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Today's tip is about how to use an energy dashboard to help understand how your facility uses energy. As facility managers are being held more accountable for quantitative and very specific data on how their facilities are performing, dashboard offerings have become more available. Indeed, now there are products that truly run the gamut from simple to incredibly sophisticated.
Most dashboards can be configured to pull energy, water or other data directly from a BAS. Facility managers can then program the dashboard to display that data in any form they prefer, as well as run reports on historical data. Facility managers, therefore, can benchmark against their own facilities or against previous years in the same facilities. What's more, many dashboards have tools to allow them to benchmark against data in the Energy Star or other databases.
In addition to analysis and reporting tools for energy use, one of the biggest benefits to a web-based dashboard is to show upper managers and occupants alike how certain decisions affect energy performance. If the people in the building can see and easily understand the building's energy use, you're a long way along the path of efficiency, since we know occupant behavior dramatically affects energy use. Seeing is believing, in this case. In regards to upper managers, showing them simply and quickly how decisions — especially funding decisions — are affecting energy use is a great way for facility managers to raise their clout and credibility.