Servidyne’s experience in the energy efficiency field over the past 30 years has convinced us that retro-commissioning (RCx) provides the single-most cost-effective opportunity for energy savings in buildings. It addresses three all too common problems simultaneously – energy waste, operating deficiencies, and comfort issues.
Numerous studies have shown that technology alone is not the answer. Many buildings with advanced systems and controls use more energy than their less-advanced peers, due to failures during design, installation, operations and/or maintenance. Retro-commissioning provides a systematic investigative and corrective process to address these issues.
Our retro-commissioning experience illustrates the value of this effort. Servidyne’s RCx assignments have covered more than 50 total buildings across the nation delivering significant reductions in energy and peak demand reduction through the optimization of existing building infrastructure and control systems. In some cases, the studies were conducted as part of various utility sponsored retro-commissioning programs with a large part, if not all, of the study costs offset by utility incentives.
The total square footage in the buildings surveyed has exceeded 15 million square feet. These were all well-managed buildings with conscientious building engineers. Still, the investigation findings averaged savings totaling 5 percent of total electric usage and 14 percent of natural gas usage, with an overall payback of 1.5 years. Measures addressed a wide variety of issues, including the following:
One of the fastest growing parts of Servidyne’s business today is in the field of retro-commissioning where projects require a great deal of interaction between the service provider and building operating personnel. The key to success in retro-commissioning at any facility is developing rapport and a strong working relationship with the building staff. To avoid the common perception that “an outside expert is coming in to criticize our current operations and tell us how to run our building,”Servidyne’s retro-commissioning services emphasize a collaborative problem-solving approach.
Servidyne is an active participant in utility sponsored RCx programs in California, Illinois, Texas, and DC in addition to providing RCx services directly for many major national clients.