Sustainability Hacks: The Easiest Way to Measure Your Energy Use Index


By 
Jack Bullock  
Chief Engineer, PE, CEM, BESA

 

The energy use index is one of the most critical measurements of energy use (EUI) and performance of facility assets available. On the surface, EUI alludes to the annual energy use in relation to the square footage of each building and overall facilities. Unfortunately, knowing how to measure your energy use index properly comes with significant challenges, and education facility managers may not realize how continuous monitoring of the energy use index can influence energy management decisions.

Common Challenges When Trying to Measure Your Energy Use Index

The challenges of trying to measure your energy use index derive from two issues, including the age of information and the ability to aggregate data. By its nature, it is impossible to calculate the energy use index without knowing the specific energy use for an entire facility, and at the same time, older information may result in reduced accuracy of the energy use index today. As a result, education facility managers will need to invest in an energy management program that will enable real-time visibility into assets and improved energy monitoring.

Why Visibility Into Asset-Level Data Is Crucial to Proper Measurement

Visibility into asset-label data plays a significant role in understanding a building's overarching energy use index, but it has additional implications for multi-building campuses. For example, facility managers can determine the energy use index for each facility and as a district empowering the superintendent and school board members to know which buildings are under-performing in relation to the entire district. Therefore, better decisions can be made to identify the causes of increased energy use and encourage energy-conservative behaviors among affected building occupants.

How to Calculate Your Index With 100% Accuracy

Calculating the energy use index is a simple formula. The energy manager should divide the annual energy use in relation to kBTUs for the whole facility by the total square footage for the facility.

Total Energy Use Converted to kBTUs / Total Square Feet of Your Facility

For reference, convert kWh to kBTUs with this formula: kWh * 3.412.

It is important to consider space that routinely goes unused, such as storage closets, mezzanines, and upper floors. Although the energy use index is typically applied to an annual view of the energy consumption of a facility, it is possible to calculate the energy use index on a more frequent basis, such as monthly, quarterly, weekly, or even daily. Unfortunately, facility managers and education staff do not have the time to run the calculations and keep track of the energy use index for each period of measure. Furthermore, calculating specific floor-level or zone-level EUI is impossible with knowing the exact energy consumption for each area. Identifying the exact energy consumption of each area is where Cenergistic can add value to your energy management program.

Let Cenergistic Measure Your Energy Use Index With the Ceres and GreenX

Cenergistic’s energy management platforms, GreenX and Ceres, calculate the energy use index automatically, based data gathered through IoT-enabled insights, physical inspection of facility energy meters, review of energy use and analytics. The use of these energy management platforms is the easiest way to measure your energy use index. Also, Cenergistic leverages the EUI to refine forecasted savings and improve energy use and performance of your program. Learn more about how you can gain real-time visibility into your school’s energy use by contacting Cenergistic at 1-855-798-7779 or completing the online contact form today.
Jack Bullock

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