New York State’s Summer of Energy

New York State
Photo: U.S. Government [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
It apparently will be the summer of energy in New York, as the state aggressively pushes programs aimed at building efficiencies.

At the center of the action is the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA). Two weeks ago, the public benefit corporation made $36 million available for two initiatives. The goal is to help commercial buildings reduce energy bills by more than $200 million over an eight year period.

About $30 million will be dedicated to the Real Time Energy Management program. The funding aims to help owners cut energy costs by 5 percent to 25 percent by “fine-tuning” buildings, finding capital projects and reducing operational and management costs. The other $6 million, which will become available in early July, will be used to drive energy efficiency in leased office spaces. Leased space, according to NYSERDA, generally consumes 40 percent to 60 percent of the energy used in a building.

A related move was announced yesterday by NYSERDA, BuildingIQ and Energy Solutions. The organizations said that BuildingIQ’s Predictive Energy Optimization (PEO) platform will deploy in a 25 building pilot project across The Empire State.

The project will include training and certification on the platform and as much as $20,000 per building for installation. The press release says that the project is part of NYSERDA’s Emerging Technology Accelerated Commercialization Commercial-Institutional (ETAC-CI) program which, in turn, is an element of the state’s Reforming the Energy Vision (REV) vision.

BuildingIQ’s cloud-based PEO platform aims to build savings in complex buildings by managing use in a very precise manner. The idea is that even small changes and adjustments, if implemented consistently over time, lead to big savings. The PEO system integrates with building management systems (BMS) for real time tuning of the HVAC system based on data gathered from weather forecasts, building occupancy, energy prices, tariffs and other factors. The company says that HVAC energy consumption can be reduced by 10 percent to 25 percent on an ongoing basis, and reach 40 percent during peak operational hours.

Scott McCormick, Vice President of Sales and Business Development at BuildingIQ, says that the 25 buildings are in the process of being chosen. The implementation will in part be used to put in practice growing elements of PEO. For one thing, the company is working to optimize the platform to smaller and larger buildings.

BuildingIQ also is focusing more deeply on developing ways to prove that promised energy efficiency gains actually are being realized. “There is an aspect of managing energy that sometimes folks forget,” McCormick said. “If you are [claiming] to manage energy you are going to have to verify having an effect on it. The whole methodology of measurement verification is something we have spent a lot of time on and we investing more on it.”

This is the type of technical evolution that is good for vendors and the buildings that they serve. Thus, working on state-sponsored projects – in New York and elsewhere – has benefits beyond the public relations boost. “It I think plays an important role because organizations like NYSERDA and others like it have a lot of intellect horsepower,” he said. “They are experts in the research topics we are looking at. To have someone like that kind of organization say, ‘Yes we believe this is in the interest in of the State of New York’ is a powerful statement.”

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