Energy Efficient Buildings – Calling all energy managers: Act now on the energy performance of your buildings! [infographic]
Buildings are the biggest energy consumers and carbon producers in the European economy. No wonder that the latest EU Energy Efficiency Directive focuses a lot of attention on energy efficient buildings and is imposing binding measures, including mandatory energy audits. How does that concern your organization? Find out here:
The first mandatory audit (large organizations) has to be completed by December 5, 2015. Audit reports are to be delivered to independent authorities – appointed by member states – who implement and supervise the audits under national legislation.
The requirements for energy audits as described in the EU Directive reflect the criteria for effective energy management software – The following data and capabilities need to be provided:
- Up-to-date, measured, traceable operational data on energy consumption
- Energy analysis per energy object (consumption, CO2, normalization and metrics such as consumption per headcount, building volume, and m²)
- Energy profiles of buildings, industrial operations/installations, and transport
- Calculation of potential energy savings based on life cycle value (rather than simple payback periods)
- Reliable identification of the most significant opportunities for improvement
- Detailed and validated calculations of the impact of proposed measures
- Storable data for historical analysis and performance tracking
Energy is a controllable cost: Optimizing energy efficiency is part of running a business. Existing buildings – although not providing the radical ‘from the ground up’ design opportunities of new buildings – offer many opportunities for cost-effective investment. The largest reduction potential is provided by infrastructure improvements: Deep retrofits of existing buildings bring 30–70% energy savings. Another measure to reduce consumption is replacing outdated systems with energy efficient technology – Think lighting, heating, ventilation, air conditioning, and building automation responding to changing conditions.
As an energy manager or building operator it therefore makes sense to look at these energy audits – mandatory or not – as an opportunity. An opportunity to help you gain better insight in the energy performance of your buildings, identify key areas for improvement, and act on improvement recommendations. Not just to comply with EU legislation, but above all to save money, improve the working environment, and make your organization more sustainable.
Smart buildings: The next generation
Today, new technology and the IoT are also driving building performance. Smart sensoring – in combination with big data science – is making buildings responsive and even predictive. Affordable sensors and positioning tags are being deployed to realize energy savings and enhance the interior climate and user experience in buildings. For example, space occupancy and people movements can be tracked and building temperature and lighting adjusted in real-time, improving energy efficiency from top consuming functions like HVAC and lighting.