Winter Is Coming. Are You Prepared?
October is National Energy Awareness Month. For property managers nationwide, the crisp air and declining temperatures are a reminder to bring energy conservation to the forefront.
The Electronic Tenant Solutions team has collaborated with the cloud-based energy management company MACH Energy team (whose platform is displayed above) to walk through six measures that engage tenants, helping teams save money and energy once the cold hits. ETS and Mach Energy are now compatible, and when integrated provide sophisticated insights into energy use and opportunities for significantly reducing energy-related expenditures.
1. An Ounce Of Prevention: Before flipping the switch from cooling to heat, it is critical to follow proper maintenance protocols. Consulting with engineers at peak performing commercial office buildings, MACH Energy has assembled a winterization checklist here to help guide property managers and their teams through a comprehensive building checkup.
2. Shut It Down: Taking the time to properly shut down chillers and cooling towers can improve efficiency and extend equipment life. For cooling towers, MACH advises draining below the roofline to prevent freezing damage. Performing a rigorous inspection on all cooling equipment is vital prep for scheduled winter maintenance and temporary hibernation.
3. Put A Coat On It: Even the most efficient equipment will run overtime if a building is a sieve. It’s imperative that property managers meticulously check for air leaks and gaps in insulation. Repairing, replacing and refilling those insulation gaps minimizes energy waste. Old outside air dampers are a known culprit for allowing cold air in, leading to energy waste, so be sure they’re functioning properly.
4. Monitor, Measure And Meter: Energy management software like MACH’s can help you track and report the benefits of these winterization efforts, which manifest as reduced energy consumption and bills. MACH also can alert clients to changes in building behavior that may be undermining efficiency initiatives, directing users toward opportunities to further improve performance. MACH empowers clients with the data they need to make informed decisions.
5. Engage Your Tenants: While many properties can focus on infrastructure improvements (lights, retrofits, equipment optimizations), tenants’ needs should never be ignored or neglected. Typically, tenant plug and light load represents more than half of a property’s energy consumption. Raising awareness and fostering more efficient energy use drives EnergyStar scores, lowers greenhouse gas emissions and saves money, especially during severe winter weather months.
6. Calendars And Weather: Just because the calendar says it’s fall doesn’t mean the weather will always agree. Rather than adjusting BMS settings or auxiliary heaters according to an arbitrary date, let the weather be your guide. For instance, hold off on that 100 kW of baseboard heat until it’s actually cold.
To learn more about Bisnow content sponsor ETS, click here.