What Is Energy Management?
Energy management follows the methodical approach outlined below.  Measurement of current energy consumption is key, since you cannot manage what you don`t measure.
1.         Understanding present energy usage by:
(a) Understanding the costs;
(b) Benchmarking the buildings energy usage;
(c) Understanding when energy is used;
(d) Understanding where energy is used.
2.         Finding the savings opportunities by:
(a) Optimizing energy supply (heat recovery, on-site generation, renewable energy);
(b) Eliminating the waste by matching the need (turn it off, turn it down, control it);
(c) Maximizing efficiencies to reduce losses.


How does Care Systems approach Energy Management?

Energy management starts with a phone call.  We will come to your site for a free high-level audit of your building energy consumption.  From there, you determine how deep you want to pursue potential opportunities and we take it to the next level, which may include the process outlined below:
1. Review of a buildings energy consumption. This may include modelling of energy consumption against Outdoor Air Temperature (OAT) to determine baseline the building heating and cooling requirements.
2. Review the operation and status of existing HVAC mechanical and lighting systems.
3. Proposals to reduce energy usage and lower operating costs. These may include the optimization of current operations and controls, retrofit of existing equipment and control technologies.  Green, alternative energy options may be viable solutions, where appropriate.
4. Follow-up of implemented solutions to measure and verify savings and proper operation.
5.         Training and coaching of building operators to educate them on their system, the benefits of automatic control over locking equipment on/off.  This helps ensure the persistence of savings over time.


What Is Happening with BC Energy Prices?
- Energy costs can be counted on to rise continually.  Electricity rates for BC Hydro jumped 9% in April 2014 with forecasted rate hikes of 6% in 2015, 4% in 2016, 3.5% in 2017 and 3% in 2018.  This equates to over 28% in these next five years.  The existing 5% rate rider will remain in place.  Slightly lower electricity increases can be anticipated in FortisBC territory.
- Natural Gas prices are soaring with the cold 2014 winter depleting the reserves of cheap gas.  Both Enbridge and Union Gas anticipate 40% increases in the cost of gas commodity, after being low for a number of years.  Delivery charges from FortisBC Gas are now $3.621/GJ (increased by $1.368/GJ).  This does not include the basic charge, the cost of gas, midstream costs, franchise fees, carbon taxes, GST and carbon offsets (if applicable), which typically brings the total cost of natural gas to over $11/GJ.
- Revelstoke propane has increased a whopping $4.29/GJ for piped propane customers of FortisBC.  The cost of propane and delivery charges combined total $23.18/GJ, not including the basic charge, franchise fees, carbon taxes, GST and carbon offsets (if applicable).  For the Canadian average, the cost of propane is over six times more than natural gas.


What Makes My Energy Bill So High?
- Most HVAC equipment operates 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.  Scheduling of lighting and equipment can be the single, most cost effective way to save large amounts of energy.
- Inappropriate setpoints for heating and cooling.  Free cooling not implemented properly.
- Poorly tuned systems that waste energy due to poor control or simultaneous heating and cooling.
- Aging equipment that doesn`t use the energy efficient technologies available today.  For example:
(a) Atmospheric boilers can run well below 80% seasonal efficiency when compared to condensing boilers at over 90% efficient;
(b) Variable Frequency Drives (VFDs) allow for pumps and fans to operate at lower speeds.  Most HVAC systems use pumps and fans at 100% speed, modulating flow with valves or dampers.  This is analogous to driving with your foot fully depressing the gas pedal and modulating your speed with the brake pedal.  Often you can use an inexpensive VFD to modulate the flow of air or water in your systems, saving considerable energy;
(c) Lighting typically uses ~40% of the electricity consumed in commercial buildings.  Energy efficient lighting, combined with smart controls that employ daylight harvesting and occupancy sensors can save considerable energy while also reducing maintenance (re-lamping, ballast replacement, etc.).  Considering incentive rebates from utility companies, payback periods can be under two years, often making this a “no-brainer”;


Energy Savings and Occupant Comfort can sometimes be at odds.  How does WebCTRL by Automated Logic address this conflict?

- WebCTRL goes beyond standard DDC functionality like customized temperature setpoints for each zone and more relaxed setpoints for unoccupied zones.
- WebCTRL pioneered the concept of the Environmental Index (EI).  The EI is a smart algorithm that gives a zone a 0-100% score based on the zone temperature, humidity and CO2 level.  This is ideal at identifying problem zones that can’t maintain comfortable settings.
- Zone History is a WebCTRL add-on that compiles historical data about the color and EI values for zones, then displays pie charts of the amount of time spent in each color and provides a sortable list of key data for all zones.  This includes the percent time heating, cooling, operational, and average EI values over the time range.  This allows you to find zones that are spending a lot of time yellow or orange, but never getting satisfied or never going into alarm.

Email our Energy Manager today to find out how you could be saving money with your building.