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Thought Leadership from Sieben Energy Associates

Major Takeaways from the 2017 Intelligent Buildings Conference

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The Intelligent Buildings conference (IBcon), presented by RealComm, is one of the most important gatherings for the commercial and corporate real estate, facilities, and technology industries. I attended the 2017 IBcon in San Diego, California on June 13–16. This event brought together leaders from more than 20 countries, including the U.S., Canada, Australia, and many countries in Europe and Asia.

I attended all four days of the conference. Seven pre-conference events were held on Tuesday, June 13. These were followed by two full days of education sessions on Wednesday and Thursday, June 14–15. The conference concluded with nine Real Estate Innovation Tech Tours on Friday, June 16.
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Why Pursue Energy Efficiency in Commercial Buildings?

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It is hard to conceptualize the impact that our own energy use has on the world, particularly as it relates to carbon emissions and climate change. Although we understand the importance of reducing energy consumption, it often feels like the energy we use on a regular basis is just a drop in the bucket. But the key is to remember that those many small drops add up quickly. Reducing energy use in our buildings, even by a modest amount, can, in aggregate, have a significant impact.

According to the International Energy Outlook 2016, published by the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), energy consumed in the buildings sector constitutes about 20% of total global site energy consumed. The "buildings sector" includes residential and commercial users, and encompasses all energy consumed at the building for uses such as heating, cooling, ventilation, lighting, refrigeration, computers, and other various equipment and consumer products. Of this 20%, residential users are responsible for about two-thirds, while commercial users are responsible for the remaining one-third. In other words, commercial buildings around the world account for 7% of global site energy consumption.
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Why Should My Organization Hire an Energy Manager?

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Organizations of all types—businesses, K-12 schools, healthcare, higher education, government, and light and heavy industry—are increasingly turning to an energy specialist to help them navigate diverse energy issues. Such specialized knowledge can be gained through an internal hire. But more and more organizations are choosing to engage an external consultant who focuses exclusively on energy matters to serve as their energy manager.

From the customer's perspective, energy has become a commodity that can be actively managed on both sides of the meter. Electricity and natural gas customers in many states have more say over how they use it (demand side of the meter) and how they source and buy it (supply side of the meter). The ability to exercise greater control over energy consumption is especially true for commercial and industrial customers that use large amounts of energy.​
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Sieben Energy Associates Qualifies for Cutting-Edge NYSERDA Program

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Following a rigorous application and review process, Sieben Energy Associates (SEA) has qualified as a System and Service Provider for the Commercial Real Time Energy Management (RTEM) Program from New York State Energy Research & Development Authority (NYSERDA).

SEA is the only Chicago-based or Illinois-based firm listed as a System and Service Provider on the Qualified Vendor page on NYSERDA's website. Through its involvement in the monitoring-based commissioning (MBCx) program in the Commonwealth Edison (ComEd) service territory of northern Illinois, SEA has significant experience designing and delivering RTEM-type projects. ComEd's MBCx program is described on the utility's retro-commissioning page.

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Cities with the Most ENERGY STAR Certified Buildings in 2017

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Earlier in June, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released its annual ranking of ENERGY STAR Top Cities. According to the EPA, the list "shows which metro areas were home to the most ENERGY STAR certified buildings in the previous year."

The Top Cities for 2017, based on the numbers of 2016 certified buildings, were:
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