DOE’s ‘Smart Energy Analytics Campaign’ Helped Reduce C&I Energy Bills by $95 Million Per Year Collectively

(Credit: Pixabay)

by | Oct 21, 2020

This article is included in these additional categories:

(Credit: Pixabay)

The Department of Energy’s “Smart Energy Analytics Campaign” helped drive approximately 4 trillion BTUs of annual energy savings, reducing the campaign participants’ collective energy bills by $95 million a year. The research also enabled Berkeley Lab to create the world’s biggest collection of data on building energy analytics. This dataset represents the first real-world, large-scale body of evidence of EMIS’ value to commercial buildings.

More than 100 US companies, schools, governments, and institutions have used the  Smart Energy Analytics Campaign, a four-year initiative funded through the Building Technologies Office and facilitated by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) to expand the use of energy management and information systems (EMIS) in commercial buildings.

“Buildings account for nearly 40% of the energy used in the United States, with a total bill well over $400 billion per year,” said scientist Jessica Granderson, Berkeley Lab’s research deputy of the Building Technology & Urban Systems Division and leader of Berkeley Lab’s efforts in the campaign. “Energy management and information systems are smart building analytics technologies that reveal hidden energy waste and provide predictive, optimized control. They are critical to achieving major reductions in energy use and to providing healthy, grid-interactive efficient building and energy performance transparency.”

Nationwide, if buildings throughout the commercial sector adopted EMIS best practices, the resulting savings in annual energy costs could total $4 billion. Campaign participants — including Sprint, Kaiser Permanente, and Stanford University — implemented or expanded existing EMIS programs during the campaign and saved millions of dollars.

The campaign, a public-private partnership with businesses and public-sector organizations, has supported cutting-edge analytics technology use in over 6,500 buildings totaling 567 million square feet of floor space. It allowed Berkeley Lab experts to offer technical assistance and provide industry partners with frequent opportunities for peer-to-peer interaction, including exchanging best practices.

Median participants saved $3 million annually

Researchers found that average installation and software costs ranged from $0.02 to $0.08 per square foot, depending on the type of EMIS system. The median participant saved approximately $3 million in annual energy costs across their portfolio. Investments in EMIS paid for themselves in approximately two years.

One participant, health care system Kaiser Permanente, expanded its use of fault detection and diagnostic software (FDD), a type of EMIS that uncovers errors in buildings systems such as heating, ventilation, and air conditioning, and points to solutions. In 2019, Kaiser Permanente was recognized for its use of EMIS at 69 buildings, demonstrating an average energy savings of 12%. It has since expanded the program to 113 buildings.

Smart Energy Analytics Campaign participants whose energy management efforts incorporated FDD saw a median 9% annual energy savings.

Specific examples help achieve carbon neutrality

Sprint, which has a goal of going carbon neutral by 2025, added fault detection and diagnostic software to the EMIS covering its headquarters campus in Kansas. Sprint’s EMIS system saved the company over $400,000 in energy bills and 4,787,000 kWh annually.

The Commonwealth of Kentucky implemented its Commonwealth Energy Management and Control System (CEMCS), an EMIS monitoring 1,145 buildings. A sampling of the buildings, which range from offices to college dormitories to hospitals and food-service facilities, revealed energy savings of 8%.

Stanford University’s 315 housing and food-service operations were being serviced by 2,000 separate utility accounts. The university installed monitors and an EMIS to track utilities and identify opportunities to cut waste. That saved Stanford University Residential and Dining Enterprises $451,000 on its utility bills, including reducing the electric bill by 5% and the gas bill by 10%.

Additional articles you will be interested in.

Stay Informed

Get E+E Leader Articles delivered via Newsletter right to your inbox!

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.
Share This