Master Plans for Energy Management: Planning for Success
There’s an old adage that states “A failure to plan is a plan to fail.” This is especially true when it comes to energy management.
The energy systems that support commercial and industrial facilities can be numerous and complex. This complexity is only magnified when you consider how the systems interact. Lighting creates heat and increases the demand on the cooling system; steam traps reduce heating efficiency and create the need for a more powerful distribution system.
Property owners are well served when they create master plans that provide this understanding. A master plan will help them manage existing conditions while guiding future improvements that avoid costly infrastructure mistakes.
The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) works with facility managers and technical assistants to look at a commercial and industrial facility’s systems and conduct an audit of all energy-related components in order to create a master plan. This team of experts outlines the holistic ways the systems can work together to provide energy efficiencies. The cost of these efforts may be covered by NYSERDA’s incentives or cost-sharing programs.
With a master plan in hand, property owners can take proactive steps to reduce energy needs by implementing the right energy solutions like eliminating steam traps and leaks, choosing boilers and chillers that work with their other systems, selecting the most appropriate HVAC systems or using outside air to improve ventilation.
A master plan identifies the best way to repair systems in advance of problems, so the fixes will work with all the other systems at the facility. Then, if a system breaks, the facility’s staff can consult their master plan and choose the best solution.
In the end, a master energy plan becomes an integral part of a facility’s roadmap for success. Oftentimes organizations develop five- and 10-year plans to address business goals and projected growth. It makes sense to have a master plan to address something as important as energy usage and implement energy-efficiency measures.
To learn more about how NYSERDA can help, visit http://nyserdasolutions.org/.
Todd Baldyga is Acting Director of Energy Efficiency Services at the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA). NYSERDA is a public benefit corporation that provides technical support and financial incentives to help commercial and industrial facilities in New York State increase energy efficiency and reduce operational costs. NYSERDA’s Commercial and Industrial business offers four primary programs: Existing Facilities, New Construction, FlexTech, and Industrial and Process Efficiency.