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Setpoint Changes Can Cause Energy, Other Problems
January 19, 2010 - Contact FacilitiesNet Editorial Staff »
Energy management systems offer a convenient and reliable way to reduce energy use. But reliable doesn't mean foolproof. Energy management systems don't always deliver the savings they're expected to.
One common problem is that set points are changed without authorization. Often, the person who makes the change is trying to resolve an occupant complaint about a space being too hot or too cold. Overriding a set point may work as a short term fix, but it may lead to longer term problems. For one thing, energy is wasted. For another, it may cause a ripple effect, producing another problem - such as occupant discomfort - as an unintended consequence.
Simply telling staff not to touch set points may not be enough to prevent it from happening. Overriding set points may be a sign of a deeper problem. If the staff doesn't understand why the system is set up the way it is, they are more likely to make changes that might undermine system performance. If that's true, training may solve the problem.
In some cases, the system can be set up to provide levels of access, so that only approved staff have authority change set points.