Whether you are driving ambitious sustainability strategies for your enterprise or benchmarking the green building quotient of your individual facilities, Measurement and Verification(M&V) becomes the go-to tool to unveil the savings that’s amassed.
By means of various Energy Conservation Measure(ECM) projects, your organization gallops towards energy efficiency. Retrofits, being the key driver, take shape in the form of lighting fixtures, EMCS install for automated HVAC control, or other enhancements.
But it always brings along subdued anxiety in the air about your efforts paying off. The management thinks, “Will this energy initiative transform into a superior RoI?”. But as an ‘energy-aware’ professional, you harbour a deeper concern, “Is my tool efficient enough to paint a precise picture of the savings?”
Because you know, the right M&V tool would save you from the perceived failure of an actually successful project. While an inefficient tool not only guzzles your effort but drifts from accurate reasoning for savings.
That’s exactly why we have put together this checklist for M&V of your energy optimization procedures.
So the next time you choose a tool to assess ECMs in your enterprise, ask:
1. Is it possible to aggregate equipment data in real-time?
Data loggers feed you with energy readings. But what about the data that slips between logging intervals, or delayed processing of data stored a long time back?
Real-time data capture using an IoT platform overcomes data bottlenecks. As in Facilio, capture any parameter from your BMS, energy meter, or any other device in your vast building network. You can also record data using a mobile app or by periodical upload of excel data files. With integral visual analytics, see in real-time, the current energy usage and the changes after an ECM project is complete.
2. Does your tool support sophisticated baselining conditions?
Things change. It’s even faster with global climate change.
So it’s essential that your tool performs rigorous analytics that goes beyond the linear regression model. A random hot day or an unplanned public holiday, a renovation in the lobby or international conferences – there is no dearth of events that entail a departure from the usual run time or operating condition of your assets. So the following questions gain significance-
- Is your tool flexible enough to capture various nuances of change in operating conditions?
- Is the scope for making adjustments(routine or non-routine) detailed enough to include a vast set of variables?
- Do you plan to conduct your M&V based on historically referenced and excel-calculated data(Manual)? Or use a regression-tool generated equation(Automated)?
- Was weather normalization adequately performed?
A powerful tool is one that uses Multi-Linear Regression(MLR) to accommodate all possible scenarios and answers in the affirmative to all of the above questions. MLR makes it possible to determine, say, the Energy Consumption of a chiller with respect to multiple variables like CHW Supply, CHW Return, and Condenser Supply Water temperature.
A flexible platform like Facilio has a sturdy inbuilt regression analytics engine to formulate a perfect baseline energy equation and produce an impressive R-square value(coefficient of determination).
An IPMVP-compliant M&V comes with an inbuilt weather data mechanism including Cooling Degree Days(CDD), Heating Degree Days(HDD), wet bulb Cooling Degree Days(CDDw), temperature, humidity, and so on.
That quite sets the stage, doesn’t it?
3. Does the tool automatically calculate energy and generate extensive reports?
The commissioning vendor conducts M&V and deep dives into tedious calculation tasks with the acquired data variables. He refers to extensive documentation for the history of measurements and setpoints of equipment inventories and evaluates the energy savings. Through the entire process, you wait. And not until the end of the post-installation period, will you get a hold of the reports!
Flash news- There is a way to end this monotony now! You just need to define the baseline, ECM and reporting periods. IoT keeps the data capture wheel spinning and the regression-based equation constantly applies to this data. What you will see is a real-time energy expenditure from your retrofits on a graphical interface!
It doesn’t stop here. The start of the reporting period would trigger the report generation with it. (Oh, you didn’t jump the queue, the queue went short!). View in real-time how well your energy project is performing. Multiple ECM projects running together? Noted. The system is wide awake to the happenings around and cleverly blends or filters the relevant conditions. That’s a guarantee for an accurate report which is consistent across time periods.
Won’t it be great if you could right away forward the report to your management? A comprehensive M&V supports easy report export in any format that you desire.
Wonder how much time and effort automation slashes!
4. Is there a central platform for the operators to track the various sustainability initiatives?
Every M&V project is like a tightrope walk…A tighter rope if you are monitoring more than one project. How bad would the risk of negative RoI look not because of a poor retrofit but incorrect evaluation techniques that’s commonplace with overlapping measurement activities?
An efficient M&V tool, like that of Facilio, lets you easily manage all the ECMs at one place, across your entire portfolio! Quit hopping multiple systems to pull M&V data for facility-wide equipment.
Now benchmark energy initiatives, scrutinize what worked and what didn’t, and continually integrate the learnings into the strategic energy planning of your enterprise.
5. Is there a provision for all the stakeholders to share energy learnings across the portfolio?
Being collectively energy conscious is the catalyst for building sustainability. The golden ball of sustainability is no longer a possession of the Energy Consultant and rolls beyond the territory of Energy Saving Company(ESCo).
A helpful M&V provides portfolio-wide energy visibility to Facility Managers, building owners, tenants, BMS Contractors, and Energy Consultants alike! Collaborate, build synergy and continuously improvise on optimization measures.
That’s a step closer to a highly transparent M&V process. And a giant leap towards holistically understanding the overall energy efficiency.
6. Can the tool diagnose why energy targets are not met?
So you install a Variable air volume(VAV) box to achieve 10% savings for constant airflow and you find the energy is still finding cracks to dissipate through. It could be a BMS error or the device having been scheduled to switch off by facilities personnel. The end result – The expected savings do not show up in your M&V report, so you start investigating. You discover an aberration, make adjustments, recalculate and the whole daunting process absorbs you!
Experience a 180-degree turnaround with an inbuilt-FDD module! It becomes extremely easy to capture conditions affecting energy savings and rectify defects. You can configure alarms and notifications to stay abreast of energy savings falling short of thresholds, and set automated real-time rectifications in real-time.
That’s a partnership strong enough to optimize your building assets consistently and execute an enterprise-wide continuous M&V process.
So you achieve energy savings and also get to quantify it monetarily!
An efficient M&V process evaluates if an energy investment truly pays off. It closely tracks where and when building consumes energy.
A simple yet powerful tool reinforces and continuously re-aligns your daily operations with improved energy practices, and helps you surpass savings expectations. It’s high time you looked beyond retrofits and emphasized energy conservation on a continuous basis. No doubt, highly-effective ECMs are a bonus!
And if there’s a single tool that does it all harmoniously, nothing like it!
The result is an open secret, isn’t it? But we like to tell it loud nevertheless.
Better-performing assets, reduced energy costs, happier tenants, higher profits – completes the circle of sustainability. Time ripe to adopt an easy-to-use tool and make progress towards the circle of success, right?
Looks like you might be interested to check out Facilio’s extensive energy management suite with a robust M&V mechanism in-built. Click here to know more.