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  • Writer's pictureCorey L. Wilson

ENERGY & Buildings Management Software For Facilities

Updated: Nov 28, 2023



Many energy management software systems are designed to perform in sync with and/or are a component of facility and property management software systems. Most facility and property management software systems feature the components listed below, but the one we’re going to focus on in this chapter is the first one, environmental sustainability & energy performance analysis.

  • Environmental sustainability & energy performance analysis

  • Mange assets and track important equipment information

  • Manage maintenance costs

  • Automate maintenance workflows

  • Create and manage recurring tasks

  • Increase asset efficiency

  • Streamline work order processes (e.g., repair requests, completion tracking)

  • Reduce space and maintenance costs

As noted in the previous chapter, the Energy Use Intensity (EUI) metric will be the Key Performance Indicator (KPI) environmental sustainability & energy performance analysis. The one environmental sustainability & energy performance software program that provides the industry standard for energy analysis, tracking and savings is EPA’s free ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager program. The Department of Energy’s (DOE) ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager The ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager is free and focused on energy management and cost savings. It also tracks water and waste management that are not covered in this book. It is also the essential energy management software program required to provide the necessary energy performance and benchmarking information for most of the US based green building certification programs such as LEED that are covered in Chapter 13 - ENERGY Certifications for Facilities and Managers. No facility should be without it! ENERGY STAR’s Portfolio Manager can assist in evaluating and tracking a facility’s energy consumption, help identify underperforming facilities, generate an ENERGY STAR score, track energy savings from implementation of energy efficient measures, and evaluate potential energy saving measures for a facility. With the assistance of ENERGY STAR Measurement and Tracking Tool: Portfolio Manager, facility owners and managers can make more informed decisions on topics and matters that are based on the energy performance of their facility. By entering basic information about a facility and its energy consumption data, the tool calculates annual energy consumption, which can be compared to other similar facilities using the CBECS benchmarking data. Some facilities that meet certain criteria can take this further and use the tool to benchmark energy usage against facilities across the nation and determine the building’s ENERGY STAR score. You’ve heard it before you can’t manage what you don’t measure. That’s why EPA created ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager®, an online tool you can use to measure and track energy and water consumption, as well as greenhouse gas emissions. Use it to benchmark the performance of one building or a whole portfolio of buildings, all in a secure online environment. You can use Portfolio Manager to manage the energy and water use of any building. All you need are your energy and utility bills and some basic information about your building to get started. Are you designing a new commercial building, or remodeling, or adding an addition to an existing one? You can also use Portfolio Manager to set your energy use target and see how your estimated design energy stacks up against similar existing buildings nationwide. Building Managers Can Take Advantage of These Cost Savings Now Back in the fall 2019, a mix of energy storage aggregators and utility-run programs such as California’s Self-Generation Incentive Program (SGIP) brought to the energy market a wide range of resources together for FM’s to reduce peak load, take stress off the system, and slash utility costs. The SGIP provides incentives to support advanced distributed energy resources and provides rebates for qualifying distributed energy resources (DERs) installed on the customer's side of the utility meter. To help manage these resources, and with more than a hundred vendors in the facilities and property management software landscape to choose from, this market can be difficult to navigate but there’s no excuse for not using one, preferably one that integrates with EPA’s ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager. Vendors use different terms to describe software functionality for energy management and have varying strengths and weaknesses where energy management is the emphasis. Buyer beware! Most of the energy management software systems will have Building Automation System (BAS) and/or an Energy Management System (EMS) capabilities. Others are more facilities and property management focused, others more maintenance and operations centric, and they all share in common the use of the Internet of Things (IoT) for data. Furthermore, these facility/building management software systems are categorized in a handful of functional categories and are known as Computer-Aided Facility Management (CAFM), Computerized Maintenance Management Software (CMMS), Enterprise Asset Management (EAM) and Integrated Workplace Management System (IWMS). Even Building Information Modeling (BIM) programs now have post design and construction capabilities that can track and manage energy resources. Meanwhile, software is becoming available that will interconnect different facility software systems linking BAS/EMS, IWMS, CMMS/CAFM programs and BIM. No particular software providers are endorsed here, however, for a list of the leading vendors and the pros and cons of their capabilities, please visit the Appendix at the end of the book or contact CLW Enterprises for ENERGY and Facilities Management Software Review Providers links for more information. For more details about the basic categories of software providers, please read on. BAS/EMS In this day and age, most properties and facilities should have a Building Automation System (BAS) and/or an Energy Management System (EMS). BAS and EMS software systems provide a single control center that handles the remote monitoring and operation of building systems such as electricity, lighting, plumbing, HVACR and environmental control systems. Continual monitoring of all these systems ensures a reliable working environment for personnel and visitors and is an effective tool for resource conservation and waste minimization. CMMS/CAFM Computerized Maintenance Management System (CMMS) and Computer-Aided Facility Management (CAFM) software packages maintain a database on the maintenance and operations in an organization as well as the facilities and properties. Viewed by some professionals as the nervous system of a facility, CMMS/CAFM packages produce status reports and documents detailing and summarizing maintenance, operations, facility and property activities and statistics. EAM Enterprise Asset Management (EAM) involves the management of the maintenance of physical assets of an organization throughout each asset's lifecycle. EAM is used to plan, optimize, execute, and track the needed maintenance activities with the associated priorities, skills, materials, tools, and information. This covers the design, construction, commissioning, operations, maintenance and decommissioning or replacement of plant, equipment and facilities. IWMS An Integrated Workplace Management System (IWMS) is a software platform used by enterprises which integrates the five key components of functionality into a single technology platform and database repository, or from a storage receptacle. It is an enterprise platform that supports the planning, design, management, utilization and disposal of an organization's location-based assets. BIM Building Information Modeling (BIM) is a shared 3D digital representation of the physical and functional characteristics of the built environment. It is a knowledge resource for information about a facility, designed to form a reliable basis for management decisions during a facility's life cycle. The basics of BIM revolve around the ability to insert, extract, update or modify information to support and reflect the responsibilities of the facility manager. Today is the sixth of 15 installments of the 15 chapters of the second edition of ENERGY Cost Savings For Facilities, by Corey L. Wilson, that will will be presented each week in this newsletter. Each chapter is approximately 3 to 4 pages long covering essential info every FM should know about concerning energy cost savings for their facilities. If you can't wait until the last chapter, you can purchase the guidebook right now by following the instructions below.

ENERGY Cost Savings For Facilities Available in epub, pdf, and paperback versions for $7.99, $14.99 and $24.99. Excellent resource and textbook for facilities and operatons managers, energy industry professionals, sustainability workforce development, educators and students. CHAPTERS 1 – An ENERGY Savings Introduction For Facilities 2 – Your Facilities’ Electrical ENERGY Future is Now 3 – Electrical ENERGY Saving Systems For Facilities 4 – Potential ENERGY Cost Savings For Facilities 5 – Sustainable ENERGY Buildings Plans For Facilities 6 – ENERGY & Buildings Management Software For Facilities 7 – ENERGY Surveys, Inspections, Audits & Commissioning For Facilities 8 – Facilities ENERGY Benchmarking Using Portfolio Manager 9 – ENERGY Efficient Lighting For Facilities 10 – ENERGY Efficient HVACR Systems For Facilities 11 – California’s Time-of-Use ENERGY Rate Changes For Facilities 12 – ENERGY Code Compliance Measures For Facilities 13 – ENERGY Storage Batteries and Beyond For Facilities 14 – Utilizing an ENERGY Savings Plan Budget For Facilities 15 – Implementing an ENERGY Storage System For Facilities

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