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Thought Leadership from Sieben Energy Associates

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Exploring the Future of Energy Data Analytics at SkyPosium

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Together with 150 other members of the global SkySpark community, Syed Suhail and I spent two interesting and stimulating days at SkyPosium 2017. SkySpark is an increasingly popular analytics platform developed by the company SkyFoundry, whose vision is "SkySpark Everywhere." The SkySpark community includes value-added resellers and distributors, engineering consultants, software-as-a-service (SaaS) program developers, and some end users.

SkyPosium was convened at the Washington Dulles Airport Marriott in Dulles, Virginia. From 12 noon on Tuesday, November 14 through 4:30 pm on Wednesday, November 15, we learned about the expanding suite of tools and capabilities available to SkySpark users. Sieben Energy Associates, an early adopter of using large dataset analytics to optimize HVAC system performance, has been a SkySpark software user since 2010.

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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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Snowpack in the Sierra Nevada and Energy Efficiency

Snowpack in the Sierra Nevada and Energy Efficiency

In a March 22nd article in The New York Times, three science writers—Mike McPhate, Derek Watkins, and Jim Wilson—described how this winter's accumulated snowpack in California's Sierra Nevada mountain range may prove to be an antidote to the state's drought crisis.

High-tech airborne mapping and other specialized instruments, they wrote, have provided scientists with an unprecedented understanding of the amount of water present in the snow, and the rate at which the snow is expected to melt.

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The Best (and Worst) Retro-Commissioning Practices

The Best (and Worst) Retro-Commissioning Practices

On the afternoon of February 15, I led a presentation in front of 40 members of the Building Owners and Managers Association of Chicago (BOMA Chicago) about best (and worst) practices relative to successful retro-commissioning projects. First, I set the context for retro-commissioning, including its historical origins and relationship to the commissioning of new buildings. Next, I explained why BOMA Chicago members should care about the ComEd retro-commissioning incentive program.

For almost ten years, all member buildings have been paying into the funding pool for the utility's energy efficiency programs. Participating in retro-commissioning represents an opportunity to get back some of that money. Retro-commissioning also plays an important role in supporting credits for LEED Building Operations and Maintenance (LEED O+M) certification or re-certification.

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