Building pollution is never a word that a facility manager wants to hear about their operations. It calls up images of black smoke pumping out of building stacks, black water being dumped into nearby water sources, and electrical loads substantially pulling energy from the utility grid. Your building operations have adopted more enhanced machinery and equipment to move away from such wasteful systems used in the past. Yet you know there are many more ways to make your building more cost efficient and lower the amount of energy that is used.
The best way to lessen pollution and increase efficiency is knowing more about your operations and how your machines are using energy. Then you can determine what measures to take to eliminate waste and have the machinery effectively use energy resources. Yet gathering the right data information you need can be a problem.
Real-Time Data Tools Offering Better Energy Solutions
The Environmental Defense Fund (EDF), ComEd, and the Accelerate Group has come together to develop the Smart Building Operations Program for facility mangers and building owners. The Smart Building Operations program is designed to encourage large buildings to adopt the right energy-efficient solutions.
Facility managers are incentivized to use smart meters as well as sub-meters to keep track of electrical usage in the building. These meters can provide real-time data information regarding hour-by-hour electrical use. With the gathered information, a facility manager can obtain valuable feedback in regards to energy consumption.
As a facility manager, you can then implement cost-effective solutions to more efficient operations. You can check to see whether your actions are creating less energy waste and pollution, as you can modify your operations. You can also make a baseline for energy consumption and track the energy-use trends over specific periods of time. Then you can be alerted to when your operations meet or exceed this baseline to determine the reasons for the increased energy consumption.
Taking Part in the Smart Build Operations Program
Facility managers who become part of this pilot program can receive up to $5,000 up-front funding that will go toward software and equipment used to gather real-time energy data. The program also offers a $0.05 payment for every kilowatt saved per hour when comparing the energy savings toward the established baseline. The program is broken down into three actionable steps:
- Collecting energy use data in real-time to obtain feedback on the energy impact created by your operations
- Interpreting a base-line and tracking daily operations on this baseline to note for operational changes that affect energy use
- Becoming motivated through meaningful incentives to improve operations based on baseline data to increase energy efficiency
By using these resources and tools, you will have a better way of understanding how your building systems waste energy, and what solutions have an impact toward energy efficient building operations. You can keep an accurate log of activities and data that can be continually used through the life of the company to help the building become more sustainable.
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