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Building analytics and monitoring-based commissioning: industry practice, costs, and savings

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As building energy and system-level monitoring becomes more common, facility teams are faced with an overwhelming amount of data. This data does not typically lead to insights, corrective actions, and energy savings unless it is stored, organized, analyzed, and prioritized in automated ways. The Smart Energy Analytics Campaign is a public-private sector partnership program focused on supporting commercially available energy management and information systems (EMIS) technology use and monitoring-based commissioning (MBCx) practices. MBCx is an ongoing commissioning process with focus on analyzing large amounts of data on a continuous basis. EMIS tools are used in the MBCx process to organize, present, visualize, and analyze the data. With campaign data from over 400 million square feet (sq. ft.) of installed space, this paper presents the results achieved by owners that are implementing EMIS, along with associated technology costs. The study’s EMIS users that reported savings achieved the median cost savings of $0.19/sq. ft. and 7% annually, with savings shown to increase over time. For 35 portfolio owners, the median base cost to install an EMIS was $0.03/sq. ft., with an annual recurring software cost of $0.02/sq. ft. and an estimated annual labor cost of $0.03/sq. ft. Two types of EMIS systems—energy information systems and fault detection and diagnostic systems—are defined in the body of the paper. Of the two, we find that fault detection and diagnostic systems have both higher savings and higher costs. The paper offers a characterization of EMIS products, MBCx services, and trends in the industry.

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Correspondence to Hannah Kramer.

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Kramer, H., Lin, G., Curtin, C. et al. Building analytics and monitoring-based commissioning: industry practice, costs, and savings. Energy Efficiency 13, 537–549 (2020).

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