Energy Plant Services for Universities & Colleges
Meet your sustainability goals faster and more easily
utiliVisor's energy plant services help universities and colleges visualize their energy usage and improve operational performance. We provide another layer of insight to your operations to help you lower your carbon footprint campus-wide.
Trusted by our customers
Case Study Results
Initial savings for energy plant service customers
TEXAS TECH UNIVERSITY
$2.2 million saved
- Leveraging of investment in existing systems & equipment
- Ability to predict consumption
- Accurate cost justification
- Centralized meter collection process
- Greater visualization of energy consumption
- Replacement of one inefficient steam turbine centrifugal chiller with two 3100-ton electric chillers
- Training of TTU operations engineers
$668,648 saved (18% of chiller plant operating costs)
- Increased plant efficiency from revised chiller sequencing
- Revised load profiles from reducing excessive CHW bypass flows and implementing a seasonal CHW differential pressure reset
- Revised auxiliary sequencing based on tonnage profile (chilled & condenser water pumps/cooling towers)
- Extended operations with reduced differential pressures from returning AHU CHW valve control and revised occ/unocc scheduling
"After a while, it just becomes background noise."
Operating facilities on a university or college campus means juggling the demands of many different environments — housing, teaching, athletics, research, medical care, and food service, to name a few. And each type of space has different operational and maintenance needs.
On top of the different building types and uses, every stakeholder on campus has slightly different needs and priorities as well:
- Students and staff want to better understand — and lower — their carbon footprint. They also want innovation that can be utilized as a learning opportunity.
- The director of utilities and accountants, who need insight and validation of your energy conservation measures (ECMs) as well as data and graphics that help them articulate the business case for capital improvements to improve operational performance
- The president, dean, and board of regents, who need to use every resource as efficiently as possible in order to keep their institution competitive
In other words, your operations team is running a small (sometimes not so small) city, with similar budgetary concerns and constant maintenance needs of a diverse population with limited resources.
The Challenges of Operating a University Campus
Complex systems that include many (if not hundreds of) buildings
Energy needs that vary by semester and student presence
An operational budget that is under tight scrutiny
A lack of accurate benchmarks on energy usage for strategic planning
Operations staff that is overworked, with neither the time nor the quality of information they need to make strategic decisions
Inaccurate meter data makes it difficult to recover utility costs from schools, departments, and colleges
Inability to measure accurately makes it impossible to have an auditable process
Constant pressure to minimize utility costs and energy consumption to control tuition costs
Multiple utilities = multiple meters and multiple BMS systems = constant headaches
Existing BAS provides little to no insight into the actual operational condition of equipment
Get more out of what you already have
University energy plants are sometimes entrenched in practices influenced by the past — with no budget to meet the needs of the future.
That's where partnering with utiliVisor fills the gap. Our energy plant services can help with:
- Metering and recharging
- Training utility engineers on your specific equipment/systems to increase their skill levels
- Dealing with the new operational challenges presented by Covid-19
- Predictive operations/cost and energy forecasting
- And so much more
Over the last 40 years, we have helped campuses across the country measure their utilities, understand their BTUs, validate their systems' performance and ECMs, and – most importantly – find significant savings. In fact, we regularly help clients save 12%–20% with minimal investment in new equipment.
The value of another set of eyes on the plant
When your operators are overworked, they don't have time to analyze thousands of data points and calculate out which combination of chillers and pumps is the cheapest to run right now or which cooling tower is the most efficient under current conditions.
utiliVisor's historical database and analysis services take your real-time data points, analyze them for outliers, and compare that information to your past results and our own historical database to figure out if you really need that second chiller on an 80-degree day or if conditions this week can be satisfied with just a single unit.
Whether it's reducing the flow, checking the charge on the chiller, or determining the right size equipment for the job, we can help you make your operations work better or be more efficient.
Recoup departmental utility costs with accurate metering and billing
A large part of keeping operations costs down on campus is making sure that every department is paying its fair share of utility costs. Of course, no department wants to be billed for energy that they didn’t use.
utiliVisor can help you read your meters or set up and verify remote metering systems and send monthly statements that show exactly how much each department owes.
A better recharging and billing system lets you:
Allocate costs to the various departments based on their actual usage, not just their square footage
Manage your common areas — campuses often have a large percentage of common areas, such as lobbies, hallways, and group meeting areas. Understanding the costs to maintain comfort in those spaces is critical to staying on budget and supporting sustainability plans.
Maintain your resiliency at a lower cost
Campuses that generate some of their own electricity have more flexibility and self-sufficiency with regard to their utility spend, but only if your facilities crew can see what the going utility rate is compared with the cost to generate onsite.
Managed by experts in data analysis, utiliVisor's energy monitoring services track ongoing utility rates vs. site generation costs. That way you know when you should be generating onsite and when it's cheaper to buy from the utility and save your resources.
"It's like having additional staff."
A partnership with utiliVisor gives you timely analysis and advice from fellow experts in facility operations and equipment. You get:
- Simple (i.e., achievable, doable, easy to implement) solutions to complex problems
- Validation of system performance
- Assistance with plant upgrades and performance adjustments/fine-tuning, including your BAS
- Putting dollar values on the consequences of action vs inaction
- Engineering expertise on Day 2 operations for new equipment/facilities
- Articulating system needs, potential, and limits for different stakeholder groups
- Prioritizing energy conservation measures based on ROI
- Confirming and maximizing your efficiencies with verified data
- Granular budget forecasting and comparison with actuals
- A data repository for continuity of knowledge of how your system has operated over time
- Validated results of third-party energy services companies (e.g., HVAC retrofits, lighting upgrades)
- Engineer-to-engineer support for root causes analyses of system/equipment failure
- Support for utility incentive programs
- Actionable recommendations with clear explanations — with enough detail for operators and enough context for directors and accountants
- Monthly updates on how much money and energy you are saving
- Business intelligence (BI) tools — see your savings in real time in the format you prefer