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Cloud Energy Management: How Utilizing the Cloud Will Impact Commissioning 2.0 for Retrofits

When conducting a building retrofit and connecting to a cloud energy management platform, it is easy to assume the system is self-sufficient. However, the real value of cloud energy management lies in actionable changes within your facility, and this includes differences among the energy use behaviors of building occupants. Of course, advanced systems can control energy use and encourage energy-conscious behaviors, but the key to successful cloud energy management is Commissioning 2.0, also known as continuous commissioning. Facility Managers need to understand what Commissioning 2.0 for retrofits truly means.

Facilities Managers May Overlook Opportunities During Commissioning

During commissioning, Facilities Managers may overlook vast opportunities for improvement.  Retro-commissioning with the Internet of Things (IoT) allows for the use of wireless systems to connect assets to an energy management platform. Unfortunately, problems can arise during the retrofit process. Equipment or lighting controls may contribute to energy waste, systems that simultaneously heat and cool could run unexpectedly, thermostats may be out of calibration, and malfunctions will become evident. Any issues identified during Commissioning 2.0 requires immediate action, but it is not enough to only make improvements at the time of a retrofit. Continuous commissioning –  implying the use of a connected technology to gather data about the asset – is essential to success.

Why Commissioning 2.0 Is Crucial to Success

Commissioning a major facility asset traditionally refers to the initial installation of the asset. The introduction of a system that continuously tracks the condition of the asset could be considered continuous commissioning or Commissioning 2.0. Commissioning 2.0 over retrofits is about making the most out of existing assets, and since most buildings, approximately 85 percent, do not fall in the “new construction” category, it is unlikely that existing buildings have such systems in place. Ironically, most enterprises and companies waste energy to the tune of $60 billion annually across the retail, restaurant, corporate real estate, and manufacturing industries. However, understanding more about the function of facility assets in energy use behaviors and varying patterns will enable cost avoidance and direct energy savings.

The Benefits of Cloud Energy Management

Cloud energy management is the next generation of building commissioning. It allows Facility Managers to retro-commission assets, restoring their original function, and ongoing commissioning is a simple way of describing the use of a “predictive” preventative maintenance program to extend an assets life expectancy to its maximum. Even with an established plan in place, businesses will hit a savings’ wall, asserts Derek Tynan of FacilitiesNet. Energy savings are only one part in the equation for return on investment (ROI). Continuous commissioning will evolve into the conscious effort to reduce energy consumption through better energy use behaviors. In other words, companies will need to continue maintenance and consider human actions’ effect on facility energy use. Ongoing commissioning through a combined asset-level and human-level effort ensures maximum energy efficiency, explains Consulting-Specifying Engineer magazine.

Put the “Cloud” to Work Through Continuous Commissioning

The retrofit process is only a fraction of the period where opportunities for improvement will become evident. Find out what’s going on throughout your distributed facilities with the right, cloud-based system, such as ENTOUCH.360™. Learn more by visiting ENTOUCH online or calling 1-800-820-3511 today.

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