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An Energy Review of Boston City Hall And Other Selected Facilities

Coinciding with our delivery of the City of Boston Energy Map, we performed a detailed study on Boston City Hall and selected other facilities to demonstrate savings potentials that can be identified solely through the main meter interval data provided to us by the City of Boston.
Likely due to the nature of the building and the people that it serves, Boston City Hall shows no noticeable demand response when the ISO New England grid is peaking during heavy summer cooling loads, and has reasonable set back positions at night and on weekend for a public space that is essentially "always on". With a peak summer demand in July 2015 of 2,409kW and a slightly more reasonable winter peak of 1,959kW in January 2015, the demand charges for this facility are on the order of 30% to 40% of the monthly electric bill based on our reasonable estimates of their supplier contracts. We developed an Opportunity Matrix that shows how a 3% reduction in the monthly peaks could save $15,000 per year and would affect fewer than 5 hours in an average week.
Later in the case study, we show how Blackstone School might save $13,000 per year by operating their CHP during summer peak cooling hours and how Boston Police Department Headquarters is "always on" based on its high base load and very high ratio of nights and weekend loads compared to occupied hours. We also notice that a common thread across the Boston Schools is that they are largely operating in an apparent school-year mode during the summer months and could benefit from certain ECMs that target the summer cooling season, even though the mythology would suggest that schools are closed for the summer. Finally, we also surveyed a few of the Boston Public Library buildings for good measure.

Disaggregating Main Meter Interval Data for Discrete Load Identification

A building's main meter interval data is useful for profiling energy time-of-use ("TOU") that tells us when energy is consumed; By hour of day, day of week and seasons of the year.
With some statistical innovations that look at the changes in consecutive metered loads, we can disaggregate the loads in a different way to identify the large discrete loads that typically have the most impact on the TOU profiles and the facility's utility bill. With this, we can start to chip away at a better understanding of the significant cooling and heating loads in a typical commercial space.

Control of VFDs at UMass Dartmouth results in over $150,000 in annual energy savings

UMass Dartmouth completed a large and expensive campus-wide ESCO performance contract but lacked the ability to quantify the cost of savings that were not achieved or being maintained. The University also had no quick and efficient way to evaluate millions of building automation system (BAS) data points and thousands of alarms.

AEI delivered a set of discoveries worth $150,000 in annual operating savings from electricity usage with the potential for another $190,000 in steam savings.

Proper Sequencing of Loads at a Large MA High School Reduces Summer Peak Demand Charges

AEI was engaged by the prime contractor to study the sequence of operations and discover opportunities for peak demand mitigation at two separate campuses of a large high school system in Massachusetts, with a combined total of 783,000ft2 and 3,300 students. Peak demands during the summer cooling season—normally expected to be an unoccupied time of the year—showed the largest variability in electric demand. The unpredictability of the demands made it difficult to consider any demand response initiatives until the nature of the swings could be determined.

 

Carlisle Public School Develops Usage Baselines in Preparation for Demand Charge Increases

Many towns in MA have several facilities on utility rate schedules where 70% or more of the bill is composed of “demand charges” that are based on the highest demand used by the customer in the billing period. In the case of the Carlisle Public School, each kW of peak demand in the period costs $19.19 and with typical peaks exceeding 250kW, a 10% reduction is worth over $5,500 annually. If rumored increases in demand charges come true in 2016 and beyond, the risk of doing nothing could cost an extra $5,000 to $15,000 per year at the school alone.

Proper Ventilation Reduces Roof Top Annual Operating Costs by $2,300 in a Small School

Many towns in MA have several facilities on utility rate schedules where 70% or more of the bill is composed of “demand charges” that are based on the highest demand used by the customer in the billing period. In the case of the Carlisle Public School, each kW of peak demand in the period costs $19.19 and with typical peaks exceeding 250kW, a 10% reduction is worth over $5,500 annually. If rumored increases in demand charges come true in 2016 and beyond, the risk of doing nothing could cost an extra $5,000 to $15,000 per year at the school alone.

A Revised Control Strategy to Reduce CO2 in an Under-Ventilated Classroom

AEI reviewed classroom ventilation for a New England school when classes resumed in the fall of 2015. Most classrooms in the school maintained CO2 levels below the 1000ppm setpoint, but one classroom recorded levels above 1500ppm two to three times per week. Even though this level is not considered a direct health risk, it does indicate the classroom may be under-ventilated. The CO2 levels in this classroom were frequently higher than the classroom setpoint of 1000ppm and outside the 1000 to 1200 ppm range most facilities try to attain. Even though increasing the ventilation rate would result in increased costs to condition the air, it was necessary to identify the cause of the high CO2 levels.

Carlisle Gleason Library Prepares for Demand Charge Increases

The Town of Carlisle’s Gleason Library is a recently renovated 11,000ft2 facility and is a relatively small piece of the Town’s energy footprint. But like many facilities on “demand charge” utility rate schedules, 60% of its monthly bill is based on the highest demand used by the customer in the billing period.

AEI Featured on Energy Matters 2U Podcast

AEI was recently featured along with Leidos on an Energy Matters 2U Podcast. During the 20 minute conversation, Carl Popolo of AEI and Ron Gillooly, Leidos' Industrial Energy Program Director, discussed how a building's energy data profile combines with a physical audit to target efficiency measures that have specific and verifiable results.

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AEI To Provide Energy Maps to U.S. DOE Better Communities Alliance

AEI is pleased to have been selected as an Affiliate to the U.S. Department of Energy Better Communities® Alliance. AEI is committed to provide its Energy Map solutions to selected partners from a list of 40 noteworthy cities such as Atlanta, Chicago, Denver, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New York and San Francisco.

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AEI Selected as MHEC Supplier

June 29, 2017 -- Carlisle, MA -- AEI has been selected as a Massachusetts Higher Education Consortium (MHEC) supplier to provide Facility Maintenance and Energy Assessment Software to MHEC members through June 2020. The letter from MHEC reads: "Your bid response was evaluated and determined to be the most responsible and responsive bid that offered best value to MHEC members".

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Whole-Portfolio Real-Time Main Metering

AEI brings to market a whole-portfolio real-time main meter view of cities, towns and campuses by combining our AEI Soft Start Real-Time technology with our proven Energy Map visualization platform.

For the energy manager who needs to see energy use across the entire building stock in real-time, this affordable solution shadows the utility main meter, requires no BAS integration, feeds upstream applications such as kiosks, and gives the manager real-time insight into demand response opportunities on their own terms. With 1-minute resolution, rolling profiles and SMS and E-Mail alerts, this integrated solution can also help control billing-period peak usage. It's completely incorporated into our Energy Map platform for exploring historical usage, and that means one-stop-shopping for your energy team to study utility trends, track sustainability goals, and to know your real-time position for social awareness and real-time response.

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The Bigger Apple: City of New York Energy Map

Building on our work last year to deliver an Energy Map of the City of Boston, we figured we should demonstrate a little scalability and bite on something bigger. The result is our City of New York Energy Map that combines data from the PLUTO and LL84 disclosure reporting datasets and shows electricity, natural gas, oil, steam and water consumption for over 13,000 properties with a combined GSF of over 1.8 billion ft2. The data includes GHG emissions, and for most properties we're able to show trends since 2011.

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AEI Commissioning

Are your buildings running efficiently? Let's look at the data and prove it to the managers who pay the utility bills. Efficiency problems? Download the AEI Commissioning Services brochure to see how we can help.