Energy and water savings services
Our services are used to save costs on energy and water, improve occupant comfort and reduce operating and maintenance costs. We offer a variety of services to accomplish these goals, and our clients include building owners and managers, engineers and architects, and construction and maintenance professionals.
We are sometimes involved in the design stages for general consulting and specific technical design of automation, control and metering systems. More often, we work with existing buildings to help improve them to operate more efficiently.
We are committed to produce transparent results based on proven open standards – so that the results of our work can integrate with other systems and be carried on by others as needed. The savings achievable from our work can also be financed and insured.
Energy, water and GHG benchmarking
Benchmarking as a management practice dates back to the late nineteenth / early twentieth century when Frederick Taylor began to measure productivity by marking daily output on the work benches used in manufacturing processes.
Management of labor efficiency outputs has been standard practice ever since, but only recently has managing energy efficiency become a more standard practice. Organizations that focus on energy efficiency see improvements to their financial bottom line.
Building energy benchmarking is now recognized as an energy saving measure in itself. Studies have shown an average of 7% energy savings can be achieved by benchmarking over time.
In some jurisdictions, there are energy benchmarking and disclosure laws which exist now, or are coming soon. There are about 20 jurisdictions in North America where some form of energy reporting and disclosure is required. These public reports on building energy use are anticipated over time to save energy and to drive rental rates and building asset valuations within a given market. Regardless of your opinion on this policy, it’s become law and financial penalties for non-compliance can be steep. Contact us to help you file your benchmarking reports today.
Measure it to manage it. Observe energy performance over time. Compare within your portfolio or against your peer group of similar buildings. Target your resources to the best investment opportunities. Alert Energy makes it simple to benchmark your building from the portfolio level to to the plug level, depending on your data granularity needs.
Many organizations undertake some form of benchmarking – typically collecting (non-normalized) consumption and costs in a spreadsheet. Do you know how your building performance compares to other facilities you manage? How about compared to buildings in your peer group market? How do normalized energy use intensity benchmarks give you actionable data? Is this data available to all the key decision makers in your organization? Our benchmarking process is built on a platform that can be used by your organization and generates results internally and to give tools to compare your buildings against our internal benchmark datasets and some benchmark studies such as the CBECS and the SCIEU and Energy Star Portfolio Manager. Those public benchmarking tools are a good resource for building owners.
The Alert Energy benchmarking services expand on the data available from them, and organize your data to support energy management and decision making processes.
Contact us today to find out more.
Energy and water audits
Our energy audits are guaranteed to find energy savings potential in any building type. Any energy conservation measures undertaken based on our audits are subject to measurement and verification. We track the energy use before and after to ensure the investment worked. This feedback and data is used to improve our assumptions and recommendations. The recommendations we make can be insured to guarantee the energy savings.
See below to learn more about the three different levels of audits we can undertake for your location.
Types Of Audits We Offer
The term benchmarking originated in management with Frederick Taylor, the father of scientific management. He would mark the benches of the factory workers to denote high or low productivity levels, and areas where improvements can be made.
We benchmark your buildings for energy and cost performance so the high cost locations can be targeted for remedial actions and cost saving measures. New clients can benchmark a building for free to get a simple report showing their building performance.
Using utility bills, interval meter data and a few other data points, we can compare your buildings energy performance to our database of peer buildings to let you know how your performance compares to your similar buildings which might be inhabited by your competitors (we keep identities and exact locations confidential).
Traditionally an energy audit has been a lengthy, laborious process, however with some information from equipment you may already have such as interval energy meters, sub metering systems and automation system trend logs along with some basic information about your buildings profile, we can run a “no-touch” energy audit without setting foot in your building.
Of course, this is a much less detailed audit than when your technicians come on site. But it can reveal significant energy savings opportunities, and allows for multi-building portfolios to rank and prioritize.
When undertaking these types of audits, it is not uncommon for us to find issues which are simple to correct but that may have gone undetected for years. Equipment and lights running at all hours, pumps circulating heating water in the summer, air conditioning running in the winter with heaters fighting them. The list goes on.
This simple exercise can find simple savings right away and reveal bigger opportunities to build into a multi year improvement plan. Contact us to schedule your audit today.
DETAILED ON-SITE AUDIT
Our on site energy audits are conducted by energy and water savings enthusiasts who get a kick out of finding energy savings opportunities.
We can conduct 3 basic levels of energy audits for any building type: walk through; detailed energy use analysis; and detailed study of capital intensive measures.
Walk through audits are high level review of a location systems and the energy used. The auditor reviews utility bills, discusses the facility with the building operators and conducts a high level review of the location to identify potential opportunities.
Detailed energy analysis audits go deeper, often using energy sub meters to measure energy use in certain systems over a period of time in short increments. The study may also involve some basic energy modelling simulations of the facility of the sub systems to identify energy consumption and savings opportunities.
Detailed study of capital intensive measures is a design exercise and can be considered the precursor to engineering design. It is essentially a feasibility study undertaken to determine if the recommended measures will save energy, and can be implemented from a technical and financial perspective.
Whatever level of audit you require, we can help. In many jurisdictions, there are also grants available to help cover the costs of this service. Contact us to find out more.
Monitoring, measurement and verification
We monitor our clients buildings energy and water use along with other sustainability metrics on an ongoing basis. This includes monitoring real time sensor and meter data feeds as well as daily meter readings and utility bills along with a variety of ‘soft data’ sources that helps inform our analytics engines to ensure that building systems performance remains optimized and any drift, leaks or errors can be corrected before costs get out of control.
Measurement and Verification (or M&V) is a systematic process to monitor energy use before and after energy savings retrofits. The process takes into account interactive effects like weather and building occupancy or production levels and verifies the actual energy savings attributable to a change in equipment or process.
Your Measurement and Verification (M&V) goals could be making sure your investments were sound, gaining points under LEED, complying with energy grant requirements or justifying payments under energy performance or savings contracts. Whatever the reason, Alert Energy has the expertise to create your M&V plan and implement it. We also provide the service of reviewing M&V plans by others on behalf of owners.
Automation and controls, metering and data collection
Efficient buildings require automation and controls systems to ensure equipment works as designed. The falling costs of electronics components and evolution of “the internet of things” is making building automation systems an increasingly attractive option for building energy management. We work primarily with systems using open protocols to ensure maximum functionality and to avoid vendor lock in.
Our systems can be integrated with other software tools by using open standards like BACnet, MODBUS, Haystack, Green Button, and Building Button (among others) to ensure long term viability and interoperability of your systems and data.
Sub-metering of energy and water use is the best way to ensure costs are divided fairly for all parties, and gives great incentive for energy cost savings. Sub-meters are installed after the utility grade meter and can be used for billing purposes, diagnostics and consumption tracking.
We design metering and data collection systems for energy and water management, process control and billing purposes.
Contact us today to find out how we can help you with new and existing automation, metering and data collection systems.
The end result of many of our audits and energy engineering consulting is a retrofit of a facility. We can offer the following retrofit design and build services in most locations across North America:
- Power factor correction
- Efficient process equipment
- Heating and cooling systems
- Packaged roof top units
- Energy recovery ventilators
- Air handlers
- Automation systems and controls
- Building envelope improvements
- Energy recycling
- Solar energy
- Ground source heating and cooling
Commissioning and recommissioning
Commissioning is a systematic process to ensure equipment and systems have been installed, set up and operated correctly. Our technicians offer assurance and quality control for new systems and existing systems, integrating the various disciplines ensuring the installing and servicing contractors have completed their work according to plan.
Recommissioning is a process of going through a building (a combination of physical inspections with technicians and mechanics and a software based monitoring program) very thoroughly to assess the state of the equipment, systems and controls sequences of operation. The goal is to locate systems not functioning at an optimal level and correct these deficiencies. most operating buildings have a variety of misunderstood or unknown problems that are easy to fix and save significant cost, improve comfort and reduce equipment wear and tear.
Financing and grants & incentive management
Most jurisdictions now offer some form of grants and incentives to undertake energy and water savings projects. The local utility grid operators and power plant owners have seen that reducing end use consumption is typically a less expensive option than increasing capacity on the grid or building new power plants, so they incentivize end users to reduce use and in some cases to generate their own electricity.
We are accredited ICP project developers and have many options to finance energy and water savings projects at your buildings, many times this can be done with an immediate cash flow improvement to your business.
Let us show you the financial options available to you to improve efficiency. We handle all of the paperwork and administrative end of this process to enable you to focus on your core business.