Top 3 Building Owner Myths

Building assets such as heating, ventilation and air conditioning are significant thorns in

Alex Tomas, Managing Director of UtilityTRX brings 28 years experience in the utility expense oversight field

most building owners' sides. Unfortunately, the vast majority of building owners fall prey to these common myths that can cost them hundreds of thousands to millions of dollars over time in reduced life of equipment and utility costs.

1. Energy Efficient Equipment Automatically Saves Money

What building owners fail to understand is that high efficient chillers and so on are sold to them with proposals that assume optimal operation. Unfortunately, beyond the check being cashed, the equipment installers almost always install equipment with manufacturer's default settings that are less than optimal in how they operate. Reason being is that installers do not want to make recommendations on settings for liability reasons. "After running the UtilityTRX XS Use analysis on a healthcare client's locations, we found that their half million dollar chillers were operating around the clock and cycling excessively, which severely reduces the life of the equipment and was obviously costing significantly more on energy costs," states Alex Tomas the Managing Director.

2. Building Controls Software Ensures that Our Building Operates Optimally

Software is only as good as the people that set up the commands on the equipment and the settings on the zones. As one might imagine, there are a plethora of moving parts within the average building and human error can and often does occur at some point. Two of many errors that can arise include zones fighting each other with heating and cooling or temperature overrides meant to be set to a couple of hours that are left in permanent state. Those oversights often result in an inordinate amount of excess hours or after-hours operation on equipment.

3. Our Maintenance Staff Monitors the Building and Equipment

Having worked with energy and facility managers for years, there always seems to be a commonality in that they are understaffed and constantly putting out fires. Aside from this fact, spotting nuances or issues with their existing building controls platforms requires endless hours of observation and/or automated alerts. When alarms are setup, most alarms are eventually disabled by maintenance because of the constant false alarms. In most cases, alarms are never setup in the beginning because of the tedious, time-consuming and very costly endeavor in doing so.

"I have personally watched over an energy controls platform in a 40,000 square foot building and missed issues because doing so can really require complex data trending. For example, we had one 15 ton unit with a lose fan belt and a stage 1 cooling in another unit that wasn't working. To spot these issues, I'd have to literally drill down the plethora of data points being monitored in the software platform and consider an inordinate amount of issues that can arise on each data point. As a less costly and more effective alternative, UtilityTRX's Get Real! Building Scan was easy to set up, trended the data and alerted us to these issues immediately after the data was loaded. In essence, it's somewhat like a body scan. This is only one tiny facility. If you consider a facility or energy manager overseeing numerous buildings (often with different software platforms), you can imagine that it would be a nightmare and effectively nothing is truly monitored in the end because of the ineffective model and solutions involved. Get Real! changes all that dynamic," states Alex Tomas

UtilityTRX unites utility billing and real-time building data into a simple process that effectively reduces utility costs and increases equipment life. For more more information, email

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