As a facility manager, you’re tasked with maintaining your facilities’ critical energy equipment. Not always as easy as it sounds because determining system settings to ensure an enjoyable customer experience while minimizing energy usage and maximizing the life of equipment such as HVAC units takes time and effort. After finalizing these critical set points, how do you ensure that employees don’t adjust, or tamper with your system settings while you’re away?
Sure, you can set verbal or written policies for your staff to follow. Or, you can schedule on and off times and minimum and maximum temperature settings. But how do you know whether your employees are following your processes or if they are overriding your settings? And how do you take control when you’re away?
This is impossible to detect if all you get is an energy bill at the end of the month primarily because there’s no breakdown of energy usage. Plus, you have to make time to go through it.
Here are three ways analytics can help eliminate costly employee changes without sacrificing customer comfort.
Employee Usage Analytics – This set of analytics monitors employee changes to electrical systems that directly affect energy consumption. For example, frequent changes to HVAC settings can dramatically increase energy consumption. With HVAC-related employee usage analytics, management can see how often users touch the thermostat, or turn lights on and off. Management gets this information in real time and can see what the impact is on energy usage. You can review the changes with in-store management to learn if a restaurant is following procedures that were put in place.
Energy Process Analytics – For major energy systems, access may not be widely granted, but there are still processes that need to be followed. Energy process analytics answer questions around when exhaust fans or lights are turned on and off, or whether exhaust fans have been properly set. The analytics can also track when employees arrive, when activities begin and when cleaning crews are in your facilities. With these analytics, you can track procedures, but this data can also be used to benchmark one store against another store based on revenue or square footage or other metrics that are important.
Facility Usage Analytics –Analytics can go beyond HVAC and lighting and can even detect when employees leave refrigeration or outside doors open and for how long. These activities can impact guest comfort and also, in the case of refrigeration, lead to increased food spoilage. Other regular maintenance, such as refrigeration temperatures and defrost cycles can be determined through this set of analytics reducing the risk of facility crisis.
How it helped a leading hardware store chain
One EnTouch Control customer recently used facility usage analytics to find out why a particular location’s energy bills were significantly higher than similar stores.
Prior to monitoring, the facility staff was puzzled on what was causing this increase in energy usage, as well as the increase in customer complaints about being cold. The staff in this large hardware store was planning on having the HVAC systems replaced and running new ductwork.
Analytics from the EnTouch EMS determined that loading dock doors were left open, sometimes from the time a delivery arrived in the morning until the end of the day. By monitoring and reporting this to the local managers, behavior was modified, energy waste was eliminated and unnecessarily installing an expensive new HVAC system was avoided.
If something in your facility is using energy, water or gas, analytics can most likely be used to maximize the efficiency of the appliance or system. Find out how EnTouch can help you control, monitor and analyze your facility energy use here – http://entouchcontrols.com/our-products/overview/.