08/05/2003

Energy-Wise

The Time Is Right For Energy Management

 

California Finds a Way to Save

During the California energy crisis of 2001, the state Department of General Services (DGS) was charged with cutting energy use in its buildings by 10 percent.

DGS addressed energy savings on a number of fronts, including simple conservation efforts such as turning off lights and shutting down computers. But DGS also needed to improve conservation numbers with a large-scale energy efficiency program. They brought in WebGen Systems Inc., a Cambridge, MA-based energy management company, to help control and optimize energy use.

WebGen connected its Intelligent Use of Energy (IUE) system to 65 buildings statewide, using the Internet to link buildings into an efficient energy management network. The system then began forecasting and assessing DGS’ energy-consumption data in conjunction with other variables that drive energy use and cost: building use, time of day, space occupancy and temperature, market demand, and weather forecasts.

Since it began its energy conservation program, DGS energy savings have consistently been well over 20 percent as compared to 2000.

We’re stuck in a difficult economic dilemma: Fuel costs have risen, while for many businesses, revenues and demand for services are down. Enterprises across the country are looking for ways to cut costs, but find that their expenses – particularly for energy use – are going up. Faced with this difficult economy, building owners must be smarter about the costs they can control.

There’s a not-very-novel idea that commercial building owners and management companies are considering with greater frequency these days: Simply cut energy use. Sound crazy in this super-sized, SUV era? It shouldn’t be. Cutting energy costs may be one of the fastest, easiest, and least painful ways to conserve scarce energy resources, save money, and dramatically reduce operational costs.

More and more buildings are installing energy management systems that can closely track energy use and proactively take steps to reduce energy consumption. Not only do the systems save money and precious energy resources, but they also give building operators a better pulse on the heartbeat of a facility.

Energy use is always at its highest level in the summer. Ninety- to 100-degree temperatures, combined with high humidity in some locations, force air-conditioners to work overtime. Energy and electricity warnings are hardly uncommon during the hottest days.

In commercial buildings such as office parks, data centers, medical facilities, and universities, levels of heat or cool air are dictated by a master energy control system, filling cafeterias and conference rooms with the same amount of heat or cool air as a 12- by 12-foot office or a 20- by 20-foot washroom. This one-size-fits-all approach to energy management and distribution is problematic.

Small offices are too hot, so employees turn on fans. Large conference rooms are too cold, so people turn up the heat. In the summer, it can be so cold in some offices that personal space heaters are used. Lights are left on all night and on weekends; computers and networking systems remain on all week (as they have to, in this 24/7 era).

But web-based energy management systems can take steps to address these kinds of problems. Through use of monitors and web-based software programs, energy management systems can learn when to turn down the air-conditioning (say at 6:00 p.m., when many workers have headed home). These systems can take steps to ensure that comfort levels are maintained, regardless of the temperature outside – all while keeping costs down.

Commercial building owners estimate a decrease of about 10 to 20 percent in annual energy costs when reliable and effective energy management systems are in place. The savings will translate to more consistent comfort levels, better rates for tenants, increased revenues for building owners, and ultimately, more business.

So, when building owners pore over the books at the end of the quarter looking for ways to cut costs, an old-fashioned idea (saving energy costs), combined with a new-fangled concept (energy management systems), can help buildings painlessly cut costs and be eco-friendly at the same time. Oh, and don’t forget to turn out the lights when you leave.

Paul O’Conor is chief marketing officer at Cambridge, MA-based WebGen Systems Inc. (www.webgensystems.com), provider of the first predictive and proactive energy management system, the Intelligent Use of Energy (IUE)™.

 


Visit our website today to learn about the design flexibility of a Morton building and the endless possibilities of partnering with our designBUILD team.


Wood construction is both cost and energy efficient. Check out Morton Buildings and our designBUILD team online today to discover all the benefits of post-frame construction.


When choosing a metal-clad building for your next construction project, consider Morton Buildings, Inc., and their designBUILD team, we’ll make your dream a reality.

We Can Help You Reduce Energy by 30%

Our mission is to help our customers manage their buildings' energy costs, improve reliability, and enhance performance while having a positive impact on the environment.
CLICK HERE to find out how.

Add highly responsive multi-zone comfort to any building project, in any climate. Our CITY MULTI H2i R2- and Y-Series VRF systems give you flexibility to fit the needs of any building. Enjoy 100% heating capacity at 0°F outdoor ambient, and 85% heating capacity at -13°F outdoor ambient.  For more information, log on to www.mitsubishipro.com


Tennant Company is a recognized leader in designing, manufacturing and marketing solutions that help create a cleaner, safer, healthier world. With thousands of satisfied customers already using award winning ec-H2O technology, why not see what you're missing? Test ec-H2O on your soils in your facility. Get a free demo.


Tennant Company is a recognized leader in designing, manufacturing and marketing solutions that help create a cleaner, safer, healthier world. With thousands of satisfied customers already using award winning ec-H2O technology, why not see what you're missing? Test ec-H2O on your soils in your facility. Get a free demo.

 

Replace core drilling with Connectrac In-Carpet and On-Floor Wireways, the proven connectivity solution in open interior spaces of all kinds. These elegant low-profile wireways are great for AV / telecom connectivity wherever it’s needed.

Bluebeam® Revu® simplifies digital facilities document management from design review to leveraging as-builts, maintenance manuals and O&Ms submittals.


Visit our website today to learn about the design flexibility of a Morton building and the endless possibilities of partnering with our designBUILD team.


Wood construction is both cost and energy efficient. Check out Morton Buildings and our designBUILD team online today to discover all the benefits of post-frame construction.


When choosing a metal-clad building for your next construction project, consider Morton Buildings, Inc., and their designBUILD team, we’ll make your dream a reality.

We Can Help You Reduce Energy by 30%

Our mission is to help our customers manage their buildings' energy costs, improve reliability, and enhance performance while having a positive impact on the environment.
CLICK HERE to find out how.

Add highly responsive multi-zone comfort to any building project, in any climate. Our CITY MULTI H2i R2- and Y-Series VRF systems give you flexibility to fit the needs of any building. Enjoy 100% heating capacity at 0°F outdoor ambient, and 85% heating capacity at -13°F outdoor ambient.  For more information, log on to www.mitsubishipro.com


Tennant Company is a recognized leader in designing, manufacturing and marketing solutions that help create a cleaner, safer, healthier world. With thousands of satisfied customers already using award winning ec-H2O technology, why not see what you're missing? Test ec-H2O on your soils in your facility. Get a free demo.


Tennant Company is a recognized leader in designing, manufacturing and marketing solutions that help create a cleaner, safer, healthier world. With thousands of satisfied customers already using award winning ec-H2O technology, why not see what you're missing? Test ec-H2O on your soils in your facility. Get a free demo.

 

Replace core drilling with Connectrac In-Carpet and On-Floor Wireways, the proven connectivity solution in open interior spaces of all kinds. These elegant low-profile wireways are great for AV / telecom connectivity wherever it’s needed.

Bluebeam® Revu® simplifies digital facilities document management from design review to leveraging as-builts, maintenance manuals and O&Ms submittals.


 
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