March 2012
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Five Key Techniques for Utilizing Energy Management Systems

 to Reduce Consumption, Costs, and Carbon up to 30%
Sara Volpe
Sara Volpe,
VP of Marketing & Communications
eSight Energy, Inc.

 

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With the recent incentives and building upgrades announced by President Obama as part of the ‘Better Buildings Challenge,’ facility and building managers are feeling increased pressure to reduce energy usage, lower utility costs, and minimize their impact on the environment.

In all reality, what organizations are looking to do is lower their overhead costs and increase profitability; the key place to do this is by lowering energy bills through reducing energy waste. One of the quickest and most cost effective ways to do this and decrease environmental impact is to invest in an energy management software platform.

Below are five simple methods for using energy management software to help reduce energy consumption, costs, and carbon emissions by up to 30%:

1.    Establish & track base load
2.    Normalize data based on KPIs
3.    Alert and action anomalies
4.    Benchmark building performance
5.    Mobilize data to increase participation

Once energy consumption data is being fed into an energy management platform, one of the first places to look for savings is by monitoring your energy usage during “out-of-office” periods or when the building should technically be closed.  There is always a base load of energy being used by a building but this should remain constant from day to day and week to week, and knowing this usage allows you to easily and quickly spot any energy waste. Our clients are surprised to find that there are key areas for improvements during in-active periods of the day, especially when looking at the energy being consumed during weekends which can often point to something as simple as the heating and cooling system not being configured correctly for these days.

Reliable Controls When looking at a large portfolio of buildings and with limited time, the most efficient way to reduce energy is to look at the worst performing sites and asses these first, the ‘low hanging fruit’. However, it is often misleading to look at just the energy consumption of that building without taking into account a number of factors that drive the energy usage, such as season, geographical regions, time of day active periods, square footage and occupancy numbers.   An energy management system will be able to provide you with normalized data across your portfolio and this normalization allows users to view the impact of improvements with clarity over time; it provides a true “apples to apples” comparison

Taking this a step further, eSight’s Multi-Variable Linear Regression analysis provides realistic modelling of performance, normalizing usage against up to 10 driving factors.  This technique allows you to compare your actual usage against the predicted usage based on these factors or to forecast your energy usage going forward.  

Another key piece of functionality of an energy management system is the ability to alert and action anomalies. The Exception Reporting Module generates alarms for automatic distribution via email to identify areas where usage has gone over a certain peak or valley, outside a certain range, or where data is missing.  This alarming allows you to react quickly to rectify a problem before it has the opportunity to continue or get worse, and being received via email means that you do not need to be continually eye-balling reports.  Alarming also helps to identify areas worth investing on enhancements. If problem areas aren’t identified, then there is no way to action potentially expensive areas for simple improvements.

Benchmarking building performance provides ongoing review to determine if a building is getting better or worse in comparison to itself, other buildings within the organization’s portfolio, and/or similar buildings outside the organization. With analyses like year on year comparisons, energy managers can establish a starting point to track performance, provide on-going monitoring of building trends, and locate properties that are getting better/worse on a relative basis; thus providing accurate justification for improvements.

Once changes are applied, energy management systems help determine if initiatives are working by tracking success of upgrades, clearly measuring ROI of improvements, and providing accurate data reports to present to management. Benchmarking buildings against other like properties can also help enhance public image through Corporate Social Responsibility programs and give a competitive advantage.

Stacked

And finally, increase participation throughout the organization by taking advantage of the mobilization of data through smartphones and tablets. With eSight’s web-based technology, users can access energy data “on-the-go.” The more access employees have to energy usage information, the more likely they are to get involved in energy saving initiatives.

Mobilization of Data

For more information on how organizations are utilizing energy management platforms to reduce energy consumption, costs, and carbon emissions, visit www.eSightenergy.com and request a demonstration.


About eSight Energy, Inc.
Developed by eSight Energy, eSight is the most sophisticated yet intuitive energy management suite available worldwide. Utilizing 100% web-enabled technology, eSight offers an extensive range of techniques for analyzing energy usage to reduce energy consumption, costs, and carbon by up to 30%. The suite is available as a hosted solution (SaaS) or installed to any site. eSight may be used to monitor data from virtually any energy related system including meters and loggers, building automation and control systems, production data, and data from any utility type including electricity, natural gas, water, steam, compressed air, temperature and more. http://www.eSightenergy.com.

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