Energy Management Strategy

Energy Management Strategy

Energy Management Strategy

Blue Ocean’s Energy Management Strategy examines all aspects of organizational exposure to energy-related risk to identify both asset and operational energy efficiency opportunities for our clients. Start managing energy costs and find significant cost savings.

Energy Management Strategy – The 360° Approach

Our comprehensive energy management strategy examines all aspects of organizational exposure to energy-related risk and identifies cost saving opportunities.

In Blue Ocean’s experience, the lowest cost energy efficiency opportunities are likely to be found in the operational aspects of a facility. In other words, operational efficiency should always be optimized before asset replacement/upgrades.

The basic premise of the Energy Management Strategy is that energy costs are variable operational costs that can and should be proactively managed. Blue Ocean defines the continuous Energy Management Strategy as follows:

  • Measure the facility’s current energy consumption profile
  • Identify opportunities to decrease energy consumption
  • Develop an Energy Management Strategy with facility management
  • Implement the Energy Management Strategy and act on identified opportunities
  • Educate Stakeholders including facility managers, occupants and decision-makers
  • Recognize achievements and the need for future actions

Call us today to learn more about our energy management strategy services at 512-600-7060 or email us at info@blueoceanenergy.net.

 

The Continuous Cycle of Energy Management Strategy

The illustration in Figure 1 shows that an Energy Management Strategy is a continuous cycle. Very specifically, we define the 360° approach as an assessment of all energy-related risks to a facility/organization. Once the energy-related issues have been identified, the process by which the risk of these issues is mitigated equals the Energy Management Strategy.

An effective Energy Management Strategy can only be implemented with organizational management’s endorsement. If the focus on energy diminishes over time, the organization will likely revert back to previous patterns of energy management with a corresponding energy cost increase.

Although all of Blue Ocean’s services are intended to reduce our clients’ energy costs, our Comprehensive Energy Audit is specifically designed with this 360° approach in mind.  Blue Ocean has designed Comprehensive Energy Audit to be as non-intrusive as possible.

Measure the Facility’s Current Energy Profile

This stage includes a thorough analysis of multiple years of natural gas invoices, electricity invoices and any other sources of energy. This stage also includes site inspections and the installation of Blue Ocean’s real-time monitoring equipment.

Scope of Work:

  • Facility inspection
  • Historical energy consumption and cost analysis
  • Electricity “Demand” (kW) analysis
  • Electricity “Power Factor” (PF) analysis
  • Greenhouse gas (GHG) emission calculation
  • Climate normalization of energy consumption
  • Energy cost development and forecasting
  • Tenant sub-meter invoicing audit
  • EPA (ENERGY STAR) Energy Rating analysis
  • Real-time monitoring of major electrical loads for 3-9 months
  • Load shifting analysis (reduce peak demand)
  • HVAC performance analysis
  • Operational efficiency analysis
  • Weekly load analysis
  • Assist with the implementation of any cost savings strategies identified
  • Monthly cost monitoring to determine actual savings
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Identify Opportunities to Decrease Energy Consumption

After a period of real-time monitoring, Blue Ocean will compile the energy profile and consumption patterns for the facility.  A clear, concise report presents the findings and conclusions to facility management in an easy-to-understand graphical format.

Scope of Work:

  • Prioritized list of energy cost reduction opportunities
  • Operational opportunities for energy reduction
  • Economic analysis of savings potential
  • Simple payback periods calculated for any potential equipment replacement/upgrades

Develop the Energy Management Strategy

This is a separate item in our cycle because the Energy Management Strategy cannot be developed without feedback from facility management and site staff. 

Scope of Work:

  • Facility management feedback
  • Energy Management Strategy development
  • Development of Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)

Implement the Energy Management Strategy

During this stage and after consultation with facility management, operational and any potential equipment replacement/upgrades are implemented. Unlike our competitors, Blue Ocean stays involved with the process to ensure that predicted/anticipated energy savings actually occur.

Scope of Work:

  • Work with site staff to improve energy efficiency
  • Monitor Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)
  • Monthly portfolio performance analysis of facilities
  • Assist with the implementation of any cost savings strategies identified
  • Monthly cost monitoring (normalized) to determine actual savings

Educate and Recognize

The “Educate” and “Recognize” components are important to engage internal stakeholders. Some clients prefer to widely involve their tenants.  Some clients prefer the energy saving measures to be invisible to their tenants.  Blue Ocean customizes our support based on the unique relationships our client has with stakeholders.   

Educate stakeholders including facility managers, occupants and decision-makers
Recognize achievements and the need for future actions

General observations for success of the “Educate” and “Recognize” components include:

  • Communicate need for Energy Management Strategy to internal stakeholders
  • Internal stakeholder feedback loop while generating Energy Management Strategy
  • Establish/train local energy director and team leaders
  • Establish objectives of Energy Management Strategy
  • Share measurement and performance of KPIs with internal stakeholders
  • Establish corrective actions process if KPIs objectives are not met
  • Recognize/celebrate when/if objectives and goals are met

Energy Monitoring

Energy Monitoring

Energy Monitoring

Blue Ocean offers Real-Time Energy Monitoring (RTM) of electrical loads. Usually this service is part of our Comprehensive Energy Audit where we determine what is actually going on in a building. We maintain a dialogue with site staff to determine if and when functions or necessary. Many times, Blue Ocean finds operation changes that can positively impact the bottom line by reducing energy consumption.

During the Real-Time Energy Monitoring process, Blue Ocean collects data about a building and uses that data to optimize the building’s energy usage which shows how the building is actually performing at any point in time. We analyze energy usage data and make customized suggestions and recommendations focusing on the low-hanging fruit first.

This is where we begin to develop and Energy Management Strategy:

  • Identify opportunities to decrease energy consumption
  • Develop an Energy Management Strategy with facility management
  • Implement the Energy Management Strategy and act on identified opportunities
Education

Education

As an expert energy efficiency steward, Blue Ocean Energy provides various types of training and education. Here are some of our projects:

**BOMA BEEP (BOMA Energy Efficiency Program) series: Working with BOMA Austin, Blue Ocean has helped organize this energy efficiency program for building owners and managers and has participated as a speaker. BEEP reflects the latest industry trends, new technologies, and best practices to help the commercial real estate industry reduce energy consumption and improve the energy performance of real estate assets

**Real Estate Property Management and Site Staff Training – Blue Ocean offers personal and tailored programs designed specifically for a commercial building’s team. Training can help clarify energy rate plans, sub-metering, and how Blue Ocean’s monthly utility analysis program can help the team achieve operational and actionable recommendations.

**Austin Energy ALL STARS Program – Blue Ocean currently supports Austin Energy’s Educational Outreach program to 6th grade students in the Austin Energy service territory. Since 2018, Blue Ocean has provided in-class presentations helping children understand what energy efficiency and energy conservation truly mean. Introductions to the Austin Energy All Stars kit and products also help them understand what can be done to save energy at home.

 

 

What is Demand:

What is Demand:

What is Demand:

Electric power use is metered in two ways: on maximum kilowatt use during a given time period (i.e., kW demand typically measured in 15-minute intervals) and on total cumulative consumption in kilowatt hours (kWh). A customer’s electric rate is set using a complex process of tracking cost of services and often seeking regulatory approvals.

The general theory is that demand charges reflect the utilities’ fixed costs of providing a given level of power availability to the customer, and energy charges reflect the variable portion of those costs as the customer actually uses that power availability.

Power companies often use a meter that records the power use during either a 15- or 30-minute time window. The average power used during that window is used to calculate the kW demand.

One low-cost method for controlling peak demand charges is a staged start-up: turn on one piece of equipment at a time, create a schedule where the heaviest intensity equipment doesn’t all operate at full capacity simultaneously.

 

What is Power Factor:

What is Power Factor:

What is Power Factor:

Power Factor (PF) is another measurement of how efficiently electricity is used in a building. Utilities are moving to a pricing structure that intends to “punish” clients with poor or below average Power Factor (PF) and Load Factor (demand) measurements.

In the simplest of terms, power factor is a measure of how effectively electric power is consumed at commercial and industrial facilities. Greater amounts of power that is wasted results in a low power factor. Customers who have a low power factor draw more electric current over an interval of time and have a higher cost to serve.  A low power factor results in greater system losses, and requires the utility to install or purchase additional capacity.

Austin Energy started to report Power Factor on utility invoices as of October of 2011. As part of the Austin Energy rate restructuring approved June 2012 by the City of Austin, the Power Factor Adjustment was increased from 85% to 90% (.85 to .90). Customers with a Power Factor 90% and above are not charged a power factor adjustment.

Austin Energy’s Powersaver™ program currently offers lightning retrofit, motor and variable frequency drive rebates that increase energy efficiency and may help increase power factor.