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, according to "Benefits of green building".
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.
Listen to our 3-part series on how Accruent’s vx Observe solution is helping Facilities Managers cope with the COVID crises, and how we are partnering with innovators like Mitie to continuously improve our energy and utility savings in the FM industry.
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.
In short, focus on the basics: Can equipment be run outside of peak hours? Are you optimizing building automation schedules in response to space utilization and identifying faulty assets? With vx Observe's CMMS energy monitoring features you could dynamically control these elements as well as incorporate ever-changing elements like the weather and energy prices.
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.
Leverage vx Observe's CMMS preventative maintenance solution to gain visibility into performance across dispersed, small or large sites to drive savings. The remote monitoring system will gain insights from HVAC and lighting, sensors, space usage, air quality and more, to really enable you to strategize energy savings for the future.
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.
Stop working in departmental silos: vx Observe energy uses an automated system that integrates utility bills, energy bills and meter data to show equipment performance anomalies, ensure correct pricing, and help users gain key visibility to fix energy procedures and regulations before the bill comes.
Learn more about IoT enabled remote monitoring for energy savings.
4. Gain insight through CMMS reporting.
Utilizing a CMMS solution to track equipment maintenance, contracts, planned preventive maintenance and compliance planned preventive 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.
By implementing vx Observe's CMMS reporting functionality you no longer have to wait for equipment to fail or a high energy bill to understand there is a problem. Instead you get:
- Continuous monitoring and automated alerting
- Multiple comms methods – live dashboard alerts, automated calls to site, SMS
- Definable impact reports, prioritization, workflow and resolution basis
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.
For example, a large UK retailer using vx Observe energy monitoring can remotely make continual set point changes to refrigeration systems in response to changing energy prices and TRIAD events, as well as tweak their systems in response to many factors such as energy prices, DR signals and footfall.
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.
Accruent’s vx Observe solution provides remote monitoring for over 400,000 assets, across more than 25,000 locations worldwide, receiving and analyzing more than 250 billion asset data points annually. Accruent was recently recognized as an IoT market leader by analyst firm Verdantix in its 2019 Green Quadrant IoT Platforms for Smart Buildings.
Learn how to strategically lower your organization’s energy consumption, contact us today.
Q & A
1. Is there a feature for lease management available to add to my contract?
Accruent has a vast portfolio of software solutions for the built environment. For Lease Management specifically our Lucernex solution is recommended.
2. Can my CMMS also contain my asset registry and engineering documents?
Our Engineering Information Management solution uses an API to do just this. Read about it here.
3. How long does it typically take to implement a CMMS?
Depending on which CMMS is suitable for you, it can be between 2-4 months.