Setting energy management goals becomes much easier when equipped with the right tools to help guide you. ENERGY STAR’s Guidelines for Energy Management recommend following a seven-step process to implement and achieve a successful energy program:

  • Make a Commitment
  • Assess Performance
  • Set Goals
  • Create Action Plan
  • Implement Action Plan
  • Evaluate Progress
  • Recognize Achievements

This post focuses on how GridPoint’s smart building technology guides you through steps two and three: assessing performance and setting goals.

Assess Performance – Where are you now, and where do you want to be?

Looking into historical energy data helps managers understand a building’s energy profile and will, in turn, help determine realistic targets to strive towards. A thorough performance assessment will involve gathering data, setting a baseline, benchmarking, and analyzing current energy trends.

To paint a better picture of consumption trends before installation, GridPoint’s solution incorporates 12 months of historical utility data to establish a baseline. This baseline is then used to determine how the energy management system can most efficiently reduce energy consumption. Benchmarking enables building managers to rank their sites in relation to industry averages for further insights on areas to improve. By reviewing previous energy usage patterns, GridPoint’s Analysts can recommend operational and control adjustments to improve performance.

This image shows submetered channels and corresponding usage trends. GridPoint uses historical data to identify anomalies, malfunctioning equipment, and inefficient usage patterns.

Set Goals

Goals need guidelines, these make up your project’s scope. The scope can be set at the corporate or site level, by processes, by equipment, and/or by time period. By combining two or more of these constraints, managers can determine realistic short and long-term goals designed to achieve what is meaningful to the business. Here are a few examples of multi-conditional goals and how GridPoint’s platform accomplishes them:

Short-term goals:

  • Increase HVAC uptime from 90% to 95% – By controlling and tracking HVAC operation, GridPoint can alert customers when HVAC units go offline and mitigate outages.
  • Minimize time windows where cooler doors remain open – Door sensors enable GridPoint alarms that are configured to notify managers when cooler/freezer doors have been left open for extended periods of time.
  • Decrease nighttime lighting load by 70% – GridPoint can minimize unnecessary lighting during unoccupied hours through lighting schedules that correspond to store hours and sunlight levels.

Long-term goals:

  • Recognize an average kWh reduction of 10% across all sites – GridPoint models energy savings from the collected baseline data and can provide ongoing insight on methods to continuously improve energy savings.
  • Decrease overall max demand kW throughout the enterprise by 3% –GridPoint’s Load Curtailment Algorithm drives down costly, daily energy peaks without sacrificing comfort.
  • Reduce average per-site CO2 emissions by 4,000 pounds annually – By comparing the EPA’s CO2 data for energy supplied to localities, GridPoint can track CO2 reduction alongside energy consumption.

What is the potential for improvement? Operational performance is paramount to a facility’s integrity. How efficiently and effectively is the building providing comfort and safety to its occupants? Continuously checking for and addressing negatively impacting trends or actions will ensure that customers get the most out of their program. The GridPoint Energy Advisory Services (EAS) Team supports continuous improvement by leveraging real-time, equipment-level data to identify equipment flaws or failures, unnecessary energy usage, and other anomalies. They can then make recommendations to mitigate these issues, keeping customers on the right path to achieving their goals.

Real Results

  • Reduced Energy Consumption – GridPoint reduces energy consumption with automated controls, advanced analytics, and actionable recommendations. Depending on the type of building, GridPoint saves between 5% and 30% off your monthly energy bill. This translates to tangible dollar savings that continue to accumulate over time.
  • Avoided Maintenance Costs – GridPoint Support enables customers to resolve common maintenance issues remotely, which minimized the cost of diagnosis, labor, and truck rolls. Available 24/7, our Support Team can help troubleshoot and address several issues over the phone without ever having to call a technician to the site. The EAS team can also help by tracking poly-phase voltage imbalances, which degrade the lifespan of motorized mechanical equipment, like HVAC units and refrigerators.
  • Reduced Site Outages – Through real-time energy metering, GridPoint’s alarms will notify customers of outages so that issues can be addressed promptly. If there is a voltage outage during hours when the building is unoccupied, GridPoint’s Site Monitoring Team is the first to know and can notify the customer immediately.
  • Health and Food Safety Compliance – By monitoring cooler, freezer, and hot water temperatures, the EMS can mitigate issues or health code violations related to the quality of goods or services. GridPoint can monitor refrigeration/freezer temperatures and send automated alarms to key employees if temperatures fluctuate to an unsafe level for a period of time. Hot water heating is another sensitive channel that can be tracked and maintained to prevent the potential for the growth of disease-causing bacteria.