Algorithms Help Insurance Company Reduce Fuel Oil by 40%
Vermont Mutual Insurance’s 30,000-sq-foot office building in Montpelier, Vt, cut its total building energy by more than 32 percent, including its fuel oil use by about 40 percent in the first six months of 2013, with the help of Kilawatt Technologies, an energy consulting firm with a data-driven approach.
After collecting and statistically analyzing detailed data about the building’s energy systems, Kilawatt Technologies reconfigured the systems and reduced fuel oil use. Based on Kilawatt’s statistical analysis, Vermont Mutual is expected to use about 4,000 gallons of fuel oil over the 2013-2014 heating season. Previously, it took about 14,000 gallons of fuel oil each year to heat the building.
Kilawatt Technologies President Gregory Johnson said as an example: his company developed a prescriptive boiler firing sequence algorithm that takes into account interior environment, time of day, the thermal momentum of the building and the outside temperature rise. Using the algorithm, the boiler can be completely shut down during certain periods in winter.
“The statistical models that we utilize are based in part on thermodynamics, economic theory and multidimensional vector analysis,” said Johnson. “We did not replace any equipment. In fact based on our models we usually remove mechanical equipment from service.”
Kilawatt Technologies has identified opportunities for Vermont Mutual to reduce its heating fuel use by another 1,000 gallons per year. In addition, Kilawatt Technologies helped Vermont Mutual reduce its electricity use by approximately 27 percent throughout the building.
The energy consumption results were compared to a 12-month baseline and verified back to the utility and fuel bills.
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