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What Comes After Energy Management?

Written by James Graber | September 13th, 2023

tall buildings from below on foggy day

It is extremely important to understand the various aspects of energy usage across a facility of any size. There are a myriad of different energy management tools and techniques available to gather data, process this information, and display the energy breakdown from various perspectives. Once one of these tools has been implemented, the first few actions aren’t always clear due to the extreme volume of data now available.

Now Comes the Hard Part: What do you do with all of this information?

Here are a few suggestions, courtesy of Essex.

Goals and Baselines

As an organization, establish goals and baselines to track energy consumption over the decades of your organization. Knowing where you are now, consider where you want to be in the future.

It is very important to set realistic goals, and one of the ways to judge how realistic a goal is, is by taking a closer look at where energy usage and cost have been in years past. Using historical usage data, we can establish a baseline for energy usage

How has your energy usage changed over the last 5 years? Hopefully it’s been slowly decreasing, so the next question is how can we accelerate our decrease in energy? If we used 2% less energy this year than the previous year, let's push the envelope and attempt to decrease our energy consumption by 5% next year.

Sharing the News

One of the ways to hold everyone accountable is by sharing the news of energy usage. When energy usage is down, let everyone know to keep up the good work. When energy usage has increased, encourage people to figure out why.

Occupant dashboards can be deployed to track this progress in a way that makes sense even to a bystander. Track how many trees were saved or how many Olympic-sized swimming pools were used.

For more technical savvy participants, configure automated reports. Each Monday morning, facilities engineers can be greeted with a breakdown on last week’s energy usage in their email inbox for discussion in a meeting Monday afternoon.

Improve Granularity

How do we decrease our yearly energy use? By decreasing our monthly energy usage. How do we decrease our monthly energy usage? By decreasing our weekly energy usage. You see the pattern. Increasing the granularity to which we can evaluate our energy consumption will more closely allow facilities to examine energy consumption across smaller time scales and service areas (a section of campus down to a building down to a single piece of equipment).

At the same time, it takes a lot of time and effort to diagnose and explain the readings from hundreds of utility submeters. Facilities departments, who are typically understaffed, need tools to parse through massive amounts of data much faster.

By implementing Automated Fault Detection, facilities personnel can quickly identify areas of unexpectedly high energy usage. Analytics tools like SkySpark can parse through millions of history records and quickly identify high use hours compared to baseline usage or when the building is unoccupied. Use analytics to locate pieces of equipment that are using more energy than others.

Use analytics to answer the following questions about your buildings:

  • During what hours of the day does my building use the most energy?

  • Which day of the week has the highest energy usage?

  • Which day of the week has the highest cost of energy? It may not be the same as the highest usage day, and both are noteworthy.

Essex stands as the indispensable ally in simplifying and elevating every facet of energy management within facilities. Essex's comprehensive suite of energy management tools and expertise empowers organizations to effortlessly navigate the complexities of energy data. From goal setting to data sharing, and from granularity enhancement to swift fault detection, Essex offers a holistic solution that ensures efficient energy management. With Essex as your partner, you have the ultimate resource to transform your facilities into an energy-efficient and sustainable powerhouse.

Contact us today to learn more!


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