By Lee Dunfee, CEM, CDSM, LEED AP, and Michael Turzanski, PMP, LEED AP O+M
Gone are the days when a building operator has to request and then wait for a third-party utility company to provide a building’s energy information. Recent advancements in energy metering technologies have provided streamlined, cost-effective solutions for monitoring building energy use and gathering data.
HVAC systems make up, on average, half of a typical office building’s total utility costs. Instantly available through any computer or mobile device, real-time data regarding system operations and energy consumption better equips building operators to make timely, informed decisions to reduce operating expenses. Energy metering systems provide insight into a building’s daily load profiles and daytime peak demands, as well as monitor equipment startup and shut down times to confirm building systems are operating as expected after-hours and on weekends. Energy use thresholds and automated fault detection can also be deployed, allowing for automatic notifications when loads extend outside expected parameters.
Metering at the system-level to capture energy loads is now relatively easy as well. The data provides an accurate breakdown of the energy used by the building’s heating, cooling, lighting, elevator and plug load, and allows for the accurate sub-metering of tenant supplemental HVAC systems above standard energy loads and floor-by-floor energy loads. This information can be quickly compared against industry standards in an effort to isolate inefficient operating systems for further examination.
Direct cash benefits are an additional bonus for using energy metering technologies. In many cities across the U.S., paid-incentives are offered for participating in electrical demand response programs. In 2015 alone, 40 buildings in Washington, DC, participated in a demand response program earning $97,000 for our clients.
Since implementing this advanced metering technology solution in 2009, Cushman & Wakefield’s Engineering & Maintenance Services platform has seen more than a 10% reduction in energy consumption across our managed portfolio. As this proven tool continues to deliver significant energy and cost-saving results for our clients, we provide formal training for our operators so they can effectively leverage the powerful data at hand and use it to reduce energy costs in their managed assets.
Lee Dunfee serves as Senior Vice President overseeeing engineering operations in Cushman & Wakefield’s Eastern Region in the US. He works closely with city leaders, property managers and chief engineers to deliver best-in-class operations for our owners and tenants. This includes the development and implementation of industry best practices, project management, new business proposals, training and recruiting.
Michael Turzanski serves as Senior Vice President, Engineering Operations for Cushman & Wakefield. In this role, he oversees engineering operations for the West Region, overseeing a 177 million square foot portfolio. Mike advises the West Region on best practices regarding business development; operations and maintenance of office, industrial, retail, and data center properties; training; vendor management; recruitment of top talent; and energy management and sustainability.