The first step to take in the energy reduction journey is monitoring. The old saying is true: “you can’t control what you can’t measure”. We design a monitoring scheme that will reveal the critical issues early and allows ongoing monitoring to ensure everything is working as it should. The monitoring system can be designed to expand over time as the energy reduction strategy is progressed. This keeps costs at each step lower and helps the facility staff gain experience, step by step.
Here is an example. In this facility the primary objective was to set up an energy monitoring system so that the Base Building energy costs and Tenancy energy costs could be separated according to the NABERS protocol which will make preparing an annual NABERS Energy Rating much less labour intensive instead of easier. The initial value of the monitoring system was the reduction in labour each year collecting tenant energy bills plus savings on the NABERS Assessment cost. However, invariably, the big value is in knowing what is going on and being able to act quickly. We are at the stage of commissioning the system and we ran this graph as a test.
“you can’t control what you can’t measure”
Immediately the Facility Managers could see that the cooling towers were running for long periods outside the expected operating period. Something was wrong and they we able investigate. We ran several other reports which revealed other anomalies such as plant left running in a vacant office.
Energy monitoring is definitely the first step. It saves energy (and therefore cost) through better management and it provides a factual basis for future investment decisions.