A basic understanding of how energy is used and controlled
is needed. You can't control what you can't measure. The resourceful building
manager continually looks for opportunities to find ideas and methods to measure
and reduce energy costs. Engineers love to sit around and talk watts and BTUs,
which is fine except it does not, in itself, help a non-technical building manager
control costs. Information is power. That is why energy information must be
put into understandable business terms and provided at every opportunity.
Energy should be subjected to the same scrutiny as labor or other costs. To
control energy, you need to know how it is used and what it costs at all hours
of the day and night. The data is available in a variety of ways. The local
regulated utility will have monthly data for all accounts and hourly data for
large accounts. The hourly data can also be obtained through special time-of-use
meters. No matter how you get the data, use it to find out when energy is used
and to reduce costs.