Today’s energy and facilities managers do not even resemble their predecessors: they need to be on the cutting edge of technology and conversant in the latest energy and operational trends.
Today’s energy and facilities managers are responsible for smooth operations at large retail chains, universities, hospitals, distribution centers, manufacturing outlets, data centers, and other important and complex buildings. They, in and of themselves, are measurable profit centers that strive for cost effectiveness and operational efficiency KPIs, they take advantage of energy rebates and incentives, and they minimize breakdowns and downtimes with preventive maintenance.
For these astute professionals, Building Management Systems (BMS) are often necessary for controlling their properties, but using only a BMS is a concept that’s becoming quickly outdated. Beyond the BMS, energy managers and facility managers (fms) need to be armed with—and find a balance between—the following:
- Data. No engineer, energy manager, or fm can make credible decisions without visibility into granular, real-time usage data.
- Controls. Automation is key and controls allow building professionals to realize savings. The BMS (when there is one) acts mostly as a scheduling machine and many managers put too much faith in this one system.
- Monitoring. Getting real-time data out of devices on an ongoing basis is important. Audits are good but are a one-time activity that provides a snapshot in time. Even if savings are gained, they are hard to sustain, as buildings and the people using them tend to drift back to old habits.
For energy managers and fms, adding a device level energy management analytics solution to their tool set can help empower them for success. With access to analytics about their energy consumption per location, per building, and per device, they can maximize their operation for efficiency and profitability.
Analytics Empower Efficiency
Easy to deploy, low TCO, non-invasive wireless sensors transmit data to an online monitoring and analytics engine. That engine provides managers with the transparency they need in order to get a better sense of energy consumption for each device for every building and location.
By analyzing their real-time usage activity, managers are empowered to make decisions that save money (and increase profits). Real-time alerts from in-depth analyses enable quick identification (and termination) of off schedule or excess energy consumption.
With that information, managers can make informed energy efficiency retrofitting decisions based on real-time data. They can optimize settings on wasteful devices. They can pinpoint operations that enlarge their carbon footprint and harm their sustainability initiatives. They can maximize their systems with preventive and predictive maintenance. They can improve profit margins by embarking on demand response programs.
Energy efficiency is an enviable goal for any fm. Analytics enable energy efficiency and much more.
Analytics Empower Sustainability
Beyond energy efficiency, analytics empower facility sustainability initiatives. Analytics enable managers to assess their operation’s energy usage without disrupting business. With a powerful analytics engine driving decisions, managers can make strides toward eliminating waste, reducing carbon emissions, and achieving corporate sustainability goals. By making green decisions, facilities personnel become accountable players in sustainability projects.
Analytics also enables and empowers carbon reporting processes which save energy (and money!), qualify for rebates and incentives (saves more money!), generate guidance and advice for sustainability, build brand loyalty and goodwill, and help companies prepare for a greener future.
Analytics Empower ROI
A lifetime away from the worries of “old school” fms, today’s managers are measured and evaluated. Their projects are analyzed. Their undertakings must prove profitable. With an analytics solution, managers can predict the outcome of maintenance or retrofit projects before they start and accurately measure ROI once the projects are complete. This information is invaluable in prioritizing maintenance activities and retrofits based on true business value.
Because analytics empowers energy efficiency, it saves money. Because analytics enables fms to focus on ROI of projects, it can help to increase corporate profits.
In today’s competitive, profit-focused facilities management ecosystem, a manager needs tools to succeed. One such tool is a BMS that provides the necessary controls. But to supercharge the BMS and to give managers the superpowers they require to achieve the results the need, a device level analytics solution can be a more responsive solution.
Jon Rabinowitz is head of marketing at Panoramic Power, a company that offers demand side energy management services and solutions. Rabinowitz has over a decade of experience with the marketing, sale, and delivery of enterprise solutions.