KMC - Energy Management & Efficiency
"Energy Efficiency" and "Energy Management" are terms that have a number of meanings. Here, we are mainly concerned with the terms that relate to saving energy in the commercial/institutional building sector. Additionally, we are speaking only about energy-saving efforts that focus on making better use of existing buildings and equipment – not the behavioral aspects of energy saving.
Energy efficiency is defined as using less energy to provide the same level of energy service, where energy management, the practice of monitoring, controlling and optimizing a building's energy use is the means used to reach energy efficiency goals. By implementing different energy efficient and management technologies into new and existing buildings, owners and society can reap many economical and environmental rewards such as:
- Reduced Operating Costs – Energy efficiency leads to drastic reductions in overall energy & resource use, which allows for long-term savings in financial capital. Money previously directed toward utility costs may be used for other purposes
- Increased Property Values – With energy costs on the rise, the low operating costs & easy maintenance of efficient buildings make for higher property values
- Decreased Equipment Strain – Efficient buildings exert less demand on heating & cooling systems thus reducing maintenance & extending the life of equipment
- Greenhouse Gas Mitigation & Emissions Reductions – One source of carbon dioxide emissions is the result of using energy to heat, cool & provide hot water for buildings. These pollutants contribute to global climate change, cause air quality issues & pose risks to human health. Implementing energy efficient technologies & techniques reduce harmful emissions.
Companies have been managing their energy consumption for years but not until recently has it become a corporate priority. Energy management is no longer viewed as a cost centre but rather a profit centre. Corporations today are starting to focus on how effective energy management can help their business become more profitable & moving the energy discussion from the facility into the boardroom.
The trend above often results in the creation of an Energy Management Program (EMP). Actions that generally need to be taken in order to address energy use in an EMP may include one or more of the following:
- Developing & approving an energy policy & strategy
- Training & actions to raise knowledge & awareness
- Energy audits to identify & evaluate opportunities
- Developing & employing improvement opportunities
- Implement an Energy Management System (EMS) often referred to as a Building Automation System (BAS)
Once opportunities are identified, they need to be developed into projects that can be justified and implemented. Developing the project includes accurate estimates of costs and benefits as well as assessments of practical, safety and environmental issues. These opportunities can include equipment tune-ups, process modifications and equipment replacements. However, the opportunity most often implemented is the installation of an Energy Management System (EMS). An EMS is the key element to effective energy management. A modern EMS will be a tightly integrated software and hardware solution designed specifically for the automated control and monitoring of the heating, ventilation, air conditioning (HVAC), lighting and other subsystems of a building or group of buildings such as university campuses, office complexes, or factories. These systems are used to ensure that benefits are achieved and sustained through monitoring, performance analysis and effective reporting to all levels of an organization.
There are many key deliverables of an EMS. Examples include the following:
- Early detection of poor performance
- Support for decision making
- Effective performance reporting
- Auditing of historical operations
- Evidence of success
- Support for energy budgeting & management accounting
It is important to recognize that an EMS does not stand alone. It needs management commitment, procedures, organization, training and appropriate technical expertise. Training is essential to ensure that operations personnel understand key energy issues and what actions they need to perform in order to reduce costs. Additionally, strategies must revolve around a trusted partner with the proper technical expertise who can help realize energy efficiency/management goals.
KMC Controls makes it easy to increase the energy efficiency and operational performance of commercial and/or institutional buildings by automating and controlling building systems. For over 40 years, KMC has pioneered innovations that include pneumatic and electronic control devices for heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) applications, as well as a complete line of fully programmable digital hardware and intuitive software for local and remote web-based facility management. Our products reach the world through a network of authorized distribution partners. These experts are qualified to help businesses every step of the way–no matter what stage of planning. KMC Controls and Our Network of Partners have worked with thousands of commercial and institutional businesses throughout the world.