Common Energy Mistakes

Rick Kmiecik
• Licensed professional mechanical engineer
• Licensed professional architectural /building
systems engineer
• Director of Strategic Energy Initiatives at The
University of Nebraska Medical Center
• President of “Optimized Systems Engineering”
What is missing in our industry today
• An organization that has the ability to combine good
quality designs with energy efficiency, controls
knowledge and a strong focus on equipment and
systems that are maintainable and simple
• An organization that understands both sides of the
building systems perspective. The designers
perspective and the owner / operators perspective
• I am a believer that building efficiency can be achieved
using good quality equipment and simple control
Optimized Systems Engineering
• New and existing building commissioning and
retro commissioning
• Complete optimization of building systems
and operations
Energy Consumption in the healthcare
• Healthcare sector ranks close to
the top for total energy
consumption among
commercial buildings.
• According to Energy Star
healthcare facilities spend an
estimated $8.8 billion a year on
energy consumption.
• Assume we as an industry reduce energy
consumption by just 10% we will save
approximately $880 million a year in energy
• Every $1 a non-profit healthcare organization
saves on energy is equivalent to generating $20
in new revenues for hospitals and $10 for
medical offices.
• Think of the billions of dollars of
equivalent revenue generating you as
an industry can do by saving just 10%
in energy consumption
Top Energy
Not knowing your facilities energy
• All facilities should be metered in
some fashion
• You cannot fix what you cannot see
• Plenty of easy, quick and simple
rating systems to serve as a
barometer to see where a facilities
energy strengths and weaknesses
Not understanding and taking
advantage of your utility rate structure
• Never use “averaged” electric rates when
calculating savings
• Understand your peak demand and what it
– Peak demand can account for 15%-50% of your
total electric bill
• Manage your peak demand just as much as
you manage your consumption
Not taking advantage of your local
utility provider’s rebate and incentive
• OPPD – Innovative Energy Efficiency Project
(IEEP) Incentive Program.
• NPPD – Energy Wise Programs.
UNMC Annual Electric Usage (kwh’s)
UNMC 20% Reduction
August September October November December
Energy Efficiencies
Not Educating your staff
• Most energy mistakes are not done intentionally
but instead are done due to the lack of education
• Most individuals when given a choice want to do
the correct and efficient thing and it is up us to
make sure they know what the correct thing is
• When implementing energy improvement
projects staff “buy-in” is essential to the success
of the project.
Not willing to spend money in order to
save money
• In every facility there is some low
hanging fruit some “quick wins”, do
NOT focus solely on these.
• Use “quick win” money as an
opportunity to tackle the real
challenges of reducing energy
• Combine “quick win” projects with
longer return projects.
Mistaking Technology as the Solution
• Use technology to compliment your
• The more complex a building becomes the
more of a chance the owner is taking that
the facility over time will become less
efficient and less effective.
• Avoid “black box” technologies. If you
don’t understand it and cannot maintain
it, do you really want to depend on it?
Lack of preventive maintenance
• “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of
– Are your coils clean?
– Are strainers being cleaned?
– Are belts tight?
– Is everything aligned and balanced?
– Are your steam traps regularly tested and
Lack of Dynamic Resets on Controls
• The old days of picking a set point based on
worst case system settings determined at the
time of balancing need to end.
• With today’s technologies we have the ability
to see information and how systems are
actually operating and performing and adjust
Low Delta T Syndrome
• Do you know what your chilled water delta T
is for your facility?
• Is it consistent year round?
• Buildings need to operate at the maximum
delta T that the equipment will allow.
• Maximum delta T will increase chiller
efficiency, reduce fan and pump horsepower
consumed and increase equipment life.
Lack of Proper System Controls
• You cannot be efficient or effective if you
cannot properly control your system.
• Need to be able to see the entire system to
see how it reacts to different conditions.
• Need to see and react to Occupied and
Unoccupied settings
Lack of proper System Controls
Low Delta T Syndrome
Lack of Dynamic Resets on System Controls
Lack of Proper Preventive Maintenance
Mistaking Technology as the Solution
Not Willing to Spend Money in order to
save Money
Not Educating your Staff
Not Taking Advantage of Utility Rebate and
Incentive Programs
Not Understanding and Taking Advantage
of Your Rate Structure
Not Knowing Where Your Facility is From
an Energy Perspective
OSE Recommended Energy Savings
Perform an Energy Study / Audit of the Facility
Review the Study with the Facilities Staff
Develop a Facility Energy Master Plan
Go Through the Entire Facilities Equipment
Develop System Deficiencies List
“Clean-up” System programming and deficiencies
“Optimize” Existing Equipment and Controls
Finalize Standards, Graphics
Project Closeout – EDUCATE the Staff
Rick Kmiecik