Part 2 of 4: Optimizing

In Part 1, I shared a proven way owners are sustaining optimum facility performance at maximum return-on-investment by replacing a sporadic, project-by-project approach with a lower-cost, continuous process. The key attributes of this unique approach include:

  • Results-oriented
  • Continuous, consistent, comprehensive
  • Always adapting, improving
  • All opportunities identified and prioritized
  • Low cost of entry
  • Analytics-enhanced
  • Vendor neutral

The three key steps, that become a reinforcing loop, are:

  • Strategy: set metrics, goals and timeline
  • Plan: Establish and apply best practices and tools: templates, checklists, master documents and standards
  • Execution: Manage and measure results, creating learning loops to the strategy and plan

Maximizing Retro-commissioning (RCx) ROI

Retro-commissioning is the facility optimization opportunity with the highest ROI. The outline of the RCx optimization process follows:

  • Strategy: benchmark your facilities, apply criteria to prioritize, set goals and establish budgets and timelines
  • Plan: select a pilot (highest ranking) facility, and begin establishing and applying best practices and tools; example master documents used by owners include:
    • Proforma template - range of potential results at a fixed simple payback
    • Master scope document - energy vs. maintenance focus
    • EEM implementation and M&V management
    • Selecting, procuring and applying analytics
    • Maximizing utility incentives
    • Integration with utility analytics and monitoring-based commissioning
  • Execution: manage and measure results - energy savings, utility incentives, payback, etc. - creating learning loops to improve your future strategy and plan

Integration is the Key: It is important to perform RCx as part of a continuous, comprehensive process. Otherwise, degradation will wipe out much of the optimization in a few years. The key to overall, sustained optimization is the integration of the individual optimization strategies and plans. Retro-commissioning has a direct link to monitoring-based commissioning and utility analytics for tracking and sustaining the optimization.

Proven Results: We are often asked “how can we be confident in budgeting for retro-commissioning before the study is done?" That’s a very good question. The answer is the total savings isn’t certain, but the return-on-investment is. Here’s how:
  • You can fix or cap the simple payback, eg, 1.5 or 2 years
  • You will select the EEMs to implement, which determines the cost, utility incentives and savings; that’s how you control the simple payback
  • You can also cap your total or net cost if necessary, again achieving the targeted simple payback

This works because the more EEMs you select, the higher the cost, but also the higher the utility incentives and savings; and vice versa: if you select fewer EEMs, your cost will be lower, but so will your utility incentives and savings. The owners we work with have averaged a simple payback of 0.67 years on over 50 RCx projects; all projects have met expectations.

Full ROI: While the RCx financial return (savings and utility incentives) has the most immediate impact, the full ROI includes maximizing:
  • Operation and maintenance savings
  • Equipment life
  • Occupant comfort/health/productivity
  • Carbon emissions reduction

Low Cost of Entry: If funding is a challenge, you might choose to retro-commission a smaller facility, or break down a larger one into phases, and/or over multiple fiscal years.

Next Up – Part 3: Commissioning of New Construction and Renovation

To learn more about how your peers are strategically planning and executing to deliver maximum facility return-on-investment, email me at or call me at (314) 309-2029 to arrange a complimentary session.

Sitton Energy Solutions and Sitton Construction Solutions offer a unique, integrated approach to maximizing your facility investments.

Follow Us On
Sitton SPE™ Optimization
Click the image to learn more about the Sitton SPE™ Optimization.
Click the image to learn more about our Facility Optimization

Construction Optimization Strategy™
Click the image to learn more about our Construction Optimization Strategy™.

Email Marketing by ActiveCampaign