The start of a new year is the perfect time to count your blessings. For facility maintenance management, it's also a good time to get a better count on buildings' energy usage. If you think you'll be left out of the fun, don't worry - as temperatures drop, there will be plenty of kilowatts to count across the nation. However, not all energy usage is the same. If you're one of the many facility managers who must deal with those rising energy bills, it may be time to read power use a little more closely with submetering.
Some structures are hungrier than others, it seems. Depending on the size and purpose of your facility, you may be facing wildly spiking electricity bills over the seasons or rarely any differences at all. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, residential homes undergo the greatest fluctuation of electricity use. If you run an industrial facility, you're much better off with a much more static use of energy. However, the commercial sector, which comprises many office buildings and facilities, sits right in the middle. Chances are, your facility is eating up extra energy in the winter. If you're trying to cut down and you're only getting a reading of your total energy use, then it’s time to change up your strategy.
There are plenty of ways to cut down on your energy bills. You may want to install programmable thermostats, seal your ducts and windows and increase ceiling insulation, according to the California Energy Commission. However, another great way to cut down on energy usage is through submetering. Not only will you be able to track your energy usage for gas, electricity and water separately, you can also track different pieces of equipment and the amount of energy they consume.
Using the information
Tracking your energy usage can give you peace of mind. If you're shocked by where your energy is going, you can adjust your energy usage so that it's something to be thankful for. By comparing your energy usage to your work orders tracked in software such as MaintenanceEdge, you can determine more quickly whether a piece of equipment needs repairing or even replacing. With a more efficient effective HVAC, everyone - from your staff to your tenants - will also have you to thank.