Introduction: Darren Draper, P.E., LEED AP, Epsten Group, Inc., SERBCA Treasurer
Retro-commissioning, or Existing Building Commissioning (EBCx), works. This is a simple conclusion for us to come to based not only on the experience of people like myself in the commissioning business, but also by the investment in retro-commissioning programs being undertaken around the United States by utilities and municipalities. One of many examples of this commitment to energy use reduction in existing buildings will be presented at the NCBC conference this May. This post is a brief introduction to what ComEd in particular is doing to improve existing buildings through energy efficiency, what it took to get the program started, and how validation of savings is being implemented.
Guest Blogger & 2012 NCBC Speaker: George Malek, PE, LEED AP, ComEd
ComEd currently has one of the largest (if not the largest) utility-based retro-commissioning program in North America. But it didn’t start out that way.
In 2007, we filed our first Energy Efficiency plan with the Illinois Commerce Commission. Prior to that, I had worked with my team of energy engineers on several commissioning and retro-commissioning projects in ComEd’s service territory that were not related to any mandate. I was a believer in the process and had been very aware of its benefits. I was also convinced that commissioning should be part of “business as usual”. As such, I was very vocal about including retro-commissioning in our plan. I knew that it was the right thing to do but I also knew that it would be a challenge to validate and verify savings.
We included a conceptual design in the plan. However, after the plan was approved and an implementer was hired, we invested plenty of time and brain power to design a program that can deliver benefits to our customers and had the measures in place to prove it. Tight control over the service providers and a quality process helped ensure and verify savings. We are now enjoying our fourth year of program operations.
Those attending our session will learn about the program details and also about the results thus far. The discussion will also touch on some healthy tension between the implementation team and the evaluator.