Retrocommissioning: Maximizing The Efficiency of Your Existing Facility

Dec 9

12/9/2013 2:44 PM  RssIcon

Inherent in the operation of every kind of real estate holding are utilities costs. These expenses – water, heat, and electric – can be delivered as needed, but strategic measures are able to deliver them at a reduced cost.  Enter retrocommissioning.

Retrocommissioning (commonly known as "RCx") is the process by which the operators of a building analyze the current rates of efficiency, establish a desired rate, and implement changes to bridge the gap. Not to be confused with retrofitting-- replacing outdated equipment, retrocommissioning focuses on improving the efficiency of what’s already in place.

To elaborate, the step by step is as follows:

  •      Establish a Benchmark
First, a base rate of utility consumption is found. This is done by reading meter data, consulting previous energy bills, or visiting the online resources of the U.S. Department of Energy or Five Star.  You must be able to measure or calculate energy consumption prior to retrocommissioning. 

  •      Set a Target

Does the business desire a 15% reduction in heating cost? Perhaps the water bill is exceptionally high. Here, the decision maker pin-points the areas of improvement to be undertaken and the degree to which these improvements will be made.

  •       Meet the Budget

While the dictum ‘more is better’ comes to mind, reality often impairs the optimal arrangement of things due to fiscal restraints or pragmatic concerns. Designing a plan of action according to the company’s needs and means is crucial to proper implementation.

 As is always the case with building improvement, there is a cost to be expected. That said, 20-50 cents a square foot (or a 1-2 year payback)is a small amount to pay for a substantial and long-term reduction in unnecessary utilities expenditures.

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