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Quality of Maintenance Programs and Their Effect on Energy Efficiency

You’ve been through perhaps a thousand or more buildings in your work. In general, what is the quality of the maintenance programs you see in terms of their effect on energy efficiency? Where do they seem to fall down most often?

The majority of facilities I’ve been in have maintenance management programs in place, predominantly for preventive maintenance. Very few address “predictive” issues, and even fewer are focused on energy conservation. Again, the responsibilities placed on the facility manager are so many, and varied energy often takes a back seat to other, more pressing issues. That is, of course, until the utility bill becomes the driving motivator.
There are four main drivers to the development, implementation, and ongoing success of a qualified energy-focused maintenance management program:
1) A trained/educated maintenance staff
2) High utility costs
3) A commitment from on high
4) Correlative data

The second point usually drives the third. However, it takes the first to further educate upper management on the importance of equipment maintenance for utility costs.  It’s a little more difficult to prove it without data, and that is the importance of point four.

Where I see equipment in disrepair, in poor operation, and poorly maintained, the four points I listed are not working in concert with one another, if they exist at all.  It’s important to remember that any maintenance program is better than none, and will reduce energy consumption in equipment and systems if continuously adhered to.

Answers provided by John J. Lembo, CEA, LEED AP. Lembo is vice president of TRC, an engineering, environmental consulting, and construction management firm.

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  posted on 8/4/2015   Article Use Policy

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