05/01/2010

Demand Less, Save More

Utilizing demand-side management strategies can achieve great reduction in energy use and associated costs

 
Demand Less, Save More

Nothing can reduce energy use and costs as effectively as controlling your facility’s demand for power.

Demand-side management entails more than simply demanding less energy; a combination of strategies can be used to adjust your facility’s demand by taking a closer look at equipment, current usage, and availability. The results can reduce your costs, diminish your carbon footprint, optimize your resources, and allow you to have greater power availability with less risk.

"You’ve got cost savings, a green aspect relative to the impact on the environment, and service consistency in the sense of an ability to plan, grow, and avoid downtime, all of which are associated with demand-side energy management," says Bob Davis, CEO of Redwood City, CA-based Sentilla Energy Corp.

Davis offers an example about energy usage in data centers, but there’s no reason why this strategy and thought process won’t work across all facilities. (The important thing is to begin by measuring.) "In 2 or 3 years, the carbon footprint associated with powering a data center will exceed that of the airline industry. Energy is the most expensive component of operating costs in a data center, so our question to data center managers is: ‘With a cost that high, why don’t you manage it like an asset?’ "

As Davis points out, there are tools that provide data center managers with an overview of their data center so they’re able to do something about the demand equation of their data center’s energy bill. "It’s a little bit like your house," says Davis. "If somebody came to you and said, ‘I’d like you to reduce the energy utilization in your house by 25 percent,’ what would you do first? My guess is that you’d turn lights off when you left rooms, you’d drop your thermostat a few degrees; you’d do those kinds of things because, intuitively, you understand that they would reduce your energy bill. But, the reality is, you really don’t know by how much."

Metering, Monitoring, Measuring … and the Smart Grid
Metering equipment and measuring energy use in all aspects of a facility give owners and managers a baseline to begin demand-side management strategies. By measuring the energy utilization of equipment within a facility, and using an energy management software tool to visualize this data, you can address and pay attention to the biggest contributors to overall energy costs.

Monitoring and measuring energy use are particularly important if the smart grid is going to be part of your demand-side management strategies. According to E. Michael Shafer, business development, telecommunications and network engineering, at Kansas City, MO-based Burns & McDonnell, "Smart grid technologies are designed to help make the usage information for the user of electricity easily accessible, so as to facilitate timely and effective decisions on behalf of said user based on specific energy priorities."

To use the smart grid, devices that monitor and communicate energy usage and production are needed, as is a method for the measurement information to be transmitted to its desired source of aggregation, analysis, or action. And it goes hand-in-hand with measuring as a means for achieving results. "The smart grid is helpless without solid information about where the demand is, and how it’s going to be used," says Davis. "[By knowing that], and providing a reduction in the use, that information can be fed back into the grid, and that intelligence can be used to alter the distribution of power."

The return on investment for implementing demand-side management, especially by way of the smart grid, can be phenomenal. "As Sam Walton, Ronald Reagan, and so many others have said, ‘Information is power,’ " says Shafer. "The payback for investing in smart grid technologies comes in many forms – not all of which are economic in nature." Having access to this energy utilization information empowers you to make decisions you didn’t have the capacity to in the past.

By facilitating smart grid utilization, according to Shafer, you can count on satisfaction from tenants/occupants and upper management – in terms of economic savings, responsible use of global resources, and even a greater sense of energy security.

"Aside from increased client satisfaction," says Shafer, "building owners also stand to gain economically from the savings in energy and the reduced strain on building infrastructure through reduced usage as well as reduced maintenance costs."

Amanda B. Piell (amanda.piell@buildings.com) is assistant editor at BUILDINGS magazine.

 


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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.


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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.
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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.

 

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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.

 


 
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