Energy Efficiency

Portfolio Scale Energy saving methods

Why is energy efficiency on portfolio level important?

In order to optimize decision-making and economic returns, commercial property owners need to be able to compare energy efficiency investments on portfolio level. While disparate vendors are motivated to show project economics, a lack of standardization across vendor solutions and analytical platforms results in poor understanding of project outcomes on portfolio level.

This is especially true as most energy efficiency retrofits are completed one building at a time, suboptimizing at the portfolio level. Consequently, project outcomes fail to consider all property value streams. The untapped value of addressing these issues amounts to $290 billion opportunity in net present value.

The untapped value of addressing these issues amounts to $290 billion opportunity in net present value.

How to optimize energy usage

ProptechOS Energy Efficiency Toolbox is a comprehensive portfolio-level analysis toolset developed for property owners and operators to capture untapped energy efficiency opportunities. The toolbox supports energy efficiency investments through analysis and visualization tools and is scalable for retrofits and new constructions. 

The tiered modular approach accommodates a range of economic situations and building project needs, making it turnkey for property owners and operators. Moreover, the modular approach unlocks synergies by allowing a range of vendor solution compositions.

”Optimize allows us to highlight problems that contribute to a less effective building and that drive up costs. With Optimize we get a uniform interface for all district heating, cooling and electricity, which we don’t get with a BMS.”

Oskar Häger, Technology Area Manager

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Energy efficiency solutions

Building performance OpEx

ProptechOS Energy Toolbox provides building owners and operators with continuous data about building and portfolio performance to optimize the energy usage and efficiency.

Building Performance CapEx

CapEx projects can include energy recovery installations, HVAC and LED lights which upgrade equipment efficiency.

Flexibility

Demand management allows property owners to reduce spikes in consumption and shift consumption to reduce costs.

Storage

Energy storages are important when energy demand is shifted from the energy grid to energy storages. ProptechOS analytical tools can support the process.

Energy generation

To support property owners’ shift to sustainable energy sources such as solar power, analytics tools to understand economic returns of the investments are needed.

FAQ

Some of the frequently asked questions about energy optimization in buildings.

Energy efficiency solutions

Building performance OpEx

Operational efficiency in commercial buildings refers to the building’s structure and the climate controls within it, which together account for a large part of the energy consumption of a building.

Therefore, effective identification of operations and maintenance opportunities such as suboptimal equipment performance and poorly maintained BMSes are critical to lowering operational expenses.

A) Operational efficiency (and energy at the point of consumption)

A good place to start an energy optimization project is by completing an as-is analysis of the operational efficiency at portfolio level.

There are two notable methods of identifying energy loss; through real-time data monitoring and thermal imaging. Real-time data monitoring uses data from meters to provide analytics about energy usage while thermal imagers detect energy escaping from the structure of the building such as climate control equipment. ProptechOS Energy Toolbox provides real-time data monitoring of energy efficiency on portfolio level which provides building owners and operators with continuous data about building and portfolio performance.

Common efficiency opportunities lie in optimizing energy at the point of consumption. Peak shaving and load shifting strategies can improve the energy efficiency of district heating and cooling.

1. Peak shaving

Peak shaving reduces power consumption quickly and for a short period of time by shifting energy consumption to rely on a battery or a generation system. All intended equipment is being used, however the source of energy is shifted. Peak shaving enables buildings to shift energy consumption to mission critical equipment, during times of high demand on the grid, allowing property owners with continuous need for unwavering energy supply, such as hospitals, to avoid planned and unplanned downtime.

2. Load shifting

Load shifting spreads out energy consumption across time to avoid convergence during peak demand on the energy grid. Reliance on the energy grid remains, however it is shifted to a window where energy prices are lower.

As commercial building owners are charged based on maximum power consumption, controlling demand flexibility can shave daily energy peaks and significantly lower energy consumption and costs, eventually reducing electricity tariff.

ProptechOS Energy Toolbox has the following tools to support:

1. Energy Analytics

  • Optimize – provides real-time data monitoring for heating and cooling (energy coming soon), including peak demand cost management, electricity tariff optimization and fault detection
  • ESG dashboard

2. Energy analytics visualization

  • Heatmaps shows CO2 levels and temperature across floorplans and allows manual actuations,
  • Kiosk mode

3. Import and export of data

  • Metry,
  • Greenview,
  • Mestro

4. Energy metering

  • ePort,
  • EMU,
  • Elvaco

5. Electrical vehicle charging

  • CTEK

6. Demand response and electrical grid connectivity

  • Entelios,
  • Agder Energi
  • Eon
  • Epspot

7. Energy optimization

  • ClimaCheck,
  • Myrspoven,
  • Sally R

B) Influence tenant behavior

Get tenants onboard energy reduction measures using dashboards with building data such as temperature or utilization across a floor. The dashboard communicates temperature decreases and other measures taken by the property owners to increase energy efficiency of the building, improving communication and transparency.

ProptechOS Energy Toolbox has the following analytical tools to support:

1. Energy and ESG analytics visualization

  • ProptechOS ESG dashboard
  • ProptechOS Kiosk mode

2. Import and export of data

  • Metry,
  • Greenview,
  • Mestro

3. Energy metering

  • ePort,
  • EMU,
  • Elvaco

4. Electrical vehicle charging

  • CTEK

Building performance CapEx

The Capital Expenses of commercial buildings cover equipment costs. Retrofit projects for energy optimization can include energy recovery installations, HVAC and LED lights which upgrade equipment efficiency.

Flexibility

Industrial and commercial property owners’ utility bills consist of three electricity charges:

1) The energy usage which is the amount of kWh consumed during a billing period multiplied by the cost per kWh.

2) Demand, which is the maximum amount of power used (peak load) multiplied by the demand charge, based on a customer’s rate bracket.

Demand side management includes multiple strategies to reduce spikes in consumption.

3) Network cost

Flexibility is closely related to peak shaving and load shifting strategies.

ProptechOS Energy Toolbox has the following tools to support:

1. Energy Analytics

  • Optimize – provides real-time data monitoring for heating and cooling (energy coming soon), including peak demand cost management, electricity tariff optimization and fault detection,
  • ESG dashboard,

2. Energy analytics visualization

  • Heatmaps shows CO2 levels and temperature across floorplans and allows manual actuations,
  • Kiosk mode

3. Import and export of data

  • Metry,
  • Greenview,
  • Maestro

4. Energy metering

  • ePort,
  • EMU,
  • Elvaco

5. Demand response and electrical grid connectivity

  • Entelios,
  • Agder Energi
  • Eon
  • Epspot

6. Electrical vehicle charging

  • CTEK

7. Coming soon:

  • Photovoltaic report

Storage

Energy storages can support peak shaving strategies when energy demand is shifted from the energy grid to an energy storage such as thermal energy storage (ice storage), mechanical energy storage (pumped hydro) or electrochemical (batteries). Similarly, thermal energy storages such as ice storages enable shifting HVAC and refrigeration loads from the energy grid.

ProptechOS Energy Toolbox has the following tools to support:

1. Energy Analytics

  • Optimize – provides real-time data monitoring for heating and cooling (energy coming soon) including peak demand cost management, electricity tariff optimization and fault detection

2. Demand response and electrical grid connectivity

  • Entelios,
  • Agder Energi
  • Eon
  • Epspot

3. Import and export of data

  • Metry,
  • Greenview,
  • Mestro

4. Energy metering

  • ePort,
  • EMU,
  • Elvaco

Energy generation

To support property owners’ shift to sustainable energy sources such as solar power, analytics tools to understand economic returns of the investments are needed.

ProptechOS Energy Toolbox has the following tools to support:

1. Energy analytics

  • ESG dashboard

2. Coming soon

  • Photovoltaic report

In order to obtain a holistic approach to energy efficiency on portfolio level there is a need for a range of energy efficiency apps to collaborate. ProptechOS Energy Toolbox provides a modular approach to tiling applications allowing them to work together and to identify and resolve energy efficiency opportunities. ProptechOS Optimize application provides real-time data monitoring and alarms for as-is analyses and verification of the effectiveness of efficiency projects.

Webinar on energy efficiency

Improve energy efficiency using Optimize

Watch the webinar about Optimize where Vasakronan share their best practices

FAQ about Energy & ESG

Energy efficiency is calculated by dividing the energy obtained (useful energy or energy output) by the initial energy (energy input). 

Commercial energy efficiency refers to using less input energy to a process while providing the same quality of output. 

  • Switching to energy efficiency equipment 

The energy efficiency obtained from upgrading to LED lights is significant; an incandescent bulb has an energy efficiency of about 5% while an LED lamp has an energy efficiency of over 30%. Energy production has adverse effects on the environment as it produces greenhouse gasses. Therefore, improving the energy efficiency of certain technologies has the potential to significantly reduce energy consumption and consequently reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

  • Reducing air leakages from the building

Insulation efficiency is one of the areas which contribute to reduced air leakages. Insulation in commercial buildings ensures that the building is air tight and reduces the energy exchange of warm and cool air between the building and its outside environment. Windows, walls, doors and the roof are all areas where there can be an exchange of air between the outdoor area and the building.  

  • Energy at the point of consumption 

Ensuring efficiency at the point of consumption from district heating and cooling by keeping ΔT to 10°C. This impacts the efficiency of heat or cold extraction from district heating or cooling and can impact the assigned cost tier at the utility company and therefore impact energy bills.  

The potential to reduce energy consumption in existing and new commercial buildings is 30% according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Give an example using Sqm

For a retail building the breakdown can look as follows:

  1. Lights – 9 kWh/square foot (97 kWh/sqm)
  2. Refrigeration and equipment – 5 kWh/square foot – 54 kWh/sqm
  3. Cooling – 3.5 kWh/square foot – 38 kWh/sqm
  4. Ventilation – 2 kWh/square foot – 22 kWh/sqm
  5. Heating – 0.75 kWh/square foot –

1. Electricity, specifically lights

In many commercial buildings electricity and lights account for a majority of the energy consumption. LED light installations and reducing energy peaks by implementing peak shaving and load shifting strategies are two ways to reduce consumption.

2. HVAC

HVAC consumes a large portion of energy as well. For a retail building the breakdown can look as follows:

  • Lights – 9 kWh/square foot
  • Refrigeration and equipment – 5 kWh/square foot
  • Cooling – 3.5 kWh/square foot
  • Ventilation – 2 kWh/square foot
  • Heating – 0.75 kWh/square foot

3. Energy efficiency at the point of consumption

Ensuring efficiency at the point of consumption from district heating and cooling by keeping ΔT to 10°C. This impacts the efficiency of heat or cold extraction from district heating or cooling and can impact the assigned cost tier at the utility company and therefore impact energy bills.

Three benefits of energy efficiency in commercial buildings are 

1) Increase property valuation by reducing annual utility costs and generate revenue which positively affects NOI and property value. 

2) Enable participation in energy demand response programs where surplus energy from buildings is provided to an energy grid, enabling grid participants to use the provided surplus energy. This helps society at large by reducing energy consumption and making the energy available for other players in the market. 

3) Combat energy scarcity by shifting to renewable energy sources. Renewable energy sources do not emit greenhouse gases and include solar energy, hydropower, wind energy, geothermal energy and biomass energy. 

Other benefits include: 

  1. Cost savings 
  2. Environmental benefits 
  3. Community benefits 
  4. Resilience and reliability
  5. Health benefits 

Energy efficiency is calculated by dividing the energy obtained (useful energy or energy output) by the initial energy (energy input). Energy efficiency refers to using less input energy to a process while providing the same quality of output. For example, energy efficiency obtained from upgrading to LED lights is significant; an incandescent bulb has an energy efficiency of about 5% while an LED lamp has an energy efficiency of over 30%. Energy production has adverse effects on the environment as it produces greenhouse gasses. Therefore, improving the energy efficiency of certain technologies has the potential to significantly reduce energy consumption and consequently reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

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