Building Energy Information Systems: User Case Studies
Measured energy performance data are essential to national efforts to improve building efficiency, as evidenced in recent benchmarking mandates, and in a growing body of work that indicates the value of permanent monitoring and energy information feedback. This paper presents case studies of energy information systems (EIS) at four enterprises and university campuses, focusing on the attained energy savings, and successes and challenges in technology use and integration. EIS are broadly defined as performance monitoring software, data acquisition hardware, and communication systems to store, analyze, and display building energy information. Case investigations showed that the most common energy savings and instances of waste concerned scheduling errors, measurement and verification, and inefficient operations. Data quality is critical to effective EIS use, and is most challenging at the subsystem or component level, and with non-electric energy sources. Sophisticated prediction algorithms may not be well understood but can be applied quite effectively, and sites with custom benchmark models or metrics are more likely to perform analyses external to the EIS. Finally, resources and staffing were identified as a universal challenge, indicating a need to identify additional models of EIS use that extend beyond exclusive in-house use, to analysis services.