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A waste of energy

Energy efficiency systems are only as good as the information put into them, says Graham Hendra

I have just returned from a Government conference in London today about carbon reduction. During the many speeches there was one by a BMS company about saving energy using intelligent control.

The part of the presentation that most stuck in my mind was that as a rule BMS systems due to bad set up have wasted more energy than if they had never been installed.

It appears that when installed, the BMS is set up to control the building efficiently but due to lack of energy audits and maintenance, efficiency falls. The problem is that BMS systems get tweaked by the operators not to be more efficient but to minimise the number of complaints.

For example, if one director has a late meeting one evening the BMS is adjusted to suit, normally nobody puts this back the next day so the BMS runs all the lights, aircon every Thursday night until 10pm or the rest of its life. And just because some idiot in accounts likes to come in early the optimised start is altered to bring the building up to temperature for 7am to please a single occupant. Madness.

A BMS is only as good as the information put into it, so to save energy why not get someone to look at it every six months and make sure it is set up to maximise efficiency and save money. After all that’s why you bought the thing in the first place.