The Value of On-Site Energy Specialists for Improved Energy Management for Schools
The key to improved energy management for schools goes back to data, but it is critical to understand how to make sense of data. In the age of IoT-enabled devices, along with the ability to tap into asset-level data and facility-wide data at the same time, the opportunities for error are growing. Unfortunately, education Facilities Managers lack the knowledge of how to leverage energy efficiency data to reap the greatest savings. It sounds good on paper to run an energy management program in-house, but those that take advantage of an on-site Energy Specialist can see more significant savings.
Education Facilities Managers May Not Understand Energy Management Data
Facilities Managers must establish a baseline for energy use, reflecting the average energy use and behaviors associated with a facility. Unfortunately, establishing a baseline means considering the confounding factors within their existing facility, and comparing data to other facilities only complicating the process. Facility managers may look at the national averages for energy efficiency in schools and decide that improved energy management for schools is not possible within their district. Unfortunately, the differences between schools vary widely, and understanding how to tap into the value of energy management data is essential for improved energy management for schools.
An On-Site Energy Specialist Is Key to Success of Energy Efficiency Programs
The tight budgets of today’s schools make it difficult for Facilities Managers to justify significant energy efficiency upgrades. Some of the most expensive upgrades revolve around automation. Schools and school district leaders will have to justify an investment in automating all light switches and system controls to school boards, but, unfortunately, the ability to invest in energy management changes may not be available within the current budget.
But, not all improvements in energy management for schools require an upfront investment, centering more on behavioral change by occupants. As explained by the Alliance to Save Energy, energy-saving behaviors may include the creation of a student energy patrol, removing unneeded light fixtures on your windows, encouraging students to identify areas of lost energy and more. Gaining the involvement of students is essential to the success of an energy management program, and when combined with an on-site Energy Specialist there is a bridge making Facilities Managers, the school board, school district staff and students more confident in improving energy efficiency for each school.
How to Take Advantage of an On-Site Energy Specialist
Even though an on-site Energy Specialist can be a vital aspect of the successful energy management program for K-12 schools and institutions of higher learning, Facilities Managers can feel at a loss. If an on-site Energy Specialist is necessary, why is the facility manager needed in running the program? Instead of just turning over the reins to the on-site specialist, Facilities Managers should follow these best practices to expand their knowledge base and ensure success in the future:
- Ask questions about how metrics are calculated from energy management data.
- Review energy efficiency performance with the on-site Energy Specialist.
- Work with the specialist to identify potential weaknesses and strengths with current and improved energy efficiency standards.
- Create an O&M energy management process manual with the data specialist, explains the U.S. Department of Energy.
- On-site data specialists serve as both a voice and face of energy efficiency improvements to the members of the school board and community.
- Review the facilities management budget for areas of investment that can be diverted to energy efficiency upgrades and generate a healthy return.
Let an On-Site Energy Specialist Ensure Improved Energy Management for Schools
School facility spaces offer a mountain of issues in making energy efficiency upgrades and leveraging data in the modern era. In facilities management, this may be a lackluster understanding of data and inability to apply data to see actionable results. The best metrics in the world mean nothing if the person viewing them does not understand them. The on-site Energy Specialist helps Facilities Managers during this transition and ensure implemented programs for improved energy management for schools, see real-world savings and benefits. Learn more about how your organization can take advantage of an on-site Energy Specialist by visiting Cenergistic online or calling 1-855-798-7779 today.