5 Ways Facilities Managers Can Drive Energy Savings
Buildings consume more than 40 percent of the world's electricity, and on top of that, are responsible for consuming 25 percent of water resources.1 Today, organizations are increasingly focused on ways that they can cut their energy and utility expenditures in order to improve corporate sustainability programs.
Facilities management teams are a critical resource when looking to cut back on energy and utility savings. Here are five ways that your FM team can improve your organization's energy use:
1. Reduce Electricity Use After Hours
Tracking how people are using buildings after work hours can reveal areas where organizations can become more energy efficient. For instance, turning off the vending machine lights may seem miniscule, but over time, it can have a big impact on energy use.
Organizations may also want to consider shutting off lights on floors that are not used after a certain time, or even reconsider their heating and cooling strategy to match when a building is in use. You can maximize energy efficiency by automating equipment use with a building automation system.
2. Create a Planned Preventive Maintenance Strategy
Regular planned preventive maintenance on air handlers, HVAC units and windows can help identify energy leakages. It gives insight into equipment performance, as well as how to improve that performance with repairs or replacements.
3. Create Standard Energy Procedures and Regulations Internally
Engage with other stakeholders in the organization, including custodians and management, to establish energy saving procedures and internal regulations. These rules can reduce or eliminate the use of costly equipment such as space heaters or coolers.
4. Gain Insight Through CMMS Reporting
Utilizing a CMMS solution to track equipment maintenance, contracts, planned preventative maintenance and compliance planned preventative maintenance work can help your team gain critical visibility into energy saving measures. A robust solution can also give your team insight into the performance of your assets and energy efficiency program. The data you collect through the system can be leveraged to help you understand where you can further improve energy efficiency at the building level.
5. Add IoT Enabled Remote Monitoring to Your CMMS
After implementing energy saving programs and better utilizing your CMMS to report on these changes—there is still a gap to address. Equipment set points need to be audited on a regular basis to ensure your equipment is not overworking.
This is critical to categories of equipment like HVAC, refrigeration and lighting. Auditing set points daily through a remote monitoring platform allows you to automatically reset your equipment set points. This ensures your HVAC is running at the correct temperature, refrigerators are not set too low, and your lighting, including parking lot lights, are turned off after hours automatically.
Creating a strategic energy saving program takes time and discipline. These changes do not happen overnight. Continue to monitor your energy use to find where you can cut costs and further reduce your footprint. In doing so, you ensure that your energy saving program continues to support your organization’s goals and reduces your energy consumption across your enterprise.