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Are You Paying $70,000 More in Energy Costs for your Building than the National Average?

Saturday, November 03, 2012

Your first question might be “what is the national average?” or “how do I benchmark my building to compare?”. The answer is to perform an energy star analysis to see how your energy spending stacks up against the national average of other buildings with the same usage and size as yours.

You can imagine how it felt when we told one of our clients that they were in fact paying $70,000 more than the national average. After the customer initially called on our expertise because their building automation controls system was not functioning; we realized a closer look at their energy usage was needed. Speer performed an in-depth energy study where the first step was to calculate their Energy Star Rating based on a year’s worth of utility bills. After the study was completed, we made recommendations and plans to recoup as much of that extra money they were paying as possible.

Our staff identified the following opportunities for energy savings:

  • program night-time temperature setbacks
  • limit individual temperature controls
  • update controls system

The bulk of the problem lay in an outdated controls system. Communication had broken down between fan coil unit’s and the controls system, there were no night-time set backs programmed in, and individuals were controlling their own thermostats and fans to try to correct their comfort issues themselves.

After a complete model of the building was created based on architectural drawings, the Speer team was able to implement a plan to update the building’s control system and knock out the issues they uncovered. The project got started in February 2011 and the building is trending towards an energy savings of $40,000 annually.

Now – ask yourself that $70,000 question again, it’s time to do something about it if you have no idea how to answer it.

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