I have been working in the area of energy savings for Facilities Management (FM) contracts for over a decade now and would like to share with you my top 10 energy saving tips that require little or no investment:
1. Set an energy saving target
Always start by comparing the energy performance of a building, or a collection of buildings, using comparative data for similar buildings or using energy performance benchmarks these measures are normally in kWh.pa/m2 of floor area. The difference between the comparative data and the buildings or estates in question is a useful guide in setting an energy saving target.
2. Challenge the status quo
Establish how the building should operate, in terms of plant and equipment operating times, across the week and weekend, then compare this with how the plant and equipment actually operate. Do not rely on what the controls or building management system (BMS) tells you. Instead, I suggest that you audit the plant and see if it is actually running. I have, in many instances, stood next to plant that the controls tell me is off, but which is actually running.
3. Develop rules
Prepare an operating procedure for the building or estate that matches how the building and its plant should operate, then agree these with the property team, FM contractor and major departmental users. The rules should specify operating times, set points and controls procedures.
4. Communicate the rules
Issue a set of the rules to everyone involved in building operations, including the operators. Provide training and ensure signatures are given by critical stakeholders that say they will adhere to the rules.
5. Set specific targets
Set energy saving targets for the key stakeholders e.g. major internal clients, facilities management contractor & consultants. Set up rewards and penalties for each stakeholder, then get each stakeholder to sign up and be accountable for these targets.
6. Conduct a Deep review of control systems
Ensure that a deep review is lead for each element of the controls that operate the buildings heating, lighting, ventilation and air conditioning. Replace broken or faulty control accessories such as valves, actuators, outstations and other components.
7. Carry out building tours
Do these at night or during modal times of a buildings operation. Try and see what is actually going on and if changes have been implemented by the stakeholders. Schedule out corrective actions and issue to the relevant stakeholders.
8. Monitor energy use
Do this on a system, building and estate level to track energy trends and changes from the original baseline.
9. Report energy trends
Report trends such as energy changes and cost impacts of energy.
10. Reward or penalise
Hold stakeholders accountable for their management of energy. Either reward them with a share in the savings or charge them for energy waste.
You will see that my tips combine energy management practices with corporate management techniques to best save energy.