Facility Maintenance Decisions

Submetering: A Closer Look at 'Energy Hogs'

A Closer Look at 'Energy Hogs'

Understanding energy use in institutional and commercial facilities is a complex process. Submetering has helped maintenance and engineering managers address some of the related challenges, such the lump-sum review of energy consumption. The technology has changed the reputation of some facility systems and components previously deemed inefficient or so-called energy hogs by allowing managers to consider:

Hours of operation. What hours were projected at the time of design, and what are the actual use hours?

Occupancy. What was the baseline occupancy level calculated during design, and what is the actual occupancy?

Program space. Could other changes in the built environment have contributed to differences in energy use? Is it an energy-intensive environment, such as a media center, or one used by outside groups in off-hours?

Climatic events. Has the natural environment shifted during the surge or drop in overall energy use?

Human factor. Since the system or facility began operation, has there been a change in administrators, contractors or end users, who might not be as familiar with the system or are personalizing their spaces to the detriment of the overall system?

To accurately answer these questions, managers need to be familiar with and maintain the data points that influence energy-use measures.

— Brian Boettcher

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  posted on 9/14/2012   Article Use Policy