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Developing a Strategic Energy Management Plan

The Building Manager’s Guide to Developing a Strategic Energy Management Plan (SEMP)

Recently, I had the pleasure of presenting a seminar at PMExpo in Toronto. The goal of my presentation was to help Building Managers understand the need to develop a comprehensive Strategic Energy Management Plan. Here at Efficiency Engineering, we are a trusted solutions provider to our clients and help them realize energy savings in their building.

Reasons for Conservation:

There are many reasons for conserving energy and reducing greenhouse gas emissions, including:

PMExpo 2018_Climate Change
  1. Altruistic.  Global warming is real, and we are already seeing the effects of it.
  2. Financial.  Undertaking Energy Conservation Measures (ECMs) increase the value of the building, almost always more than the cost of implementation.
  3. Reduce Risk.  Conservation reduces exposure to fluctuating utility costs.  Some ECMs also make facilities more resilient to extended power outages and storms.
  4. Compliance.  The requirements of the new Energy and Water Reporting Benchmark can easily be achieved with information from an SEMP.

An SEMP involves the following:

SEMP Presentation PMExpo
  1. Goals and Objectives.  Must have a target and a timeline, such as “Achieve 15ekWh/ft2 by 2020”.
  2. Assess/Audit of Facility
    • Understand existing conditions, including:
      • Thorough utility bill analysis
      • Utility consumption breakout into different end uses
      • Documenting all energy using equipment and systems, and energy loss systems (such as building envelope).
    • Uncover ECMs, and:
      • Accurately quantify savings.
      • Accurately estimate installation cost.
      • LCC Financial Analysis
  3. Plan/Design.  A package of ECMs with reasonable financial returns should be put forward so that less attractive ECMs aren’t ignored.
  4. Implement.  Possible routes to implement are:
    • Owner hires contractor directly.  Works well on prescriptive type ECMs such as Toilet replacement projects.
    • Design/Tender.  Typically the lowest cost option.
    • Design-Build.  Typically shortest timeline.  It is key to select a good contractor to partner with.
  5. Measurement & Verification.  Options for M&V are:
    • Option A – Partially measured retrofit isolation.  Eg. Lighting, where the load reduction is measured and the hours are estimated.
    • Option B – Retrofit isolation.  Eg. Lighting, where load and hours are both measured.
    • Option C – Whole facility utility bill analysis and comparison to baseline.  Savings should be greater than 10% of total building consumption.
    • Option D – Calibrated Simulation.  Expensive and inaccurate, but may be necessary when measurements are difficult and savings are small.
  6. Optimize. The building should be continuously monitored in order to achieve sustained savings.
  7. Start Over.  A Strategic Energy Management Plan should be a living document that is continuously uncovering and driving energy conservation opportunities.