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.
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.
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.
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.
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.