Blog

One college shares its checklist for selecting an Energy Management Technology (1/4)

July 10, 2018

By Rob Richards

We are excited to have Rob Richards (PE, CEM) as a contributing author for our blog. Rob most recently led the energy efficiency and sustainability efforts at Wofford College. In the next four blog posts, he will share with us his journey from the initial idea to measurable results.

The leadership at Wofford College was committed to sustainability, but needed the right way to communicate this message to the campus community. Through the support of a grant from the RoMill Foundation, the College set out to develop campus-wide energy resource metering infrastructure and, ultimately, the Wofford College Energy and Sustainability Storyboard system.

The goal was to select an energy management platform that could become an integral part of the energy sustainability effort at the College. The first step was to find with a vendor whose solution could meet these demands.

There were four features in particular that Wofford College saw as crucial for meeting its Energy and Sustainability goals:

  1. A SaaS-based platform. Having the IT department involved upfront in the decision-making process proved invaluable in selecting a vendor. The IT team knew it needed a program that did not require any external hardware to dwell on campus behind the firewall. Managing security was a primary consideration in the process.
  2. Analytics. Helping the Physical Plant staff in making more informed energy management and equipment capital expense decisions was a key goal for this rollout. That’s what made the clearly detailed, yet concise, data in the BuildingOS user applications so attractive. When reviewing energy consumption variations brought on by building use changes or intentional Building Management System schedule changes, the data was found to be detailed enough to drive change, without becoming overwhelming.
  3. User access. Wofford College had a vision of a tool that could make individual building energy consumption data easy to access and easy to understand for all stakeholders, whether they were students, faculty or other members of the campus community. Having a platform that can be viewed on any web-enabled device, without the requirement of specialized software, was especially important for getting these stakeholders, particularly the students, more engaged in sustainability.
  4. Service support after initial implementation. The College recognized that as it continues to identify new ways to drive sustainability improvements its needs for this Energy Management platform were likely to evolve. Having a Lucid Customer Success Manager take over following the initial implementation would help the Wofford team deal with questions as they arise and pinpointed new ways to use the platform to meet its commitment to sustainability.

Stay tuned for Part 2-4 of the series to learn how Wofford College used these steps to identify an EMT, centralize their building resource data, identify opportunities for savings, and measure the impact of their programs.

Rob Richards

Rob launched and lead energy sustainability efforts at Wofford College as part of the college’s new sustainability initiative. He has an extensive background of project management and engineering at Snyder Electric Company.