“Most people are not used to thinking of large buildings as vast, energy-guzzling machines. But that is what they are. In America, buildings account for 65% of electricity consumption, 36% of total energy use and 30% of greenhouse-gas emissions.” *
Existing buildings are hiding a tremendous amount of conservation potential, whether through the application of current technologies, the introduction of best operating practices, or even management policies that tie employee reward schemes to energy performance. The buildings industry has an opportunity to become a part of the solution to our energy problems, and to do it in a way that provides real business benefits.
But first, building owners have to stop treating energy as an uncontrollable cost. Invoices should still be paid as they arrive, but they need to be interpreted and analyzed against business performance or external influences. How else will you detect over-billing? How else will you know when to switch to another utility provider? Budgets should not be set based simply on last year, but should consider how the buildings should or could be performing. There should be mechanisms for setting targets and reliable reporting to tell the right staff whether or not the buildings are achieving those targets.
Building owners need to identify and evaluate energy conservation opportunities, to share the details with internal staff and external service providers, and to analyze and prioritize them like any other internal investment opportunity. From there they need to track ongoing energy performance and feed it back to responsible staff, just as they do for other key performance indicators.
ManagingEnergy is an enterprise system designed from the ground up, over a 15-year period, to fill all of these needs ... to manage and reduce energy use in buildings.
Value to Building Owners
ManagingEnergy is a tool to plan, execute, and monitor energy management activities in buildings. It is an enterprise tool to reduce and hold down energy use, typically driving down energy costs by 20% or more.
Energy management in buildings is a broad corporate undertaking. The key features appeal differently to different building owners, but together comprise start-to-finish functionality and a rich feature set unique to the market. The components of the system support the various elements of strategic energy planning and execution as well as the organizational development of an energy conserving organization.
|1.||Set Benchmarks: See how your facility measures up against similar buildings in your sector.|
|2.||Validate Invoices: Spot billing errors and analyze the benefits of different energy tariffs.|
|3.||Perform Energy Audits: Improve reliability and cut the cost of energy audits by over 30%.|
|4.||Analyze Efficiency Measures: Capture and analyze all the key information in all of your efficiency opportunities.|
|5.||Model Financial Scenarios: Model financial scenarios to compare and package efficiency investments and service options for maximum impact. Use a number of methods, including simple payback and life cycle costing|
|6.||Track Conservation Performance: Use industry standards to monitor and track results towards efficiency targets. Instantly factor out variables like weather differences, suite occupancy, or production volumes.|
|7.||Report Anywhere, Anytime: Deliver on-demand, high quality reports to anyone involved in your energy management program. Use rapid feedback of results to tie conservation results to job expectations.|
|8.||Work With Partners: Collaborate with engineers, contractors, building staff, and tenants to fully realize the savings opportunities.|
|9.||Document Building Assets: Beyond energy and conservation, ManagingEnergy is a convenient place to store and share information relevant for ongoing building operations. A number of clients use this capability, and we have developed the system to capitalize on it and present those features in a compelling way.|
In commercial buildings, energy cost savings fall directly to the bottom line, increasing Net Operating Income. That results in an increase in building value which is normally three or four times the investment needed to achieve the efficiencies. In most cases building owners benefit further by renewing aging systems, extending asset life.
*From The Rise of the Green Building, The Economist, December 16, 2004.