Energy benchmarking is becoming a must for large cities, with Boston being the latest one. Benchmarking mandates the measurement and disclosure of energy use for large buildings, and is meant to help building owners understand their energy use better, and to take action in poorly performing buildings.
In an effort to inspire action, the Lawrence Berkeley National Lab is developing tools to help inspire action. The most recent being EnergyIQ, which allows commercial users to benchmark their buildings and identify efficiency opportunities.
Using EnergyIQ, owners or managers “pick their parameters of a peer group across 62 different building types, including geography, size, vintage and operating hours.”
Other free or low-cost tools are also being developed for energy benchmarking including Noseis, Energy Deck, and Honest Buildings. Currently, Portfolio Manager is the primary benchmarking tool to meet the requirements set forth by local governments.
Source: Green Tech Media
By Gaylen Davenport
For a building manager, managing lighting costs can provide major energy savings. Lighting systems account for up to 35 percent of a commercial building’s total electrical load, so an efficient lighting strategy is essential if you’re looking for savings.
There are some simple measures that building managers can take for further energy savings.
- Check the settings on your occupancy sensors. Adjustable settings on occupancy sensors can be adjusted to shorten the period between the last motion sensed and the actual power-off time. Default time is typically 30 minutes, set yours back to 5 or 10 minutes.
- Consider replacing your existing sensors with newer devices. Newer models of occupancy sensors incorporate light level sensing that will keep the lights off if there is sufficient ambient daylight in the space. Other occupancy sensors provide devices with a “pass-through” mode that keeps the lights off if an occupant is simply passing through the space.
- Review your time schedules. Schedule-based control systems should be reviewed often, especially if the system has remained unchanged. The programmed default schedule may not be aligned to actual lighting needs/requirements.
- What about emergency lights? Fluorescent fixtures that stay on 24/7 just in case an emergency occurs are required by code to stay illuminated. However, the National Electric Code now allows the lights to be turned off during normal non-operating periods, provided they switch on during an emergency.
- Implement a measurement strategy. Verifying energy conservation measures and savings is important when seeking LEED or other sustainability certifications.
“When ensuring a facility runs smoothly, efficient and cost-effective lighting strategies can often go overlooked by building managers. But as a consumer of over one-third of a typical commercial building’s electrical energy resources, lighting should not be ignored.”
Source: Energy Manager Today
By Gaylen Davenport
The more you know about your building and its energy efficiency potential, the more you will begin to recognize opportunities to control energy consumption and costs.
- Have an energy professional perform an audit of your facility to determine your energy-efficiency priorities
- Lighting retrofits are quick, easy and have short paybacks
- Install occupancy sensors & task lighting to save energy
- Clean windows & remove clutter to let day lighting in
- Air infiltration – seal gaps in all windows and doors
- Tinting windows can save on energy, fading of furniture, and increase occupant comfort
- If your HVAC system is more than 14 years old, consider an upgrade
- Install high ceiling destratification fans to significantly affect your heating & cooling consumption
- Look at your natural gas options – up to 30% savings available
- Take the next big step and consider renewable energy solutions including solar and wind energy