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Demand-Side Services

EKG demand-side services and products are those that primarily impact a building's performance and utility demand. These services can be complementary or can be provided as stand-alone products. These are the core offerings of our energy engineering support services.


Demand-Side Services Offered

 

Level I, II and III ASHRAE energy studies (audits)

 

Energy and lighting surveys; building information collection

 

TRACE® building simulation modeling

 

Photometric analyses

 

Existing Building Commissioning (EBCx)

 

Predominant use studies

 

Project management of energy efficiency projects


Level I, II and III ASHRAE energy studies (audits) (Back to top)
Experienced EKG staff perform all aspects of completing an ASHRAE level energy study including: acquiring and evaluating historical utility consumption, indexing the buildings according to the $/ft2 and kBtu/ft2 and kBtu/ft2 and then developing a strategic plan for implementing the studies, interviewing the customer, acquiring and organizing HVAC equipment nameplate data, conducting the on-site survey, identifying and recommending energy and O&M cost reduction measures and writing the reports. EKG has significant experience with portfolios of buildings such as school districts. As part of the study, our typical processes include the following tasks.

  • Facility energy and utility bill metrics and EUI (energy use index) analysis - Before any project can be justified economically, the facility's energy use has to be documented and benchmarked. We will ask for a minimum of 12-months of utility bills (electricity, gas, water). Our experienced team then manually inputs the consumption and costs data from the bills into our metrics spreadsheet that produces values for the facility including $/ft2, $/kWh, $/MCF and kBtu/ft2 (Energy Use Index). We compare these metric values to other similar facilities with the same weather to determine how the facility is performing. The building's benchmark is critical because it will be used throughout the term of the project to compare how well the building is performing after the Energy Reduction Measures (ERMs) are implemented.

  • Assimilate and scan/index blueprints, drawings, AutoCAD files - Most of the buildings assessed by EKG are of age and typically do not have a full set of blueprints much less electronic copies. We take the extraordinary step of scanning all pertinent blueprints into electronic files. We also provide an Index of Drawings so your staff can easily find documents in the future.

  • Comprehensive on-site collection of physical building and load information - Our experienced technicians survey each building and collect the wealth of detailed information required to evaluate and assess the building. The dataset includes the envelope (walls, roof, foundation/floor, glazing), an inventory of all mechanical equipment (HVAC and water), BAS/EMCS, lighting, environmental data (ambient temperature, relative humidity, CO2, return/supply temperature, people loads, plug loads (down to the computer level) and miscellaneous loads. All the HVAC equipment is aligned with the physical rooms and the BAS/EMCS zones they serve so we can develop areas that can be used to model the building if desired.

  • On-site surveys to identify and recommend energy reduction opportunities - • EKG's seasoned energy engineers have the inherent knowledge and understanding of the science of energy efficiency in buildings that only comes with years of experience in this profession. Our recommendations for Utility Reduction Measures (ERMs) are typically those that the majority of ESCOs will forego because they are not the usual "sweetspot" ERMs. We also identity and propose all ERMs that are economically viable and not the "lowest hanging fruit" measures. We want to ensure you implement all ERMs that will result in the highest performing building metrics with the maximum cost reduction in energy and operations and maintenance (O&M) practices over the long-term.

Energy and lighting surveys, data collection (Back to top)
EKG has significant background conducting energy surveys. Whether it’s one building or an entire military base, our staff has the ability to interview the building staff, conduct an on-site survey and then provide the information in an organized format for the author of the energy study. If the project is large scale, we will send an EKG employee to the project site with to complete a rigid advanced party checklist. We scan and index all the drawings and blueprints, identify the facilities, obtain layouts of the buildings and then walk the properties. This process ensures that our energy engineers are at maximum production as soon as they set foot on-site to conduct the energy survey.
If our requirement is only to collect data, EKG has developed an intense, yet organized process where we collect the data from a facility for the purpose of populating a building simulation model. The data is then input into our “Site Data Package," a very organized Excel workbook that allows the modeling engineer to easily input the data into the building simulation modeling (BSM) software.

EKG also has considerable background in lighting surveys. We have completed hundreds of lighting surveys that include mapping the fixtures, measuring foot-candles, making recommendations for replacement lighting solutions and authoring reports.


TRACE® building simulation modeling (Back to top)
The Trane TRACE® 700 building simulation modeling software is considered one of the leading and most mature BSM software tools in the industry. It was the first software to be approved to comply with the U.S. DOE EPAct 2005 program. By modeling a building, we can establish a baseline of fuel consumption (electricity, natural gas, propane, etc.) and then compare a recommended energy efficient product or strategy to determine what savings can be achieved. Using a BSM’s output is a standard method of verifying a project’s savings, especially for a performance contract. But, because of the higher level of skill set needed to understand and use the program, not all energy efficiency companies offer this capability.

EKG first acquires all the needed information about the facility and the building's systems. The parameters and schedules (people, HVAC, etc.) are input into TRACE, including the local historical weather for the resident city. The program then simulates the building’s performance each hour for a year (8,760 hours). The iterations are aggregated and the output is reviewed for accuracy when compared to graphed historical utility bills. It the simulated model’s graphs do not match the historical bills, the program input values are reviewed and changed. The process is repeated until we have a “calibrated” model.


Photometric analyses (Back to top)
EKG uses sophisticated software to develop a photometric analysis of a building’s lighting layout. Photometrics refers to the inherent characteristics of a lighting fixture or lamp such as color, light density, brightness and power consumption. After EKG acquires the layout and heights of all lighting fixtures in a building/area/room, we input each fixture’s photometric data for the original layout in our analysis software and generate a report that verifies the power consumed in the existing system. We then replace the original fixtures in the software and run the program again to ascertain the new level of power consumption, the foot-candles at a specified height, the brightness and intensity of the fixture’s light output and the uniformity of lighting throughout the spaces. We then compare the report values to determine the economic viability of the new lighting system.


Pro-Active, Existing Building Commissioning (EBCx) (Back to top)
The EBCx process is well documented as achieving savings of 14% or more with simple paybacks in less than two years. EBCx is an ongoing process to resolve building operating problems, improve comfort, optimize energy use and identify retrofits for existing buildings and central plant facilities. The methodology focuses on improving overall system optimization, control and operations for the building, as it is currently utilized, and on meeting existing facility needs. During the EBCx process, a comprehensive energy evaluation is conducted for both building functionality and system functions. The optimal operational parameters and schedules are developed based on actual building conditions and current occupancy requirements. An integrated approach is then used to implement these optimal schedules to ensure local and global system optimization and persistence of the improved operational schedules.

EKG’s process is unlike other company’s re-commissioning process in that we “pro-actively” utilize our ekgdata.com real-time M&A (monitoring and alarming) system to ensure we properly evaluate and assess the HVAC and building automation system (BAS). Most companies take snapshot, one-time readings of the HVAC system and then come back weeks or months later to see if any identified problems have been corrected. EKG’s EBCx process meters HVAC systems in real-time down to the AHU (air handler unit) level and then immediately takes corrective actions for any problems identified.

The EBCx process involves repeated site visits, integrated data gathering and analysis, recommended systems adjustments and/or computer control program changes to improve the energy efficiency and climate control within each facility. Detailed reports and recommendations are generated throughout the process.

An important aspect of what we do to ensure the facility achieves maximum savings long-term is that we include the maintenance staff in the EBCx process and train them on procedures so they have a “buy in” to the facility operating at optimum conditions. Our engineers and technicians team up with the facility management and operating staff to implement and fine-tune the identified EBCx measures, document the sequences and report the savings. As the project matures and savings are being realized, the project is measured and verified (M&V) to document your long-term savings.


Predominant use studies (Back to top)
The Texas Tax Code provides a tax exemption on natural gas and electricity when used directly in the fabrication, manufacturing or processing of raw materials into tangible property. To claim the tax exemption, a company is required to complete a utility study to establish this predominant use. Examples are electricity and natural gas used for motors, ovens, cooling and heating in the manufacturing area during the actual manufacturing or processing and electroplating. The Texas State Comptroller requires the study to list all uses of the utility, both exempt and taxable, the times of usage, the energy used, and whether the use was taxable or exempt. This requires a complete inventory of “all” electric and gas consuming equipment in the area/room/building that is served by the electric or gas meter for which a tax exemption is being applied. After EKG completes the detailed, on-site inventory of equipment, a PE engineer certifies the predominant use study as required by the State Comptroller or authorizing agency.


Project management (Back to top)
EKG has personnel with the necessary skill sets to manage an energy efficiency project. Their duties can range from managing the demolition of systems to the installation of HVACR components, lighting, building automation systems, data systems and other energy efficiency technologies. Our personnel can work under the guidance of your staff, engineers or MEP firm or we can complete the task turnkey.