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As legislations and bills pass at city, state, and federal levels, building managers are beginning to adopt new technologies to not only improve performance, but also comply with rules that are making sustainability somewhat of a requirement. Investing in such technologies may seem like a financial burden to some organizations who may not have the capital to purchase an expensive system. The good news is there’s several web and mobile applications that are very inexpensive; some are even free. Here are four applications your organization should know about.
Noesis is a free, Web-based energy management service that allows both building managers and consultants to input data and analyze historical and ongoing consumption and costs for single buildings and mixed-use portfolios. The tools are customizable to include a weather-specific baseline, while measuring consumption to track savings and identify inefficiencies, and sends “red flag” alerts.
Melon Power is also a Web-based tool that was recently awarded second-place in the EPA’s Apps for Energy contest. Some states are rolling out laws requiring building operators to report an ENERGY STAR benchmark score. Melon Power provides a platform–at $500 per building (offering a discount for owners with multiple buildings in their portfolio)–to calculate a benchmark score without having to hire a consultant.
Another free tool is ecoInsight Mobile Audit for iPad which allows operators to perform an audit of a facility’s energy performance while performing a walkthrough inputting data such as: area, space, lighting wattage, etc. Once data is input, ecoInsight performs an analysis and suggests areas where operational inefficiencies can be addressed and improved.
Providing a more specific function function is HVAC ASHRAE 62.1-2012. For just $19.99, a facility manager can measure indoor air quality (IAQ) based on ASHRAE’s Standard 62.1–which is the industry’s standard for IAQ. The application calculates ventilation assessments after inputting space, floor area, zone population, etc.
These tools demonstrate a shift in building management–and are paving a future for organizations to identify, assess, and improve operational efficiency–while complying with legislations that are affecting energy management performance in great numbers.
Ashley Halligan is an analyst at Software Advice
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