IES hired to help identify operational inefficiencies in local school, uncovering estimated cost savings of up to 10k per year.
When Highland Council discovered the heating system in Aviemore primary school was not working efficiently and was causing discomfort to building users, steps had to be taken to identify the issues. To investigate, they brought in IES Consulting to undertake a Post Occupancy Energy Audit using its new state-of-the-art data analysis technology, iSCAN. This involved analysing a number of data streams in combination including energy usage, occupant comfort data from sensor readings, and weather conditions.
The biggest challenge was sourcing and retrieving useful data. For a number of reasons some data was only partially available leading to limitations on the extent to which analysis and interrogation could be performed on the entire building. AMR data for electricity consumption was available but for biomass consumption (heating and hot water), the data was sourced directly from utility bills and this hindered efforts to establish an accurate usage profile. Historic data from BMS systems was made available to IES which was incomplete due in part to a technical fault in the system occurring some months prior.
The incomplete data meant that the results were inconclusive, however the exercise did flag up a spike in out of hours electricity use and excessive out of hours heating. By using the 30 day period prior to the elevated consumption as a benchmark, IES Consulting observed that an additional 42,377kWh of electricity was used out of normal school hours. When compared to the total annual consumption, this equated to an additional 12% of the annual energy costs. During the audit IES Consultants also noticed that the underfloor heating system was not running as efficiently as it could be and made some suggestions to the Council for improvement. Through carrying out this audit IES Consulting estimated that savings of up to £10k per year could be achieved through minimising out of hours heating use.
The Council have expressed that this project with IES Consulting was a huge learning curve, with many valuable lessons learned and it now has plans in place for improved data capture and ways of working on future projects. Going forward the Council intends to improve its data capture specification and it has already started to fit AMR heat meters to some of its biomass installations to monitor biomass usage, with a view to expanding this approach if successful.
The Council also plans to work more closely with its building controls company so that they can clearly define the role of each company in data delivery from the outset of a project to avoid delays.
The Council plans to work with IES on another schools project in the near future using these improved data capture techniques. This project will compare two very similarly designed schools that are running very differently.
“It was a great pleasure to work with the IES Consulting team. Their professionalism and knowledge was of an extremely high standard and the visual outputs of the technology itself made it very easy to report internally on the results of the project.”
Jackie Sayer, Engineer, Energy and Sustainability Department, Highland Council