Improving Energy Efficiency Without Capital Investment

The U.S. Department of Energy has developed a method for the re-tuning of buildings in order to improve their energy efficiency.  Previous studies on large-scale commercial buildings have demonstrated energy savings of between 5% and 25% when this method is used by building operators/managers.

The Corporation for Manufacturing Excellence (Manex), Energy Commercialization, Laney College, and Stationary Engineers Local 39 have teamed to train building operators on this methodology.  The program is a joint effort of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and the Department of Energy.  Pacific Gas & Electric is one of the advisors to the program.

Manufacturing facilities and commercial buildings are eligible to enroll their building/operating maintenance personnel in this training at no cost.  The program is designed for organizations with or without existing energy efficiency efforts.

To enroll or obtain additional information, please email or call (925) 969-0553.

Training Program Highlights

Instruction by faculty experienced in building operation and controls

Flexible 40 hour training program

Part of a nationwide effort to reduce energy costs for manufacturers and commercial building operators

Leverages previous and existing energy efforts within your organization

Frequently Asked Questions

Has this process been used in the past? 

The process was originally developed by Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), a Department of Energy Laboratory. Curriculum for the course was developed by Laney College in order to adapt the process to the needs of building operators and technicians in Northern California.

What are the benefits of this process to both companies and building operators? 

The training focuses on reducing energy usage WITHOUT capital upgrades. If capital upgrades are recommended, they should be minimal in nature. Previous work by PNNL demonstrated energy savings of 5% to 25%, which translates to lower facility operating costs for companies. It has also been shown to enhance the skill set of building operators.

What is the content of the training?

The course focuses on the energy utilized in the environmental control of buildings, e.g. HVAC system and its related components. Participants are instructed in a systematic process to monitor building attributes such as air flows, temperatures, etc. They then learn a process for adjusting these attributes, plotting the response, and determining when additional adjustments are required.

What types of buildings are addressed by this energy management approach?

The course is designed for industrial manufacturing and commercial buildings. It is applicable to facilities ranging from 20,000 sq ft to 1,000,000 sq ft.

Can my company be involved if it leases its facility?

Whether you own or lease (with a triple net agreement) your facilities, you can participate in this training. Participating organizations see value in reducing their energy usage, reducing their carbon footprint, improving indoor air quality, and enhancing their sustainability.

Could this also impact the energy usage of my manufacturing processes? 

Processes that share components with the building temperature and air flow control systems may also derive benefits from this approach. For example, chillers that are used for refrigeration and for cooling buildings provide possible energy reductions to manufacturing processes and environmental building control.

What is the format and number of hours of the training program? 

The program is 40 hours in length, with a combination of classroom instruction with on-site training.

Where and when will the training be held? 

The logistics of the training will be adjusted to the needs of the participants and their employers. We anticipate evening or weekend classes. Classroom instruction will be conducted in centralized locations, selected in order to be convenient to participants.

Are there any pre-requisites for training? 

Participants should be currently a building operator or technician.

What will be required of participants and their companies? 

The National Institute of Standards & Technology (NIST) and the Department of Energy are funding this activity and require we have metrics to measure success. We will track the relevant skill levels of participants before and after taking the course. In addition, we will measure the change in energy usage by facilities’ pre-building and post-building retuning process, which will be part of the course.

What is the cost of the training for either the participants or their employers? 

There is no additional cost for either the participants or their employers.

When will the first training program start? 

The first training group is scheduled to occur in March 2013. We are currently enrolling companies and participants at this time. Class size is anticipated to be 10-20 participants.

If I have had an energy audit of my facilities performed by PG&E, can I still engage in this course? 

Yes, PG&E is on our advisory board for the project. It is possible that you may achieve additional reductions in energy usage.

For more information about our company, please view our corporate brochure (PDF).  

Corporate Brochure