Tag: energy management

Property Owners Embracing EE Technologies

Building owners are increasingly embracing energy efficiency technologies as a way to improve their bottom line by reducing their energy and operational costs, while simultaneously reducing their carbon footprint.

In a recent analysis by Deloitte, the big four firm indicated that building managers’ views on energy generation have matured and “may be past the point of no return” after seeing firsthand the tremendous benefits that installing energy efficiency equipment can have on bottom lines. Of the sampled businesses, 79% view reducing electricity costs as critical to maintaining a “competitive advantage,” and many have instituted formal energy reduction goals. Additionally, cost cutting was cited as a motivation for 59% of respondents, and more than 55% of businesses now generate energy on-site. According to Deloitte, owners are increasingly controlling their own energy eco-systems through instituting better management controls, demand side efficiencies, batteries, and renewable power and cogeneration.

Energy Savings Performance Upgrades

A management decision to install energy efficient equipment is relatively easy to make compared to whether to invest in more costly on-site generation. Reducing energy and operating expenses through energy efficiency upgrades can provide a relatively quick payback. Retrofitting a commercial building with LED lighting for $400,000, for example, could yield a two year payback and save $200,000 a year in operating expenses. Energy efficiency however encompasses a much wider spectrum of options. These include upgrades and replacements of existing and aging facilities such as boilers and chillers, installing control, automation and building management systems, electrical system upgrades, weatherization, advanced HVAC, air handling systems and/or central plants.

Read the rest of this article from the law firm of Sullivan & Worcester, LLP

IMT Case Study Series Demonstrates Value of EE Retrofits

Source: Valuing Energy Efficiency: Beyond the Empire State Building | Institute for Market Transformation

Nearly five years ago the large-scale energy efficiency renovation of the Empire State Building in New York City captured the imagination of both energy efficiency advocates and the building industry.  The $1 billion project was projected to save 38 percent of the iconic building’s energy and $4.4 million in energy costs annually. The first three years of monitoring and verification of the installed energy efficiency measures, however, indicate that the project is already tracking ahead of those targets.

A flagship project that garnered noteworthy attention across the country, the success of the Empire State Building’s energy efficiency retrofit invited others to replicate the significant energy cost savings—which was, in fact, one of the project’s main goals. In the years that have followed, many large-scale energy efficiency retrofits have been completed or are now underway across the U.S., and this market is only expected to grow. Much of the attention around these retrofits, however, has been focused on Class A offices in a central business district, hospitals, and other large public buildings. This could lead some investors and building owners to conclude that energy efficiency retrofits are only economically viable in these building types, given their size, market presence, and access to funding and technical expertise—and that these efforts may not be as worthwhile in other buildings types, which make up the majority of the country’s existing building stock.

Valuing Energy Efficiency, a new package of case studies from the Institute for Market Transformation (IMT), breaks down this misconception by examining the financial outlay and impact of energy efficient retrofits on a range of building types across the U.S., to show that building owners do not need a billion dollar budget or a large floorplan to reap all the benefits of energy efficiency. The six buildings presented—including affordable multifamily housing, Class B office buildings, small manufacturing plants, and an old university laboratory—represent the true depth of existing buildings across America.

This summary paper provides an overview of the six projects highilghted in this new case study series.

Access the full series:

The Metering & Submetering 101 Guide

New low cost and wireless metering solutions are creating unique opportunities for contractors seeking to expand their business model. Access to real-time energy monitoring can open the doors to substantial energy savings for your customers and recurring revenues for you.

Metering and Submetering Value Add:

  • Energy procurement and billing
  • Baseline and optimizing building performance
  • Project measurement and verification (M&V)
  • Equipment and Plug-load diagnostic
  • Occupant awareness and behavior change
  • Access to utility and market revenue programs

The following table from the Department of Energy presents metering-related savings ranges based on different uses for metered data:


In order to take action to reduce energy usage, owners and operators need to know how energy is being used in their buildings. Our metering and submetering guides will show you how to best generate these deep energy saving opportunities.

The Companion guide to Metering 101; Detail on how submeters work, selecting the right meter, and questions to ask before installing:

Cypress Wireless Pneumatic Thermostat Overview

The worldwide, patent pending Wireless Pneumatic Thermostat (WPT) delivers DDC-like functionality at a fraction of the time and cost of existing legacy systems. The WPT is installed without the need to change out pneumatic pipes, run wires, replace actuators or disturb tenants. It is not necessary to upgrade entire building at one time; installers may selectively retrofit individual thermostats for incremental benefits.

Cypress Envirosystems (Cypress) delivers high-performance, mixed-signal, programmable solutions that provide customers with rapid time-to-market and exceptional system value. Cypress’ offerings include the PSoC® programmable system-on-chip, USB controllers and general-purpose programmable clocks and memories. Cypress also offers wired and wireless connectivity technologies ranging from its CyFi™ Low-Power RF solution, to West Bridge® and EZ-USB® FX2LP controllers that enhance connectivity and performance in multimedia handsets. Cypress serves numerous markets including consumer, computation, data communications, automotive and industrial.

Conventional retrofits of pneumatic controls to DDC typically cost over $2,500 per zone and causes significant disruption to building tenants. The long investment payback (usually four to seven years) and the need to wait for tenants to vacate mean that most legacy buildings never upgrade despite compelling energy and productivity savings.



The new Cypress WPT accomplishes the same retrofit in less than 20 minutes, for less than 20% of the cost of conventional DDC. This means that retrofits can be performed right away, even while a building is fully occupied, and achieve payback periods of about one year. These are key advantages for stimulus funding eligibility.

The WPT is directly compatible with the majority of legacy pneumatic thermostats from Honeywell, Johnson Controls, Robertshaw, and Siemens. It can seamlessly integrate with modern building automation systems from virtually all major vendors via BACnet/IP. Numerous 3rd party systems integrators have successfully implemented the BACnet link including Emcor, ACCO, Johnson Controls, Siemens, RSD-Total Control, Wolf Mechanical, Syserco and others.

In addition, the system has completed compatibility testing with utility Auto-Demand Response systems, developed by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratories, and is being used by California utilities to shed electrical load during peak consumption periods.

According to Dan Ginn, General Manager of RSD-Total Controls, a distributor and installer for the WPT, “In today’s challenging business environment, this technology can be a savior to help us implement projects that are otherwise economically unfeasible.”

“The Wireless Pneumatic Thermostat will help unlock an enormous reservoir of potential energy savings from legacy facilities, including older federal buildings,” said Bien Irace, Senior Vice President of Business Development for Cypress Envirosystems.


  • Integrates into current BMS platforms with standard protocols
  • Installation time is minimal; Building shutdown not required
  • Makes utility programs such as DR more viable


  • Functionality is only as viable as the pneumatic system it is being connected with.

An Evolving View of Energy Management

By George Belich

I have been in this industry a long time and have seen a tremendous evolution of energy management over the years. The pedal is to the metal now with technology, sustainability and education moving along at a rapid pace. So in the grand scheme of things I would like to offer a personal overall perspective how I now see energy management.

At the core of coarse are metering and sensor technologies along with sophisticated control devices. The IoT will allow for more points of data and control that we ever dreamed about 20 years ago. In another 10 to 20 years these points will be accessed by multiple systems and multiple users in real time.

The next logical process to the view are the building management and SCADA systems that interface with these devices in order to maintain an operational balance between cost effective performance and effective human environments. Equipment failure and human intervention will cause this to go out-of-balance at some point in time.

Then we introduce in solar, cogeneration, combine heat and power, wind, fuel cells, battery storage and more into the operations so now there is a different complexity to the situation. These introductions also bring the utility into the picture with policies and market programs such as Demand Response  and Demand Side Management that provide revenue or savings back to the end customers and their operators.
Now comes the data integration part of the process where the control data, metering data, utility billing data, weather data and facility information data such as occupancy, holidays, utility events, product output  and more must come together and provide analytics and actionable items. These systems are many, operate on many platforms and may be specialized in the particularly facility venue such as schools, manufacturing, office buildings and more. This is where the ‘Big Data’ of energy management begins and where the focus of understanding how to get more out of the operations and controls of the facility. And more. Used wisely  this information can help to lower your peak demands, lower your baselines and most of all lower your costs

Now having said all of the above, how can we manage energy without managing the physical assets being monitored and doing the monitoring (ala, meters, sensors and relays). Maintenance systems have been around a while but I am not sure how much they have been used in the energy management process. Preventative and predictive maintenance of a facilities assets can be greatly enhanced with utility data so if there is a process why not use it and if there is not why not put one in place.  Faulty controls, sensors, meters and relays can cost more in the decision making process than ignoring them.

Over the last several years sustainability programs have been evolving to provide corporations more social visibility and overall view of their environmental concerns and performance. This is where the energy data and performance data provide a great deal of input. Not just on the financial side but on the Green House Gas side of the reports. Sustainability provides an additional case for energy management that did not exist several years ago

This summary can run on with much more detail but is intended only to generate some  larger thoughts on energy management. The above drawing is a clear visual of this process and shows a size and scope of what energy management can be. These circles encompass various levels of personnel and skill sets in an organization that all must be engaged to have what could true energy efficiency. How active are you or you want to be in these functional areas?

DOE and NIBS Release Better Buildings Workforce Guidelines

As a part of the Obama Administration’s effort to support greater energy efficiency through the Better Buildings Initiative, the U.S. Department of Energy and the National Institute of Building Sciences (Institute) have released the new Better Buildings Workforce Guidelines. The Better Buildings Workforce Guidelines, developed with feedback from industry experts, will help enhance and streamline commercial building workforce training and certification programs.

Improving the operational performance of the nation’s offices, schools, hospitals, and other commercial buildings offers significant energy savings. It also requires highly skilled and qualified workers, particularly as building technologies become more advanced. Through the Better Buildings Workforce Guidelines, industry now has national guidelines from which to develop high quality and nationally recognized training and certification programs, helping to address challenges found in the energy efficiency workforce with quality, consistency, and scalability across certification and certificate programs.


The Department of Energy responded to these challenges by working with the National Institute of Building Sciences (NIBS) and industry stakeholders to develop the Better Buildings Workforce Guidelines, voluntary national guidelines to improve the quality and consistency of commercial building workforce credentials for four key energy-related jobs: Building Energy Auditor, Building Commissioning Professional, Building Operations Professional, Energy Manager. In addition, industry stakeholders were engaged for feedback on the Federal Facilities Manager job description, with a focus on implementing the Federal Buildings Personnel Training Act.

Are You Spending Through The Roof?

Up to 16% of fuel in New York City buildings is used to heat air lost through rooftop vents according to a new Urban Green Council report

This wastes 80,000 barrels of oil and $11 million across the city every year.

Vents built into elevator shafts leak enough warm air throughout winter to fill the Empire State Building 29,000 times over.

In Spending Through the Roof, the New York affiliate of the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) looks at why so much air is lost through these vents, offer ways to estimate the impact, and provide clear advice on how to close or reduce their size to save energy—up to 16% of heating fuel is spent on leaked air—and money. See coverage in the New York Times to find out more.

Estimate your own savings with the Urban Green Council’s online calculator and learn more at their panel discussion on April 23rd.


Manhattan’s Second-Tier Office Buildings Make Energy Efficiency a Goal

Courtesy of the New York Times:

Class B office buildings are known for being old, no-frills and off the beaten path. What they are usually not associated with is energy efficiency.

That may be changing. In the last few years, a handful of those buildings in New York, in Hudson Square, the garment district and Times Square, have taken steps to shrink their carbon footprints, as their fancier Class A counterparts have done for years.

While landlords of Class B buildings find it difficult to recoup what they spend on green features from their tenants, energy savings can be significant, analysts say. And with mounting pressure from city officials on landlords to make their buildings more energy efficient — under the threat of possible punishment if they do not — similar properties are expected to do the same soon, analysts add.

“It took a long time for the market to shift, but it’s happening,” said Dana Schneider, an energy specialist and a senior vice president with the Jones Lang LaSalle commercial brokerage.

APF Properties, a New York-based firm focused on Class B buildings, recently completed the bulk of an eco-friendly makeover of 28 West 44th Street, a 22-story, 370,000-square-foot prewar building it owns with Prudential Real Estate Investors.


A green outdoor space on the roof of 28 West 44th Street. CreditChang W. Lee/The New York Times

Many of the improvements to the 1919 building, which for decades housed The New Yorker magazine near Fifth Avenue in Midtown, have received approval from multiple agencies.

Putting in low-flow toilets, for instance, has helped the building, which is also known as the Club Row Building, cut water use by 25 percent, according to APF. Motion sensors were added to hallways so lights shut off automatically. Those measures have helped the building receive high scores from the Energy Star program, which monitors utility use and is overseen by the Environmental Protection Agency.

Also, this summer, 28 West 44th Street received a rare gold-level rating from the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design program, or LEED, which is run by the U.S. Green Building Council.

A point-based system that mainly ranks various green retrofits, LEED liked that the building had replaced fluorescent bulbs with versions that consume less power. The gold rating, which is LEED’s second-highest behind the platinum rating and was made in the full-building category, was also based on APF’s turning a storage area in the lobby into a bicycle room, which contained 10 bikes on a recent afternoon.

That custodial crews use nontoxic cleaning solvents when mopping the floors helped. Recycled paper products also counted, as did the Energy Star plaudits.

Some critics say LEED ratings overstate green bona fides by assigning too many points for access to public transportation; that overweighting is especially problematic in Manhattan, they add, because so many buildings are close to subways anyway.

The fact that most tenants commute to 28 West 44th Street without driving partly accounted for 16 out of 110 points.

Berndt Perl, an APF managing member, has made other moves that were not required by LEED, but are likely to lower energy use, like replacing hinged doors in the lobby with a revolving door, so less heat escapes.

Still, Class B buildings receiving any of the four LEED ratings, certified, silver, gold or platinum, number about a half-dozen in the city compared with about 80 Class A buildings with some type of LEED ranking, according to the Building Council.

Class B offices that are gold are a slightly more select group. They include 1440 Broadway, a 25-story Midtown building that received the award in 2013; 498 Seventh Avenue, a brick high-rise at West 37th Street in the garment district; and 345 Hudson Street, a former printing plant in Hudson Square owned by Trinity Real Estate. No Class B’s have platinum status.

Although there is no official distinction, Class A offices tend to be well designed on major streets with full services. Class B buildings are generally on side streets with fewer services, smaller tenants and declining rents

Landlords have not always had strong financial incentives for green renovations, analysts say. Mr. Perl, who bought 28 West 44th Street from SL Green Realty Corporation in 2011 for $161 million, said he had spent $9 million on renovations, $1.5 million of it for environmental upgrades.

But asking rents in that building, whose tenants include the City University of New York, have not really budged beyond $55 a square foot, he said.

“Right now the kind of tenants we attract, small- and medium-sized, don’t really care about paying more for LEED,” said Mr. Perl. He has solar panels at his home in the Hamptons and uses solar power to heat his pool. “We do this because we believe it makes the world a better place,” he said.

In more prominent Class A properties, rents can reflect a premium, up to 15 percent, according to Ms. Schneider of Jones Lang LaSalle, who has been instrumental in the renovation of the Empire State Building. About a fifth of its $550 million has gone to green improvements, like insulating 6,514 windows.

“A lot of times people think that it’s hard to make these old buildings green, but they actually have the capability of being much more efficient than newer buildings” with large windows that may leak more heat, she said.

Renovating offices does pose some singular problems. Ripping down walls can expose contaminants like lead and asbestos, said Richard Paradis, a director of the National Institute of Building Sciences, a nonprofit group that focuses on retrofit projects.

And, removing ceiling panels to let in more daylight, another common goal, can result in rooms that are noisy, he said. “It’s all a balance,” Mr. Paradis said.

Next year, the city will issue new standards for buildings to help them cut their emissions by 80 percent by 2050.

The standards, which will be written by more than a dozen people from the real estate industry, including developers, engineers and architects, will function like a road map. Landlords will be given a set of phased goals, tailored to certain types of buildings, which will allow them to arrive at the 80 percent goal.

Part of a push by Mayor Bill de Blasio to curb fossil fuel use, the plan seems to have more teeth than previous efforts, because the goals will be mandatory.

And, the city will enforce them, possibly through the Department of Buildings, according to Daniel Zarrilli, director of the Mayor’s Office of Recovery and Resiliency, which was formed this year. But Mr. Zarrilli added that it is much too soon to know if enforcement would include fines.

Building Department violations can lead to fines.

Acknowledging the cost of such renovations, including for Class B landlords who may have less capital than their Class A counterparts, the mayor will also start programs like Retrofit Accelerator, which will offer technical assistance and advice on where to find financing.

“We need to see the whole sector achieve these kinds of reductions,” Mr. Zarrilli said. “This is a moral imperative.”


via Manhattan’s Second-Tier Office Buildings Make Energy Efficiency a Goal – NYTimes.com.

Advanced Energy Market is Bigger than the Airline Industry

At nearly $1.3 trillion in estimated global revenue for 2014, the market for advanced energy products and services is as large as apparel and fashion and almost four times the size of the semiconductor industry worldwide, according to a report commissioned by Advanced Energy Economy (AEE), a national business association. In the United States, advanced energy market revenue grew 14% last year – five times the rate of the U.S. economy overall – to just under $200 billion, making it bigger than the airline industry, equal to pharmaceuticals, and nearly equal to consumer electronics in this country.

Also, the market for advanced energy products and services in the U.S. grew 14% in 2014 — five times as fast as the economy as a whole — capping a four-year increase of 38% over 2011.

Prepared for AEE by Navigant Research, Advanced Energy Now 2015 Market Report is the most comprehensive assessment of advanced energy markets ever compiled. Get the Report

Innovative, Lower Cost Sensors and Controls Yield Better Energy Efficiency

Released: 27-Feb-2015 2:05 PM EST
Source Newsroom: Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Newswise — Regulating comfort in small commercial buildings could become more efficient and less expensive thanks to an innovative low-cost wireless sensor technology being developed by researchers at the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory.

Buildings are responsible for about 40 percent of the energy consumed in the United States. Studies indicate that advanced sensors and controls have the potential to reduce the energy consumption of buildings by 20-30 percent.

“It is widely accepted that energy-consuming systems such as heating, ventilating, and air conditioning (HVAC) units in buildings are under, or poorly, controlled causing them to waste energy,” said Patrick Hughes, director of ORNL’s Building Technologies Program. “Buildings could increase their energy efficiency if control systems had access to additional information.”

Collecting data such as outside air and room temperature, humidity, light level, occupancy and pollutants is currently cost prohibitive, whether the information is gathered by inexpensive conventional sensors that must be wired, or by using today’s expensive $150-300 per node wireless sensors.

ORNL’s new wireless sensor prototype could reduce costs to $1-10 per node by leveraging advanced manufacturing techniques such as additive roll-to-roll manufacturing. This process enables electronics components like circuits, sensors, antennae, and photovoltaic cells and batteries to be printed on flexible plastic substrates (base materials). The nodes can be installed without wires using a peel-and-stick adhesive backing.

“If commercially available at the target price point, there would be endless application possibilities where the installed cost to improve the control of energy-consuming systems would pay for itself through lower utility bills in only a few years,” Hughes said.

The ultra-low power smart sensors collect and send data to a receiver, which can capture data from many different peel-and-stick nodes and provide the information to the energy-consuming system. The more information received, the better the building’s energy management.

Both new construction and retrofitted buildings can benefit from ORNL’s smart sensors.

“This technology provides the information that enables ongoing continuous commissioning, fault detection and diagnosis, and service organization notifications when needed, ensuring optimal building system operations throughout their service life,” said ORNL’s Teja Kuruganti, principal investigator on the low-cost wireless sensors project.

ORNL is currently in negotiations to establish a cooperative research and development agreement with a premier international electronics manufacturer to make the low-cost wireless sensors commercially available.

This project is sponsored by DOE’s Building Technologies Office in DOE’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy.

UT-Battelle manages ORNL for the Department of Energy’s Office of Science. The Office of Science is the single largest supporter of basic research in the physical sciences in the United States, and is working to address some of the most pressing challenges of our time. For more information, please visit http://science.energy.gov/.

– Sara Shoemaker, shoemakerms@ornl.gov

Caption: ORNL researchers are experimenting with additive roll-to-roll manufacturing techniques to develop low-cost wireless sensors. ORNL’s Pooran Joshi shows how the process enables electronics components to be printed on flexible plastic substrates.

via Innovative, Lower Cost Sensors and Controls Yield Better Energy Efficiency.