Energy usage is the one major factor on the minds of commercial building managers. How to lower the amount of energy used without affecting operations and how to efficiently use this energy to eliminate waste are tasks that are constantly on the to-do list. Yet targeting the energy usage inside the building is another factor as you need to track equipment energy use, overall building energy use, and operational energy use. Then, you must determine what the normal energy performance is for your industry sector.
Energy benchmarking is a measurement practice that building and facility managers should do to keep track of the energy use and measure its performance against other commercial buildings that are similar in architecture and functions. By comparing the measurement, you can understand how your energy consumption stacks up and where you may be able to make improvements to make operations more efficient.
Another additional benefit in performing energy benchmarking is that you will be able to create a management action plan so that commercial building owners will know in what areas to make minor and major investments for energy efficiency. You will also have objective findings that will allow you to replica good energy performance in other buildings and facilities that you manage. Lastly, it will allow you to prioritize the areas of operations that should see changes first while low priority energy problems can be pushed further down the list so you can create the greatest amount of required changes immediately.
Creating an Energy Benchmarking Plan
Before checking equipment and processes to gauge energy usage, you first need to develop a benchmarking plan to further define the goal of performing the evaluation. You will need to figure out what data you will gather and what results you hope to reveal during the performance measurements. There are several key aspects to consider when creating your benchmarks, including the following tasks:
- Figuring out what tools to use to collect the measurement data
- Understanding the type of output metrics to identify
- Selecting a data verification system to ensure measurement accuracy
- Knowing the different analyzing techniques to get desired results
Reviewing Energy Performance Data
Once you implement the energy benchmarking plan and gathered the required data, you will need to decide on how you will analyze your findings. There are several different techniques to consider. You may wish to measure the building’s energy use over a set period of time to take note of trends or anomalies. Another type of analysis is to compare the current energy use to what you would like the energy usage to be for the building in the future. You may also wish to compare the energy performance of the building to other similar buildings that are in your management portfolio.
Perhaps one of the most difficult tasks when creating and implementing an energy benchmarking plan is to get buy-in from commercial business owners and building owners. However, once you have gained acceptance of the plan, you will be able to implement the necessary energy efficiency changes for your building.
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