Imagine being able to look online to see how much energy a building has been using at any point during the day or night. Did someone leave the lights or air conditioning on when they left in the morning? Is the heat turned too high in buildings that are not being used at night? Well, you can stop imagining - the future of smarter energy use is here. Thanks to the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) of 2009, state-owned buildings in the Commonwealth are at the forefront of energy monitoring.
Utilizing $10 million in stimulus funds, the DOER awarded a contract to Boston-based EnerNOC to implement a comprehensive Enterprise Energy Management System (EEMS), which will provide energy usage data for over 400 state-owned buildings totaling more than 17 million square feet. The near real-time meters which are being installed by EnerNoc will provide up-to-the-minute data to help building managers maximize efficiency through short-term responses and long-term building planning.
Massachusetts owns over 65 million square feet of buildings and spends hundreds of millions of dollars each year to provide energy to these sites. From correctional facilities to universities, energy is often one of the highest costs for building owners. With the EEMS program, 32 state-owned sites will have access to an online system that presents usage data on electricity, gas, steam, oil, and renewable energy. The online system will track and trend data, provide benchmarking and reporting capabilities to compare energy usage across portfolios of buildings, and enable building managers to set alerts that will notify them of anomalies within a building, allowing for real-time reaction and savings.
Maggie McCarey, the DOER coordinator for these projects, is excited about the prospective benefits of the meters.
“Measuring energy usage at the building-level is an exciting and important step towards smarter energy use in the United States,” said McCarey. ”These meters are putting actionable information into the hands of state building operators that will lead to cost savings and greenhouse gas reductions for the state, and will inform future energy decisions at state-owned sites. We’ve already begun to see opportunities for smarter and more efficient energy use, and I’m confident as more meters are installed and data is collected, we will continue to see these types of opportunities.”