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The 7 Deadly Sins of Facility Energy Management
Author: David Doll, OSISoft

Building operators and corporate real estate managers everywhere are charged with moving their facilities toward "best practice" levels of energy management and occupant engagement. The journey begins with understanding. You need to measure before you manage, make the invisible visible, and walk before you run. Here are seven "deadly sins" to avoid on your way to success:

#1 Sin of Wrong Accounting: Capital Budget Financing
For manufacturers and facility managers, energy shouldn't be just a bill at the end of the month. By considering energy a variable cost and including it within cost of goods sold (CGS), you make energy consumption more visible. A first step in your plan for energy efficiency is to take a baseline measurement in order to gauge your progress as you identify, analyze, prioritize, and implement energy conservation measures (ECMs). Start with activities that will give you early, tangible, and significant results that will build momentum. Make it a practice to measure energy usage before and after an ECM in order to verify and document your successes.

Lesson: Measure energy efficiencies before and after you start your energy efficiency project. This provides baseline and progress readings in order to help document your achievements.

#2 Sin of Fits-And-Starts: One-And-Done Commissioning

You cannot achieve long term improvement goals or energy reduction mandates through periodic retro-commissioning, or by reacting to problems after you get a service call. Those approaches may provide temporary solutions, but they are only slowing the decline of equipment performance. Today's facilities have the infrastructure to support cloud-based data management and analytics software for continuous building commissioning. Rules-based monitoring and analysis of real-time information from energy meters and building equipment can reveal energy waste as it happens, saving money on day-to-day operations.

Lesson: Be persistent when measuring energy usage. Consistently measuring real-time data from meters and building equipment is a continuous process.

#3 Sin of Flying Blind: Making Decisions Without Reading Your Own Data
Many energy benchmarking tools rely on high-level comparisons of similar buildings. While these tools have their place, they cannot tell you how to address issues in your own facility. Real insight only comes when you have clean, accurate data about your unique environment and use that for analysis and decision making. To support the systematic practice of identifying the root causes of your energy waste and prioritizing ECMs, you need to collect, correlate, and analyze your own data from meters, submeters, sensors, and building equipment.

Watch and listen as companies describe their building operations before and after adopting a data infrastructure.

Lesson: Ensure your data collection is clean and accurate before applying analytics tools.

#4 Sin of Caveat Emptor: Ripping And Replacing Equipment Without First Analyzing Building Data
Many building owners and operators deal with a myriad of equipment manufacturers and data structures in the running of their facilities. In addition, large equipment manufacturers typically use proprietary protocols that make it hard for subsystems to exchange data and provide whole-building energy optimization. However, this is no reason to spend millions of dollars to standardize equipment. Today there is intelligent software which can create a common and open data infrastructure that layers across disparate equipment to provide a common view of data and events, regardless of the underlying manufacturers.

Lesson: An open data infrastructure, when layered across disparate equipment, buildings, and systems, provides a common, unified view of whole-building energy optimization.

#5 Sin of Narrow Scope: Limiting Your Vision to Only BAS-Connected Equipment
Equipment connected to the BAS typically represents less than 50% of the energy consumed in a building. By limiting your attention to BAS data, you are ignoring more than half of your energy costs! A better strategy is to create a data architecture that will let you connect to equipment and data sources beyond the building control systems. This way, you will be able to expand when you bring new systems into the picture, incrementally adding lighting, plug loads, water, waste water, and on-premises generation such as solar, etc.

Carnegie Mellon University lowered their energy footprint by 30% by integrating their systems. Click to watch how they did it.

Lesson: Your BAS will only provide you with data representing about 50% of the energy your building consumes. Remember to connect data sources beyond the BAS to understand the big picture.

#6 Sin of Stealth Mode: Attempting Energy Management Without Involving All Stakeholders
If you really want to reduce energy costs, it’s not enough to focus on the efficiency of the equipment. You need to engage with all stakeholders: IT, facility managers, engineers, and the occupants! Getting buy-in and counsel from the IT department from the earliest stages of a new energy management project is the best way to ensure your proposed solutions will meet corporate data security and service contract requirements. To engage occupants, strive for well designed, easy-to-interpret visualizations to report real-time energy usage. Behavioral change starts with helping people to see the impact they have on reducing consumption.

Lesson: Identify key stakeholders who are impacted by an energy efficient building or campus. Provide them with clear, up-to-the-moment data so they understand their role in energy consumption and can have a positive impact.

#7 Sin of Short-Term Thinking: Deploying Solutions Without Future-Proofing
Energy management is a marathon, not a sprint. There will always be something more to do, another good idea, another way to improve operations. We know that the next generation of enterprise computing will deliver more applications via cloud services and mobile devices. With such macro-trends in mind, focus on flexible technologies that can integrate with systems and tools in the future. Avoid specific purpose technologies that might deliver short-term, but create hurdles as you grow and expand. Start with a vision—even if it includes ideas and goals you might not think are possible for you—it will act as a guide for your decisions today and into the future.

About OSIsoft
OSIsoft, a global leader in operational intelligence, delivers an open enterprise infrastructure to connect sensor-based data, operations, and people to enable real-time and actionable insights. As the maker of the PI System, OSIsoft empowers companies across a range of industries in activities such as energy, exploration, extraction, production, generation, process and discrete manufacturing, distribution, and services to leverage streaming data to optimize and enrich their businesses. For over 30 years, OSIsoft customers have embraced the PI System to deliver process, quality, energy, regulatory compliance, safety, security, and asset health improvements across their operations. Founded in 1980, OSIsoft is a privately-held company, headquartered in San Leandro, California, U.S.A., with offices around the world. For more information visit OSIsoft.com

About the Author
David Doll oversees business development for critical facilities and energy management for OSIsoft.

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2015 Summit Highlights: Session B4 - The Internet of Things And Its Impact on Smart Buildings

The Internet of Things (IoT) is quickly becoming the next technology "mega-trend," with impacts across every sector of business. By connecting billions of every day devices to the internet and sharing information, there is a whole new world of interconnectivity and complexity to manage. What are the impacts of the IoT on buildings and on the way those facilities interact with their occupants? How will the merging of the physical and digital worlds and machine to machine communications contribute to the advancement of smart buildings? View this session from the 2015 Building Energy Summit to learn how to achieve maximum energy savings through technology adoption, process improvements, and best practices.

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About Our Sponsor: OSIsoft, a global leader in operational intelligence, delivers an open enterprise infrastructure to connect sensor-based data, operations and people to enable real-time and actionable insights. As the maker of the PI System, OSIsoft empowers companies to optimize streaming data to deliver process, quality, energy, regulatory compliance, safety, security and asset health improvements across their operations. To learn about OSIsoft facility customers and to access the latest case studies, videos and more, visit us online. (http://bit.ly/osisoft_facilityexecs)

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