Accountability for Building Utility Usage: Management & Sustainability
Updated on March 3rd, 2020
Building owners and managers who are committed to managing utility consumption can eliminate inefficiencies and avoid problems with an approach we call Sustainability through Accountability. This concept drives accountability for building utility usage: managing costs, improving building performance, building tenant engagement and sustainable energy usage. It is about setting goals and providing tools that allow property managers, tenants, consultants and vendors to be accountable for their decision-making as it relates to your building’s electricity, water, gas and thermal energy consumption and systems. Sub-metering, accessible meter data and reporting tools make this possible.
Setting up accountabilities for effective energy and water management in your building
First, simplify the process of energy management accountability for your team. An energy management system provides transparency, so all stakeholders can be accountable for the building utility usage they control. Engage and hold tenants, building operators and suppliers accountable with best practices, energy initiatives, usage comparisons and results.
Accountability comes from setting clear goals, providing access to energy consumption information for analysis and review. Three groups have an impact on your building’s energy performance:
- Building Operators
- Third-party Consultants and equipment vendors
Five key factors to drive energy conservation and save money:
1. Tenant engagement through accurate usage data and billing
A user-pays system through submetering where tenants are billed for actual consumption will drive conservation. Help your tenants be financially responsible for their energy consumption by sharing tools and incentives.
2. Verify incoming utilities
Integrate your energy management system with main utility meters to measure and track whole building utility usage and verify utility bills.
- Know when and where your building is consuming energy and water as part of a monitoring and targeting program
- Immediately identify abnormal consumption, as opposed to waiting weeks or months for utility bills to show the problem
- Validate consumption on your utility bills
- Benchmark all properties’ energy use levels and target conservation efforts accordingly
- Collect all utility interval data in one place for easy sustainability reporting and submissions
3. REPORTING & BENCHMARKING (MT&R)
Divide key energy uses, such as lighting and mechanical, for LEED and BOMA BEST reporting. Track and compare tenants, buildings and usage over time.
Learn more: Benchmarking provides a context for action
4. MONITOR & CONTROL
Use online tools to monitor usage for capacity, set alarms and improve overall energy efficiency.
Using an energy management system that combines automated, daily meter interrogation with a web-based interface makes consumption data easy to access for energy consumers, building operators, property managers, and LEED consultants.
5. Engage your consultant & equipment vendors in your plan
Measure and verify the work of third-party consultants and equipment vendors to determine cost vs benefits. Use reports for utility incentive applications.
Accountability through Action
QMC’s vision is to share the concept of Sustainability through Accountability, providing actionable insights through the measurement, benchmarking and management of electric, water, thermal and gas usage in commercial and multi-tenant buildings. Learn more about Sustainability through Accountability. Talk to us; we can show you ways we can help you lower utility consumption, save money and be more sustainable in your building operations.