ESTCP 2014 Project-of-the-Year Award for Energy and Water
(Initially Released December 8, 2014) To help DoD comply with the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 mandate to conduct energy audits on 25% of covered facilities annually, ESTCP funded FirstFuel Software to show the impact of conducting “touchless” energy audits. Traditional energy audits involve experts who review building records, do a thorough hands-on assessment of building systems and compile a detailed report with recommendations to implement energy conservation measures. Using an analytics-driven approach, FirstFuel demonstrated that building energy audits could be completed in hours rather than weeks, and at a fraction of the cost of traditional energy audits that normally cost $0.15 to $0.50 per square foot. The FirstFuel Remote Building Analytics (RBA) virtual platform uses metered 15-minute energy consumption data from past utility bills as well as visual images of buildings from Google Earth to assess energy performance and create the equivalent of an ASHRAE Level 2 Audit. The tool is an analytics-driven energy information service designed to rapidly and cost-effectively target, prioritize, quantify, enable, and track energy savings in less than one quarter the time required for a manual energy audit while using one fifth the manpower. The tool uses statistical methods and advanced data mining techniques to provide building-specific performance benchmarks and custom recommendations for Energy Conservation Measures.
FirstFuel used the RBA to analyze more than 100 DoD buildings, consisting of five different building types, on eleven military installations in multiple climate zones. To validate the RBA, an independent building auditor conducted ASHRAE Level 2 onsite audits of 16 of the buildings. The RBA revealed 16-37% more Energy Conservation Measure savings than the onsite audits.
Overall, the demonstration showed that use of FirstFuel’s remote audit tool can yield results similar to ASHRAE Level 2 onsite audits in hours, regardless of size or type of building, and at a fraction of the cost, compared to an onsite audit. This capability will expedite energy audits and help reduce DoD’s annual $4 billion facility energy cost.
For this significant work, Mr. Swapnil Shah and his project team received the 2014 ESTCP Project-of-the-Year Award for Energy and Water. Project Overview