Utilities are one of the largest commercial building expense and are increasingly being regulated by legislation. Commercial buildings account for 40 percent of the United States’ energy use and waste 30 percent of the energy they consume. Yet many offices, retail, housing, and educational facilities have little visibility into their electrical and HVAC systems. They are unable to manage or support independent systems to monitor power and building operations.
Across the United States, hundreds of millions of square feet of real estate are not monitored or managed for the energy of operational savings. Other buildings may have some control systems for HVAC, electrical, and elevators in place, but they are rarely integrated and often have software that is obsolete.
Many of these older systems run from within a facility, rather than being cloud-based and Internet-driven. Typically, they’ve been deployed in one form or another since the 1980s or 1990s, before the internet age. This means they lack the functionality and usability compared to what is available today. And in addition to higher costs in energy, these older systems that are past their useful life take more capital to maintain including staffing an individual who knows how to manage the systems and can manage tenant complaints because they are too hot or cold.
Smart building controls slash high utility bills
If your building is in a scenario where you either have an outdated, unintegrated system, or no system at all, the answer is smart energy management systems (also called smart building controls or advanced control sensors). A huge shift is occurring in commercial building controls and building owners, facility managers, and property managers reap the benefits through reduced utility bills, lower maintenance costs, and increased tenant comfort.
Commercial buildings can expect to save 25% – 30% on energy costs with smart building controls, and the return on their investment can happen very quickly. According to PGE, this technology can cut costs for a 500,000 square-foot office building by tens of thousands of dollars each year.
Driven by a new generation of powerful Internet of Things (IoT) connected devices, energy management systems (EMS) work in harmony with sensors and control technology to provide building owners and facility managers a new frontier of cost-effective “plug-and-play” devices that require little technology savvy to operate. Installing advanced control sensors can dramatically improve the operating power and energy efficiency of ventilation systems: when integrated with a facility’s HVAC system, this technology can reduce energy use by almost 40 percent!
Energy management systems with sensor and control technology provide a wide range of capabilities including:
- sensing the number of people in a room and automatically adjusting the temperature accordingly
- using weather forecasts to develop optimum strategies for pre-cooling or pre-heating the structure
- reducing overall energy consumption and improve building efficiency
- decreasing maintenance, operational, and equipment costs
- optimizing occupant comfort
- showing exactly energy dollars are going with real-time monitoring
- identifying energy use areas to improve
- cutting a building’s carbon footprint
- monitoring crucial areas such as server rooms and equipment rooms
- using weather forecasts to develop optimum strategies for preheating or cooling the structure
- detecting component failures and look for signs that equipment is about to fail
- learning and anticipating user behaviors including adjusting for holidays
- integrating user preferences dynamically
Reitmeier and energy management systems
The Reitmeier team is experienced and skilled when it comes to EMS and their control systems. Below is the way we can help your facility whether you have a newer EMS or you have need to get one installed:
Maintaining existing energy management systems
Reitmeier can monitor your facility’s EMS and even sometimes fix them remotely – before any of your occupants know there is an issue.. Our team can adjust your controls for many different goals that you may have in your building(s). As part of our routine preventative and maintenance work, our team regularly assesses your system, calibrates it with your controls and sensors, and updates the software. If needed, we can contact your brand’s vendor to update it.
Installing energy management system in new facilities and retrofitting older buildings
Whether you have an old system that needs to be replaced because it is outdated or you have no system at all, Reitmeier can help. On all of our commercial installs, we use a Johnson or Carrier EMS because we have found them to be the most reliable and energy efficient. Reitmeier believes that EMS should be easy to use and that it should be able to communicate with your building automation systems and direct digital controls with ease and efficiency. We design EMS with wireless technology and with open data protocol to ensure ease, efficiency, and interoperability across systems. With predictive capabilities and remote access afforded by our innovative approach to EMS, Reitmeier is able to proactively address tenant discomfort in your building and make adjustments remotely.
We start each project with a comprehensive energy audit. This allows the Reitmeier team to identify immediate opportunities for improving energy efficiency and realizing costs savings from your HVAC operations. The audit also allows us to determine a cost-effective course of action for energy management projects.
Reitmeier has a long history of working with the Energy Trust of Oregon (ETO). Whenever we start an HVAC and/or EMS project, we typically bring in the ETO to do an energy study, as well as bringing an ETO to sit with the business owners and talk about the project goals. From there, our energy-saving experts will take this information and create a report on how much how much will we can save you, as well as how long it will take to pay the energy savings back.
For example, in one recent commercial EMS project, the building has already saved $40,000 in its first year. In addition, if you are re-commissioning/retrofitting a building, the Energy Trust will come in and actually provide cash incentive dollars for making older buildings more efficient. These incentives reduce your upfront costs and make energy-efficient upgrades more affordable.
Ready to learn how Reitmeier can help you improve your HVAC energy use with cash incentives from Energy Trust of Oregon? Contact us or call us today at 503-603-0205.