Use Validation to Maintain your Savings
July 05, 2016
(This article is part of the Roadmap 2 Summer Series. Click here to read last week’s article.)
You’ve created your energy roadmap with energy-saving strategies to beat the heat and keep your summer utility bills from skyrocketing. Now what?
Validating your outcomes is a key step to help ensure your strategies are yielding big results. Validation helps keep your building on track while also gaining the buy in, resources and funding you may need for additional energy management projects and improvements all year long.
An ongoing process
Setting goals and creating a plan for improvement — and then executing that plan — isn’t the end of the process. Ongoing validation is a critical part of keeping your building summer-ready. This evaluation helps yield continued improvements and savings — and helps ensure your systems and equipment continue to perform efficiently throughout summer’s hottest days.
Establishing a baseline using data from your key performance indicators (KPIs) is an important first step. The baseline data helps you compare performance and trends, so you know where improvements are working — and where they are not. To create an energy baseline, start by looking at your building’s historical performance data or a peer’s benchmarks. Understanding how your building is supposed to perform and how it’s actually performing is key to prioritizing building needs.
Validation can be harder to execute with a software- or technology-only solution. Working through the process with Trane as your partner gives you continuous one-on-one support and analysis. Trane will tailor the validation process to your building and business goals, so you get the performance data needed to not only make a case for implementing your energy management plan but also validate progress against your KPIs, allowing you to measure and demonstrate the return on investment once the project is implemented in order to gain buy-in and support.
Awareness is key in the success of any building project. Utilizing energy dashboards and reporting tools to show building occupants and other stakeholders how improvement projects are saving energy — and costs — allows you to take ownership of the efficiency efforts and increase buy in. Key metrics can be displayed in the building lobby, for example, or you could tie incentives to the results to help improve efficiency efforts.
Demonstrating the success of project improvements and showing how they align with business goals will help ensure continued financial support and buy in for future energy management projects.
Continuous evaluation and benchmarking will help ensure your building remains on track this summer. Utilize the tools and expertise of Trane building professionals to help you understand how to best measure your KPIs and benchmark progress over time so you can turn your building into an asset.
Stay tuned for next week's article, as we'll discuss how buildings typically respond to heat stressors and provide tips for managing your building in summer’s hottest months.