Demand-Side Management (DSM) is the critical first step in any Strategic Energy Management Plan. DSM is about reducing the amount of energy required to deliver services; it’s about eliminating energy waste and improving energy efficiency. In the case of BCIT’s Factor Four initiative, that means reducing the amount of electricity and natural gas required to light, heat, cool, ventilate, and provide specialised educational services to the Factor Four Area.
DSM activities fall into one of four categories:
1) Capital Investments – Upgrading energy inefficient systems (e.g. lighting) to more energy efficient systems;
2) Operational Changes – Making changes to how energy systems (i.e.: building systems) are operating to improve energy efficiency and reduce waste (e.g. lowering the overnight temperatures in buildings);
3) Behavioural Changes – Encouraging people to be aware of how their behaviour impacts building energy consumption and encourage them to alter their behaviour to conserve energy (e.g. encouraging to turn off lights when they are last to leave a room); and
4) Changes to Business Practices – Ensuring that energy efficiency becomes an integral component in the organisation’s policies and procedures (e.g. adopting an Energy Star purchasing policy for office equipment, teaching using virtual welding, moving to a four-day workweek, etc.).
In the past, energy demand-side management programs often only address the technical aspects – capital investments and operational changes. BCIT has taken a more holistic approach: considering each of the four categories described above. The intent is to encourage continuous improvement in energy efficiency and to embed energy management into all levels of BCIT business practices. This holistic approach was deemed necessary to achieve a reduction goal as bold a Factor Four.
DSM Situation Analysis
As with any situation analysis, the Factor Four DSM Situation Analysis strived to define the current state in relation to the desired future state, to identify opportunities for transitioning toward the desired state, and to identify barriers and challenges that might need to be addressed along the way.
Energy Audits: Energy audits became integral components of the DSM Situation Analysis. Energy audits with varying degrees of detail were completed for each building in the Factor Four Area. Visit the Buildings page to read the energy audits for each building. The energy audits looked primarily at factors related to energy management within BCIT. In parallel BCIT conducted separate analyses of external factors (e.g. forecasted energy costs) to round out the DSM Situation Analysis.
BEPIs: To monitor progress toward meeting the 75% reduction in energy throughput target, BCIT first needed to understand how energy was being used prior to initiating Factor Four. As part of the energy audits, Building Energy Performance Indices (BEPIs) were calculated for each building in the Factor Four Area for the year preceding Factor Four initiation. This period is known as the Baseline Year against which all future progress toward the Factor Four target will be measured. Factor Four BEPIs were calculated as energy consumption per unit area of floor space: kWh/m2 for electricity; GJ/m2 for natural gas; and ekWh/m2 or eGJ/m2 for total energy. Buildings identified with the highest BEPIs often become the buildings with the most savings opportunities when further investigated later in the energy management process.
Non-Technical Audits: BCIT has participated in BC Hydro’s Energy Manager Program since 2009. One of the first orders of business in joining the program was for BCIT Management to participate in an Energy Management Assessment (EMA) facilitated by BC Hydro. The EMA assessed BCIT business practices and made recommendations for changes to support continuous improvement in energy management. Among others, practices were assessed in the following areas:
- Finance and budgeting
- Operations and maintenance
- Planning and business development
- Human Resources
The EMA recommendations were included in the Factor Four plan whenever applicable.
Audits (aka: brainstorming with buildings occupants and other area experts) were also conducted to identify ECMs that would conserve energy in the areas of “behavioural changes” and other “changes to business practices.”
Go to FactorFour Energy Projects Summary – May 2015 Revision – WEB VERSION to learn more about the Factor Four DSM ECMs (Action Items).
Click here to learn more about the situation analysis for Level 2 of the 4Rs framework: Level 2: Re-Use Wasted Heat.