World-Class Energy Management

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Purpose of the project

We began our journey in 2008 with an ambitious corporate target and call to action. It was something we called Target 2012 - a 20% reduction in greenhouse gases by 2012, relative to a 2005 base year. This resulted in a clear focus for our property management teams and integrated sustainability metrics into our core business for the first time (quarterly business meetings, compensation, awards). We achieved this target ahead of schedule.

We followed this up with another corporate energy target - a 10% reduction in energy intensity (per Sqf) by 2014 - and turned our attention to rigorous benchmarking and recommissioning. This went hand in hand with our focus on LEED for Existing Buildings. It resulted in additional energy reductions, and we achieved our target ahead of schedule again.

 

Approach

Having successfully integrated energy management into our culture, our next step was to elevate the tools and intelligence around our energy data. Building energy data contains a generous amount of information, however, most data visualization software programs require user’s additional analysis and comparison of current performance to previous performance.

We recently developed an “energy signature” for each utility and office building, showing how the building performs in the full range of temperatures throughout the year. We then used the building’s best past performance to calculate a “predicted daily energy target” for each building. We proceeded to challenge each building to match its best past performance to “Be the Best You Have Been”, while reporting daily, weekly and monthly results (variance between predicted and actual consumption) to building operators and upward to senior management.

Weekly and monthly reports and performance reviews ensured accountability at all levels, from Operators to General Managers and allow operations and maintenance teams to better understand building energy drivers and detect positive or negative performance variations.

 

Results

Our office buildings achieved incremental energy reductions against their previous best performance of an average of 6.5% in the first year of the program. This is primarily the result of operators now having frequent visibility into their energy data and their building’s performance through daily targets. The targets are specific, customized, and clear, thus resulting in a high level of engagement. The continuous feedback provided through weekly reporting allows operators to identify the impact of operating schedule modifications, eliminating unnecessary equipment run-times. Equipment deficiencies are now easily identified and addressed, to ensure limited impact on occupant comfort and overall utility consumption. Certain sites have been able to identify and correct deviations from original sequences of operation; deviations that could not have been detected otherwise.

We are now using the data to go beyond beating your best past performance and to encourage property teams to "Be the Best You Have Been”. New 2015 daily predicted targets were calculated based on the newly achieved performance, challenging our buildings to continually improve and achieve their optimum performance levels.

Accountability, learning and results. We have had some success against each, and continue to look for new ways to move the needle even further.

 

"Our approach to energy management is rooted in our people - by investing in them and challenging them with progressive targets, we have been able to drive real energy savings for our customers while maintaining the highest standards of comfort."

- Andrew McAllan, SVP and Managing Director, Real Estate Management