Energy: What's Up Now?

Sept. 6, 2001
Part 5: Education

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.

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