it different from other energy management systems?
Taylor: Unlike traditional systems, Energy Manager not only displays where inefficiencies occur, but also provides recommended improvements — essentially turning information into actionable knowledge through the Web-based reports.
The other major difference is that Energy Manager is a component of larger building management platform, Enterprise Buildings Integrator (EBI). So users can view the metering and sensor data the software collects from the same workstation where they control HVAC, security and life safety functions. This helps boost efficiency and reduce operating costs.
Also, because it integrates with core building systems, Energy Manager enables users to automatically change individual systems and equipment.
Sinclair: Can you provide a real-world example of how that works?
Taylor: Utility rates are often based on peak demand usage. If an organization’s consumption exceeds the agreed upon “peak”, the utility company will charge a premium for the energy used. To avoid the additional expense, Energy Manger can initiate load-shedding strategies when a facility reaches peak demand, such as modifying temperature set points or cycling chillers on and off. With this added insight and control, users can manage current energy budgets more effectively and better predict future needs.
Sinclair: What other energy-related trends are you seeing?
Taylor: It’s not a revelation, but we’re seeing more interest in renewable energy sources. Part of the reason is the increased focus on environmental stewardship. At the same time, solar, wind, biomass and other technologies have become less expensive and more scalable over the years. Plus, there are a variety of incentives — utility rebates, and state and federal tax credits — that make these technologies more attractive. We’re finding ways to combine these factors and make alternative energy more economically viable.
For example, we recently signed an agreement with Pleasanton Unified School District in northern California. Under the agreement, Honeywell will install, own and maintain solar panels on seven district buildings, and sell the electricity the panels produce to the district at a price significantly below its current utility rate. The solar technology is expected to supply 20 percent of the district’s electricity and save it an estimated $2.5 million in energy costs over the course of the 20-year contract.
We’ve already seen significant interest from other districts in the wake of the Pleasanton announcement. And we anticipate that renewables will become a common element in our energy conservation projects.
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