9/17/2015 10:22 AM
No one knows your facility better than you. So when you work with an energy service company (ESCO) to improve efficiency, you must tell them what your facility needs.
ESCO professionals are knowledgeable about many new (and older) energy-saving methods. But they can’t possibly keep up with every new innovation – especially those that include assets that have not previously been considered when discussing energy efficiency.
Room scheduling software is one of those assets. Most businesses use software to schedule conference rooms for meetings; colleges schedule classes and campus events; K-12 schools schedule after school and weekend events; and convention centers schedule rooms for trade shows and conferences. But room scheduling is an administrative task rarely considered as an energy-efficiency opportunity.
What many ESCO professionals don’t know is that room scheduling software can be integrated to HVAC, lighting, and security systems to automatically return systems to unoccupied settings between scheduled events. Eliminating heating and cooling empty rooms has made facilities up to 30% more efficient (See case studies). But ESCOs are not yet familiar with this type of integration and won’t consider it in their evaluation unless you ask for it.
As a facility manager, you need to think beyond the facilities department. How can you leverage the assets your entire organization has to improve energy efficiency?
Before meeting with your ESCO, do some research and make a list of energy-efficiency initiatives that you think might benefit your organization. Then ask your ESCO to include these initiatives in their evaluation and analysis of potential savings. Some of your ideas will certainly be standard fare for ESCOs, but some of them may be new.
A good ESCO partner will welcome the opportunity to analyze any and all of your ideas. A bad ESCO will try to talk you out of energy-saving efforts that are unfamiliar to them. But you need to stand your ground. Remember, no one knows your facility better than you! If you think it will work, make sure your ESCO includes it in their evaluation.
In the past five years (nearly) since Events2HVAC was launched, we have worked with several ESCOs to implement the software. But in every single successful implementation to date that involved an ESCO, using Events2HVAC was the facility manager’s idea. In some cases, the ESCOs were happy to include Events2HVAC in their evaluation and excited to implement it after they ran the numbers and determined the ROI. In other cases, ESCOs have been resistant to even consider the integration. I’m certain this happens with other effective solutions as well.
So do some online research, visit other departments for ideas, brainstorm with your team, and make a list of potential energy-saving initiatives before meeting with your ESCO. Then hold them accountable to include your ideas in their evaluation.
Founded in 1998, Streamside Solutions provides software products, solutions and services for the building automation industry.
Phone: (888) 320-4277
Signup for our quarterly Events2HVAC newsletter for product updates, case studies, and energy management news.