Agile RCx: turbo building tune ups for low-cost & fast energy savings

Are you looking for quick and low cost energy savings that show up on your bill? Do you have a building automation system? If you answered yes to both these questions then Agile RCx might be right for you.

Retro-commissioning (RCx) has been an attractive part of the energy efficiency world for years because it generates big savings for building owners, without the burden of big capital investments. But retro-commissioning as run by utility companies often gets bogged down. The needs of the utility (who’s often footing the engineering bill) get mixed up with the customer’s need for cost effective energy savings. For building owners, getting it done quickly is often more important than spending time estimating and measuring the precise savings. Most building owners would rather see the “proof in the pudding” on the bills, than a bunch of complicated savings calculations.

Builder owners can now achieve low-cost, fast energy savings and meet sustainability quicker with Agile RCx. With Agile RCx, we have streamlined RCx to achieve quick and low cost energy savings. The effort focuses on making quick changes to setpoints and adding industry leading control sequences to achieve energy savings and make spaces safer and more comfortable for occupants. We work directly with your facility staff and your controls provider to make these changes. We also estimate energy savings from the building’s energy consumption data so there is no doubt that energy savings result from the project.

Agile RCx paybacks range from 0.5 to 1.5 years and result in a savings up to 10% of your energy bill.

The scope of work includes three phases:

Phase 1: Pre-Site Visit

Building Automation System Control Sequence Review

We work with your site staff or your controls vendor to access to the Building Automation System (BAS) controlling HVAC and lighting systems. This is a very powerful tool because it allows viewing of the system during different modes of operation (e.g., nights, weekends), view of the as-built control logic, and pulling of trend data. Remote access at previous RCx sites has allowed us to quickly uncover tremendous energy savings opportunities and better informs on-going work.

Create Baseline Energy Consumption Model from Whole-Building Billing data

Using interval data for your building, we use Lawrence Berkeley Lab’s Time-of-Week Temperature (TOWT) model to estimate baseline energy consumption and project that into the future based on time and temperature. Industry standard guidelines like ASHRAE’s Guideline 14 govern the effort so you know the results can be trusted. This step typically needs one year of energy data to develop a model that is within guidelines for statistical “goodness of fit.”

Preliminary List of Energy Efficiency Measures (EEMs)

Following review of the BAS, you receive a preliminary list of measures , including potential energy and cost savings for no and low-cost projects. Measures are prioritized based on expected energy savings potential.

Engage controls contractor

Eliminating the hassle of managing another contract, we contract directly with your building’s controls contractor to implement measures.

Coordination with site staff and controls contractor

We coordinate with building site staff and the controls contractor to schedule a 2-day site visit. Building site staff should be available for the kick-off meeting and as needed throughout the 2 days, however only a minimum of their time is required.

Phase 2: Site Visit

Typically, the process follows the following timeline, although may vary from site to site.

Day 1 – Kick-Off Meeting & Initial Site Visit

Our project manager schedules and leads a kick-off meeting with the Agile RCx team including the building engineer, energy management personnel, and other stakeholders. During the meeting, we present energy saving measures and discuss the opportunities found to date.

After the kick-off meeting, we spend the rest of the day on-site collecting missing information needed to verify or true-up any of recommendations.

We then send the updated measure list to facility staff for approval. Once approved, we share the prioritized list with the contractor before the site visit so they can prepare for implementation in advance.

Day 2 – Implementation

Our engineers oversee implementation of the approved measures, including working directly with the controls vendor to optimize programming and update control graphics to show important control sequences. We identify outstanding issues (if any) that remain and develop a plan for day 3.

Day 3 – Continued Implementation

The controls contractor will return to the site to finish implementing controls changes and update the graphics. We support the implementation remotely as needed. At the end of the day the controls contractor will update the status of each measure. Based on the results of the site visit, we will issue a final summary to document the scope of work implemented, as well as any outstanding issues.

Day 4– Project Review with Site Staff

So site staff can maintain the new, optimized operations, we return to provide training on the implemented measures. The training will include review of the updated graphics and discussion on what was implemented and why.

Phase 3: Savings Analysis

Each month after measure implementation and for the duration of the contract, you will receive a monthly report analyzing energy savings. The savings will be estimated by subtracting the post-implementation usage from the consumption estimated by the baseline model. The monthly report will be sent each month and report the estimated savings.

Get Started

Agile RCx is a simple, cost-effective way to achieve low-cost savings in your building. With the shared savings option, we can work at no risk to you, so why not give it a try? To speak with one of our Project Managers and get started saving in your building, get in touch.

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