Monitoring the new PowerWise Building

PowerWise recently moved into a new office building. Our sign outside proudly says "PowerWise - Building Management Systems". As expected, the building came with a few surprises requiring some "management". As an experienced monitoring and control company, we eagerly rolled up our sleeves to deal with a building needing improvements.

First, the building has electric heat. We know the shortcomings, especially in a northern climate. Heat pumps or another efficient alternative will be a great future upgrade. On a related note, the electricity bill is high, in fact too damn high, referencing a past PowerWise blog post. So what did we do? We installed SiteSage electricity meters in each electrical panel. Current transformers monitor each circuit in the panels, so we know exactly what contributes to the electricity bill.

We noticed a few things immediately. The conference room lighting is outdated and expensive to run. The rented area of the building has an air conditioner running nearly 24 hours per day, and sometimes throughout weekends. We understand people are busy working and forget to turn things off. As a remedy, we installed smart thermostats throughout the building to control the settings during business and nonbusiness hours. The "pre-open" and "pre-close" schedules allow for a transition period for the heating and cooling systems to reach target temperatures.

Our relative humidity / temperature sensor reported humidity levels that need to be addressed. We will likely address this through ventilation and better drainage around the building.

We know we can't do everything at once. But we have numbers to help us figure out what needs improving. And when we make a change, we can measure the savings and impact.

Building owners should know what contributes to the electricity bill and if the building's temperatures, humidity, and air quality levels appropriate. Often, upgrades to heating, cooling, and lighting can generate savings that pays for itself over time. Behavioral changes, along with controls, can produce significant savings. PowerWise can help with the monitoring and control technology that will put people in charge or their building. Call +1-207-370-6517 or email sales@powerwisesystems.com.

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