(BAS, HVAC, O&M and Energy) Real War Story One:
Knowing What to Look for Saves Thousands of Dollars a Year
Listening to someone describe their building’s temperature and humidity related problems is a great place to start tracking down the cause of comfort complaints and energy savings potential. A new building manager had taken over this position from someone that had been running the building for forty years. The new manager was responding to complaints from his tenants regarding their offices being too hot on Mondays and Tuesdays. The solution cost 2 hours of overtime a week during the summertime cooling season and resulted in reducing the summer electric bill by $30,000. Here’s how we did it. When all the tenants in a building complain about being too hot or too cold, you can be fairly sure it is being caused by a (BAS, HVAC, Energy or an O&M) issue. In this instance, when interviewing the building operator during a Recommissioning (RCx) Assessment, he told us that during the air conditioning season, the building always was really hot from Monday morning until Tuesday afternoon. It had always been that way and the thought was that it always would be. After some investigation, it was determined that the air conditioning, which was being shut down all weekend and the building ended up overheating. This required that the air conditioning needed to run full blast until it could bring the building temperature down to normal comfort levels. Our O&M energy conservation solution was to have the building operator come in on Sunday and turn on the air conditioning system for two or three hours. On Monday mornings, the chiller system was able to bring down the temperature before the tenants arrived at 8:00. Not all energy conservation need to cost a lot of money. That was back in 2009, so they have saved $30,000 x 6 = $180,000, so far. The results have been happier tenants, lower electric bills, lower electrical energy used and fewer greenhouse gases emitted. Pretty good results for such a simple solution, isn’t it?