Six Energy Systems Optimization Measures County Leaders Can Choose To Improve Facilities
Library visitors want brightly lit reading nooks, juries want to hear trial evidence in comfortably temperature controlled courthouses, and jail employees want to feel safe when they are walking through empty corridors.
County leaders want to combat aging and failing equipment, drafty doors and windows, dim lights, and rising utility bills. All of those problems affect the quality of life, productivity and comfort of the people working and visiting those spaces.
“People don’t want to work in or visit buildings with disparate temperatures and dim lights — it is uncomfortable and negatively impacts productivity” said Orry Cummings, an account executive at a nationwide energy systems optimization company. “County leaders often are left with the headache of trying to figure out how to afford to repair or replace equipment that is at the end of its life.”
The key to this process, Cummings explained, is partnering with energy systems optimization companies, leaders in the energy services industry who take into affect human impact when designing and implementing energy efficient solutions.
Counties can implement a number of energy systems optimization measures that positively impact residents and employees. Measure costs can range from lower cost measures like installing window film and caulking around doors to the more expensive measures like installing solar panels or tieing all the equipment together with a building automation system.
Energy systems optimization companies offer innovative services when upgrading systems like:
Building Automation Control System: open protocol controls allow all energy systems to be tied together, providing better control for scheduling lights to operate at peak times,and operating HVAC at various levels during prime occupancy.
Lighting Systems: interior and exterior light fixtures are optimized in government spaces like office buildings, courthouses, jails and parks and street lights are upgraded with LED technologies.
Mechanical Systems: boilers, and antiquated HVAC equipment replacements and improvements made to steam traps, and other energy consuming mechanical systems; all equipment is tied back to the building automation system allowing for more granular control, scheduling, and monitoring.
Building Envelope Improvements: drafty doors and windows are sealed or replaced; tint is applied to windows to keep out the heat from the sun; and insulation is installed to better control temperature.
Solar PV: solar panels are installed on roofs or carports to generate power and protect entities from rising utility costs; solar PV systems can be coupled with battery storage and are tied into the building automation system to optimize the way the power generated is used.
Water Conservation: electronic low-flush valves for toilets, limiting push valves for showers, along with other flow reducing devices to bathroom or kitchen fixtures are installed to reduce in and out consumption.
Cummings said counties can be proactive when planning for energy systems optimization projects without raising taxes.
“Using performance contracting provides a financing vehicle that can be key to improving infrastructure without raising taxes or the county’s debt limit,” he said. “An energy systems optimization company should be able to guide a county through the performance contracting process to make the county spaces more comfortable, more productive and more aesthetically pleasing.”