Sometimes with Retro-Commissioning, timing is everythingAug 05, 2013
Creative thinking can and should play a significant role in the successful completion of a Retro-Commissioning project. Certain standard questions should always be asked, such as “what” and “how”: whether installed equipment is appropriate for the need, set up correctly, and functioning properly. But the advantages that come from asking the unexpected questions can take a retro-commissioning project from successful to exceptional.
Take, for example, the commissioning agent who had the idea to ask “when” as well as “what” and “how.” In a Massachusetts retail facility, forklift operators were charging the batteries for five forklifts, plugging in the machines when their shifts ended between 4 and 5pm. The agent asked whether those forklifts could be charged after 9pm, when the electrical rates transitioned to off-peak hours. By simply placing the charging units on time clocks, at an estimated cost of $500, the facility found itself saving seven times that amount over the course of a single year.
While an estimated savings of $3700 may seem small in the face of hundreds of thousands of dollars spent on electricity each year, small opportunities for savings add up. By thinking outside of the proverbial boxes, this commissioning agent was able to get this company thinking about energy savings in new ways. By spreading the word throughout the organization, the retail facility’s employees can begin to ask “when” in their own departments as well, with the potential for the company to create even greater savings, as well as establish “green” protocols in various areas of the organization.