So let’s say you’re in charge of a portfolio of buildings. It could be schools, hotels, office buildings, whatever.
You need to manage energy consumption and cost. And It’s pretty likely that upgrading all the buildings simultaneously isn’t going to happen… because, things like budgets exist. So where to begin? How do you spend that budget most effectively and target improvement projects with the best payback?
These are the questions we want to help answer.
Let’s take a portfolio of 6 buildings as an example case.
After some exciting number crunching, we end up with this table.
It’s nice, but let’s visualize that data a bit.
To identify the buildings that need the most attention, we may also look on an energy basis, comparing gas and electrical consumption for each building.
Or we might think to start by looking at total annual utility cost. This would identify which buildings cost the most to operate.
From this figure, Building 3 appears to be your most costly building. But this comparison doesn’t include for square footage of the buildings.
When we do, Building 6 emerges as the most costly (see below).
So that might give us an idea of where to start, though cost is only one piece of the puzzle. (Not to mention it can include demand charges, late fees, taxes, etc). Is this cost even reasonable?
If we look at the buildings on an energy basis, and account for some simple data metrics (number of occupants, hours of operation, and so forth), we get yet a third view of performance.
This graph shows that while Building 6 is still the lowest performer, it’s not only orders of magnitude below the best performer (Building 2), but also significantly below average performance for that building type. (Energy Star scores are ranked from 0 – 100). More on that here.
So this reinforces that Building 6 is our target for additional analysis. From here, we would probably recommend an Energy Audit, which would dig deeper to determine how energy is being used at the system level (HVAC, Lighting, Power, Envelope, Hot Water) and what the recommendations are for improvement.
One small, simplified example of how we can use data that already exists to help make better targeted decisions for improving existing building portfolio energy performance.