Effective energy management “The key to success isn’t necessarily what you have. It’s what you do with what you have.” Those with responsibility for the efficient and effective management of a building find themselves between a rock and a hard place. The unremitting financial pressure on organisations of all kinds is reflected in the ongoing pressure to drive down costs across all aspects of the operation. But the ability to achieve the required savings is often hamstrung by a refusal, or even an inability, to invest the capital required – none the more so than in energy management. Interestingly, the value of improved energy management is not restricted to carbon reduction and cost savings. A holistic view of how it can impact both on the facilities and on organisations occupying those facilities could include improvements to working conditions, improved productivity and staff motivation, enhanced external image, and improved billing or cost allocations. The reasons why an organisation may wish to look at its energy management strategy can, therefore, be wideranging and may differ significantly depending on whether the impetus emanates from the boardroom or elsewhere. What the organisation can actually do is similarly wideranging. The energy market is still relatively immature. The energy manager is faced with a disparate array of organisations offering a choice of technology options,
which all effectively promise the same thing – reduced energy consumption and costs. So, what gives the energy manager the confidence to act? How do they ensure that they are committing to a course of action that will help them to achieve objectives that have probably been set elsewhere in the business? The keys are knowledge and context, plus the ability to benchmark, measure, plan and then verify the actions taken and the investments made – thus ensuring that promises made are actually delivered. However, before any major investment decision is made or even considered, there are actions every organisation can and should implement. These will generate financial, environmental and other data and will provide the energy manager and the organisation with a solid platform of facts and data on which to base any prospective investment decisions.
Major savings; minor costs Historically, improving energy management has meant changing current hardware to better hardware. In many instances, this is still the case. A report produced by the NHS’ Sustainable Development Unit in February 2010 looked at potential energy savings that could be achieved in it’s hospital facilities by 2015. According to the report, the installation of Combined Heat and Power (CHP) systems would provide 25% and 37% respectively of the potential CO2 and annualised net cost savings in 2015 – reducing CO2 production by over 174,000 tonnes per year and removing over £17 million a year from the NHS energy bill. As a group, investing in renewable sources would deliver a larger proportion of the carbon savings, at 27%, but only 3% of the total savings. However, in the same report there are a number of highimpact measures that are more to do with how effectively the building is run than the efficiency of the plant, insulation or energy supplies. These complementary, low-capital
‘control and awareness’ measures reduce energy and would account for over 28% of the potential CO2 savings (more than CHP or renewable) and over 37% of the potential net annualised savings. Implementing these lower capital cost energy improvement measures (which include lighting and heating controls, building management improvements and awareness campaigns to deliver behavioural change) are therefore said to be able to achieve savings on a par with those from the implementation of major capital investment projects. Within the NHS, CHP installation figures highly in energy reduction in acute hospitals, which are often campus sites. In primary care trusts, which have large numbers of smaller sites, CHPs are seldom applicable and the controls and behavioural measures deliver an even larger proportion of possible savings. With the large number of type and age of buildings in this group, it’s clear that this study’s conclusions can be relevant across all manner and size of organisation.
The three foundations To improve controls and behaviours in the buildings, you need to know where to act, and where to start. Measurement and analysis of energy use is therefore a third key element of the process as it enables the setting of priorities, validation of results and feedback to occupants – the latter being critical in reinforcing behavioural change. The ongoing energy improvement process is therefore founded on three key foundations: measurement, control and behaviour. No matter how efficient a building’s infrastructure, waste still occurs if energy is being used when it isn’t actually needed. However, if an energy strategy incorporates these foundations, the element of waste will be reduced significantly. Going forward, this also facilitates the more accurate measurement of the benefits of any prospective major capital investment in infrastructure and may reduce the size of future investments by reducing the overall building energy demand
Measurement Control and behaviour are mutually reinforcing, but if the potential of both is to be maximised, then the key is measurement. Measurement is the foundation of accurate energy analysis and underpins recommendations for operational and investment-based savings, which range from behavioural, control or scheduling changes to capital plant retrofits or other new investments. In terms of building control, measurement is required for ongoing analysis that identifies trends and events that could cause concern. Once benchmarks are established, it can also enable real-time intervention. Issues may include,
for example, plant running at unexpected times, excessive demand peaks, and events that trigger load shedding or energy resource conversion changes. The process often starts with the analysis of historical data (e.g. utility records) and the audit-based analysis of physical plant, equipment and facilities. However, installing sub-metering and an energy information system to create granular data to benchmark and understand the building’s characteristics is essential to identify initial saving opportunities and deliver long-term, sustained benefits. For example, in one multi-occupancy London office building, 50 sub-meters were installed and were used to identify scheduling, base load and plant issues as well as using the data to engage with building occupiers to achieve behavioural change. The landlord attributed a 10% energy reduction to this system and a payback on the investment in metering of 18-24 months. The collection of accurate and up-to-date data is particularly important for those seeking to follow best practice as highlighted in the energy standard ISO 50001, which has been designed as a framework to help organisations to make better use of their energyconsuming assets and to evaluate and prioritise the implementation of energy-efficient technology. Energy information produced by measurement can be collated and presented in different formats for different audiences.
1. Expert tools are provided for in-house analysts or external specialist service companies. 2. Management dashboard displays present the site’s energy information in a customized, easy-to-use format, providing relevant managers with actionable data and a high-level view of energy use across the facility. 3. Occupant signage solutions (e.g. a lobby display or an intranet home page) share energy information and comparisons in friendly, graphic-driven terms - spurring occupants to alter positively their behaviour and usage, and allowing the organisation to showcase the results of its energy programmes. Experience shows that individuals in organisations seeking to save energy often do not have the time or expertise to get full potential from expert tools or even dashboards as day-to-day priorities prevent them from dedicating the necessary time. In these cases, specialist companies fill the gap, sometimes offering comprehensive services including the implementation of control, behavioural or investment projects. Control Control is mandated by a combination of the building manager and the capabilities of the system in place. The importance of a good building control system is obvious, but its value is based on how it is used – and that means having a comprehensive understanding of a
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building’s characteristics, its systems and how the building is actually used. In one example, a school hall felt cold at morning assembly time, so a member of staff regularly turned up the local thermostat two or three degrees and left it at that temperature for the rest of the day. In fact, on investigation of the temperature trends, the problem was found not to be the setting but that the hall was actually slow to heat up and was under-temperature during assembly. Programming the heating to come on half an hour earlier in the morning resulted in an acceptable temperature during the assembly and avoided unnecessary energy usage during the rest of the day. The NHS’ Sustainable Development Unit report (referred to above) highlights turning the temperature down one degree as a cheap and quick way of saving cash and carbon. Typically 1°C temperature reduction saves 6% of the heating energy. However to do this, requires accurate temperature measurement and fine control. If control can only be achieved by, say, ±3 degrees, then the mean temperature has to be 3 degrees above the required minimum. However, if the range can be reduced to ±1, then the thermostat can be kept 2 degrees lower on average, with the potential for significant savings. Control theory and in particular six sigma says that the smaller the range in which you can contain something (in this case temperature), the more precisely it can be controlled. Six sigma also provides an armoury of analytical tools that can support energy improvements in buildings, including the DMAIC cycle (Define, Measure, Analyse, Improve, Control), whose use is familiar to six sigma companies. The closer, more accurate control of buildings means that they can be run at a lower temperature (or higher if cooling), saving money and carbon. Investing to optimise the controls may be necessary, but the results in terms of energy and financial savings could be significant. Reports published in 2009 by the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) in California covered a study of over 600 buildings and showed that “re-commissioning” these building resulted in 16% median whole-building
energy savings and ROI of 1.1 years. The expectation might be that relatively new buildings will not have much scope for these savings, but the LBNL studies show that “energy drift” in commercial buildings happens surprisingly fast – between 10 and 30% in the first two years alone. Using a third party to keep an on-going, 24-hour watch over the operation - accessing the system remotely to carry out real-time analysis and to identify and, in some cases, even to fix problems - enhances levels of control, reduces waste and helps prevent this expensive and environmentally damaging drift in building energy use. Behaviour The NHS report also highlighted the potential of energy awareness campaigns to impact behaviour and reduce overall energy spend. In fact, the report estimates that effectively communicating with building users could generate over 20% of the potential annual CO2 savings in primary care trusts and 30% of the potential cost savings. Attempting to modify behaviour is fraught with challenges, particularly when dealing with hundreds, or maybe even thousands of individuals in a busy environment. If an organisation is to be successful in this regard, then communication is key. It is well established that people are more likely to modify their behaviour voluntarily if they can understand and appreciate the reasons for doing so. The communication element of the programme has to educate, inform and to provide feedback that reports on success to date and encourages ongoing positive change. Facts and data are key in this regard, and can be obtained through accurate metering and the presentation of relevant information in an easily understandable format such as through energy dashboards for management and lobby signage or intranet pages for occupants. Achieving behavioural change requires more than just awareness however, and there are many examples (especially in health, food and fitness) where individuals do not act in a way they know to be best. The challenge is to create formal systems (such as true energy cost allocation to departments) as well as new social norms, and to enable people to act easily in the desired way. Highlighting that others are reducing energy helps. One
way of doing this is to use energy reduction league tables, which can also foster healthy competition between floors or departments, resulting in a higher profile for the initiative and even greater energy savings. Although the potential rewards are significant, they can only be maximised if the implementation of such a communication programme is well managed and maintained. By utilising the resources available in a building management system to collate and present relevant data automatically on a frequent or ongoing basis, an organisation can ensure the continuation of this initiative, even when the initial blast of enthusiasm behind the launch of the programme starts to wane.
iso 50001 ISO 50001 is designed to help all types and sizes of organisations: • make better use of their energy-consuming assets; • evaluate and prioritise the implementation of energy-efﬁcient technology; and • promote efﬁciency throughout the supply chain. It is designed to integrate with other management standards (especially ISO 14001) and is based on the same ISO management system standards as ISO 9001 (quality management), ISO 14001 (environmental management), ISO 18001 and ISO/IEC 27001 (information security). ISO 50001 follows the Plan-Do-Check-Act process for continual improvement of the energy management system. • Plan: assign resources and responsibilities, conduct the energy review and establish the baseline, energy performance indicators, objectives, targets and action plans necessary to deliver results in accordance with opportunities to improve energy performance and the organisation’s energy policy. • Do: implement the energy management action plans. • Check: monitor and measure processes and the key characteristics of its operations that determine energy performance against the energy policy and objectives and report the results. • Act: take actions to continually improve energy performance and the energy management system. ISO 50001 does not ﬁx targets for improving energy performance. This means than any organisation, regardless of its current mastery of energy management, can implement ISO 50001 to establish a baseline and then improve on this at a pace and on a scale that is appropriate to its context and capacities.
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Optimising the system Traditionally, building management systems companies and suppliers of component ranges have focused on hardware solutions to satisfy the control requirements of an end user. Other suppliers provide reporting solutions that package raw data in a user-friendly format and outline trends, but leave the interpretation of data and the implementation of energy reduction actions or investments to the building manager. However, the most cost-effective energy management solution involves bundling controls and reporting tools with behaviour changes – providing a high return and a low upfront capital investment.
Conclusion Whether an organisation’s energy policy is driven by its desire to cut costs, save the environment or to help achieve specific operational goals, the actual process of deciding what to do and when to do it has to be based on a holistic view of its building control strategy and hard facts and data, if it is to be successful. Knowing if the current strategy is the right one requires a building manager to ask themselves three simple questions: • Do I know what’s going on in my building from an energy perspective? • Am I in control of my building’s energy use?
Rather than simply collate and report data, the solution should be able to align with the existing systems and collect data from them in order to recognise trends, highlight issues, analyse faults and recommend actions – and, where appropriate, implement corrective actions in real time. Many building managers and even energy managers don’t have the time, resources or even the necessary experience in using the analytical tools to do this analysis. In this case, working with a company that can put in the systems, carry out the analysis, advise and assess corrective actions and then implement the control and behavioural changes, as well as any required capital plant upgrades, is the best route to achieving energy goals.
• Am I doing everything I can to encourage occupants to minimise energy use? If the answer to any of the above is negative, then action has to be taken.
ENERGY SAVINGS CYCLE As a world leading integrator, Honeywell Building Solutions provides a total energy management service for the life cycle of your building.
Define We understand your drivers, objectives and issues then define a project scope to address these factors
We continually monitor, manage and optimise your building's systems and energy use for optimal performance – 24/7
We measure or audit buildings and system performance, behaviours and energy patterns over time to build a detailed picture
We implement these energy conservation measures, controls upgrades, equipment retrofit and awareness programmes
We analyse the data and provide recommendations for operations improvement and investments that meet your objectives
• We optimise energy use in existing facilities through improved monitoring and control, and with energy awareness and behavioural programmes which deliver significant energy reductions with limited capital investment • We have expert energy engineers who carry out technical audits and deliver equipment upgrades with defined environmental benefits and financial ROI
• We deploy a range of technologies including webbased energy dashboards, remote analysis and engineering tools, real-time energy management systems (including supply management, demand reduction and smart-grid solutions), and the full range of energy efficient plant from LED lighting to CHP systems – combined with the ability to offer financed packages backed with comprehensive energy saving guarantees
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Reference CodeHBSUKTL01 April 2012 © 2012 Honeywell International Inc.