July 18 2013

DOE Live Webcast:  Challenge Home Program, Retro-

Commissioning, and More

(RetroCommissioning and the Public Sector)

Hosted by: DOE EERE,

Host: Erin Nobler with NREL

Speaker: Molly Lunn, DOE State and Local Technical Assistance Program

Intro to the DOE State and Local Technical Assistance Program;

They do a monthly series of webinars and have trainings available.

Presenter 1: Ron Underhill, Building Technology Group, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (http://www.pnl.gov/)

An Overview of Commercial Building Retrocommissioning 

The perception that retrocommissioning is costly is a barrier to commitment. A commitment to retuning training on Operation and Maintenance of Renewable Energy (RE) systems will help to overcome that barrier. For current ideas on retuning training go to: http://www.retuning.org (electronic model to work with) and/or http://www.pnl.gov/builidingretuning

6 Steps in Large Building Retuning Training: Collecting building info, Pre-Retuning phase, Building walk down, Re-tuning, Post Retuning, and Savings analysis.

List of common problems: schedules, “idling” during non occupied time zones, keeping up with the “shoulder” seasons (heating and cooling seasons) that can result in simultaneous heating and cooling.

Small Building Retuning: If you don’t need it turn it off or down, the Tail Wagging the Dog syndrome means that smart energy decisions are adjustments that fit the building so get to know the “personality” of the system. You can diagnose issues through your senses with a walk down evenings and weekends. The focus areas of a prescriptive approach: Building envelope.

Presenter 2: Luke Iderton, Energy Outreach Colorado (http://www.energyoutreach.org/)

EOC leverages every level of funding to achieve energy efficiency/retrocommissioning (RCx). The goals is not to redesign the existing system but to retrofit for highest or higher efficiency on both private and public buildings. The impact of RCx policies means that stakeholders must give feedback and have consistent, clear guidelines. Training building operators and operators is the greatest asset for the RCx process from initial study through long term RCx intervals, sale of the building, major HVAC replacement or renovation. Some States are offering incentives to follow through with the retrofits. The voluntary versus mandatory policy for retrofits brings up issues of contract bidding that now must include retrofit with any renovation. RCx is only part of a retroffiting plan. It should be accompanied by benchmarking, rating and disclosure policies that impact the value of the building. Financing retroffiting is moving toward a larger scale to the municipal level. Deep retrofit projects may require loans though is not yet typical. The cost variables are myriad BUT RCx will benefit the owner by increasing the value of the building and reducing need for repairs and increasing the life of equipment in the building.

Summary: This is a great overview of how to diagnose energy inefficiency in buildings. Retuning is part of a continuing RCx effort.

Resources: The Department of Energy will also present a live webcast titled “Retro-Commissioning” on Thursday, July 18, from 2:00 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.Eastern Daylight Time. During the webinar, retro-commissioning experts will help public sector organizations better understand the retro-commissioning process and its application in energy efficiency programs.

More Info Available at: http://apps1.eere.energy.gov/news/progress_alerts.cfm/pa_id=903

This webinar is archived and available online at the DOE EERE Federal Energy Management Training Solution Site.