Columnists: Martin Flusberg

Martin has spent most of his career developing innovative technologies that address climate change; the first half in transportation and the second half in energy. Most recently, he was co-founder and President of Nexus Energy Software, a pioneer in delivering on-line energy and carbon analysis to consumers and businesses. Nexus — sold to ESCO Technologies (NYSE:ESE) in 2005 and now part of Aclara Technologies — evolved into a global provider of software solutions to the utility industry focusing on smart grid, smart meter, energy efficiency and demand-response. Martin was CEO of software companies Multisystems, Inc. and REALink SystemsCorp. and ran an energy software unit of TASC. that later became Lodestar Corp., since acquired by Oracle. He has also served on the faculty of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at MIT. Martin has an MSCE from MIT and a BEE from City University of New York.

Are You Waiting for Your HVAC Equipment to Fail?

We talk to many facility managers – and in our case these are managers responsible for tens if not hundreds of small facilities – who lament their official corporate policy of “run to fail,” or replacing HVAC equipment only when it breaks. This approach appears to have become the rule rather than the exception in   …Continue Reading

Is a Market Developing for Solar PV in Small Commercial Facilities?

Small commercial facilities, those under 10,000 sq. ft., represent almost 70% of the approximately 5 million commercial buildings in the US; buildings under 25,000 sq. ft. represent a full 90%. And yet, according to the Solar Energy Industries Association, installation of PV systems smaller than 100kW, which is the size appropriate for smaller commercial facilities,   …Continue Reading

Financing Energy Efficiency in Commercial Buildings: Creative Options

Energy efficiency has become a proven way of reducing costs and improving profits in commercial facilities. From lighting retrofits –including the rapid adoption of LED lighting – to HVAC upgrades to window replacements, energy efficiency improvements often pay for themselves fairly quickly. The issue is that you need to pay for these projects before they   …Continue Reading

Small Box Retail: Think Outside the Energy Box

Energy Management Systems (EMS’s) are ubiquitous in the big box retail environment, and even in medium box stores, but have been less so in small box retail (defined for our purposes as facilities under 10,000 sq. ft.), although that appears to be changing. What has been unique about the small box world, and why are   …Continue Reading

Has Target Made EMS a Target? 3 Ways to Ensure Your EMS Is Not an Open Door

The recent revelation that the data breach at Target originated with the theft of network credentials from one of their HVAC/R contractors has generated significant, and legitimate, attention to the issue of data security of Energy Management Systems (EMS). If you are a developer or vendor of EMS systems you are undoubtedly hearing from customers   …Continue Reading

Energy Management Systems 2.0

Capturing the Paradigm Shift The term Energy Management System, or EMS, is oft used, but can mean very different things to different people. For example, the terms EMS and BMS (Building Management System) are frequently used interchangeably. But that can be very misleading. BMS systems are generally hardware-based control systems responsible for controlling HVAC and   …Continue Reading