Understanding Building Energy Usage

Fall is almost here and winter isn’t too far behind, so let’s make sure your building and wallet is ready for it!

It’s important to understand how your monthly energy use is broken down by your building systems. Below represents a pretty typical breakdown for a building:

System Type% of Total Energy Consumption
HVAC Systems34%
Lighting Systems27%
Electronics/Computer Load12%
Domestic Water Heating8%
Misc. Other Loads13%
Breakdown of total energy consumption by building system.

As you can see the biggest single consumer of utilities in a facility is in the mechanical and electrical systems, these systems account for approximately 73% of the total energy use in a building.

The implementation of energy conservation measures (ECM’s) in your MEP systems can help lower your annual utility bills and overall energy consumption. Here are some typical ECM’s that can make significant impact on your facility:

  • Install high efficiency motors, ECM motors and variable frequency drives on applicable systems
  • Retrofit existing fluorescent lighting systems with LED technology
  • Replace old exit signs with LED technology
  • Add occupancy sensors to both HVAC and lighting systems
  • Add daylighting control systems
  • Modify building management system to monitor and control occupancy schedules, building ventilation and setback temperatures.
  • Apply hot water reset schedules to your buildings heating hot water supply temperature based upon the outdoor temperate
  • Incorporate outdoor air and waterside economizers
  • Adjust and limit your heating and cooling setpoints
  • Add heat recovery devices to ventilation systems
  • Add insulation to the building’s thermal envelop
  • Add solar film to existing windows with areas of high heat gain
  • Add occupancy schedule to your domestic hot water heating system
  • Insulate your existing domestic hot water heater
  • Reduce domestic water heating setpoint to 110 degrees F

While this list is far from complete, these ECM’s can be incorporated into your buildings mechanical and electrical systems with simple paybacks ranging for 0-8 years.

If you would like to learn more about how to apply Energy Conservation Measures to your facility please contact Roger Thies, PE at (814) 237-2180 or rmt@ba-inc.com.