Picking the right meters for your building is a challenge you’ve already tackled. You’re collecting water, electric, and gas data from those meters like a pro. But now, a new challenge awaits: what do you do with this information?
Here are 4 simple steps to utilizing your real-time submeter data:
Look For Submeter Data Trends
When you first start monitoring your electric, water, and gas consumption, the data is usually all over the place. It should be; you haven’t had the chance to see this before!
Even though your consumption has been a bit erratic, look for trends in your data. Need a place to start? You likely start your building at the same time every weekday, and you likely turn the building off at the same time during the week. These 5 common operational issues can help you identify more trends in your consumption. As your data collection becomes more advanced, you will be able to utilize this data for fault detection as well.
The Low-Hanging Fruit of Building Operations: Scheduling
Look for the usual suspects (no, not Kevin Spacey). These 4 common problems in building operations can lead to thousands of dollars in savings with no capital investment:
- Early Building Start: Often, buildings are turned on hours before any occupants enter.
- Late Building Shutdown: Shutting down the building completely until the next morning often goes later than it needs to; or, sometimes, buildings aren’t completely shutdown at all.
- Weekend Runs: Operating the building at half or full capacity when there are few (if any) occupants on the weekends.
- High Baseload: Notice that your energy data doesn’t really have a dip? Maybe your baseload energy consumption – that is, the amount of energy a building consumes during non-operational hours – is abnormally high.
While there are many other factors that can affect the amount of electricity, water, and gas that a building consumes, addressing these four factors can often lead to a significant decrease in consumption. One of our clients reduced water consumption by 29% after making scheduling adjustments to the building – that is a huge improvement for one no-cost change.
Adjust Your Building Operations With Energy Data
You’ve collected your data, identified trends, and checked out the low-hanging fruit. Now what?
Adjust your building operations and controls to address the issues you identified. Particularly with building automation system (BAS) or building management system (BMS), you can make a lot of easy changes to your building with minimal time or capital investment.
If your building is starting up too early, change the settings on your BAS or BMS to start the building later. Try pushing the start time back an hour at first; if no tenants are disrupted by the change, see how much later you can start the building without disrupting occupant use. This can help you save thousands on your electric, water, and gas bills annually.
Perhaps, when comparing the consumption of two cooling towers in your building, you notice that one is consuming far more water than the other. Real-time energy data can help you identify faulty equipment so you can replace it before larger problems arise.
These types of operational adjustments will make an enormous difference to your building operations. With a few minor changes, you’ll create an energy curve that is much more stable; meanwhile, your budget will appreciate the savings.
Utilize Energy Data Analytics For Optimal Results
Great work! You identified trends, targeted the low-hanging fruit, and adjusted your building to resolve inefficiency issues. Now, continue to analyze your real-time energy data to achieve maximum results. See how much better you can make your building with continued efforts to target areas of inefficiency. Monitoring your building in real-time will enable you to achieve the ideal energy curve, like this building.
Buildings are far from static; they change, the occupants in a building changes, the weather changes, your operations systems change. Monitoring your building over time will ensure that you reach optimal building efficiency and maximize your energy savings. Ready to take the next step? Download our step-by-step guide to energy efficiency to get the most out of your improvement efforts.