New Guide for No-Cost/Low-Cost Energy Savings

The Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance (NEEA)’s BetterBricks Initiative and the IFMA (International Facility Management Association) Foundation have joined forces to produce a practical guide for facility managers. This guide provides facility managers with a roadmap of how to initiate no-cost or low-cost energy efficiency strategies at their facility sites to reap immediate savings.

The “No-Cost/Low-Cost Guide” is the fifth in a sustainability series produced by the IFMA Foundation. The goal of the manual is to provide facility personnel with the tools to get started identifying problem areas and implement no/low-cost solutions to see immediate benefits. These tools have been principally derived from the article, “Common Opportunities: The Top Four.”

The guide offers several checklists that can be translated into spreadsheet templates to be used by facility managers when assessing their facilities. These are easily tailored to reflect various facility types, allowing for customization for a manager’s specific building.

The top four energy saving opportunities include:

  1. Equipment Scheduling: The first step of a no/low-cost strategy is to determine where energy is being wasted. Unoccupied areas should not have chillers and coolers running. Establishing where this waste takes place is step one.
  2. Sensor Error: Sensor settings are often out of sync and this section of the guide demonstrates what to look for, how to make changes and how to regularly schedule updates to monitor settings.
  3. Simultaneous Heating and Cooling: Excessive reheating uses unnecessary energy and if an HVAC system’s settings are out of sync, it forces the air handler to work harder. The guide provides information on how to tune-up these systems.
  4. Outside Air Usage: Optimum indoor air quality requires efficient ventilation and this can’t take place if dampers are stuck open or improperly calibrated. In the No-Cost/Low-Cost Energy Savings Guide, facility managers will find ways to cut energy costs just by maintaining this system.