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Examining Energy Usage at An Energy Conference

Before gathering in San Antonio for the national meeting next week, we thought it would be a fun exercise to take a look at energy usage from large hotel and convention centers like the one we will be meeting at. At Agentis, we go to a ton of these conferences every year - and being the dedicated energy nerds that we are - we can’t help but think about what consumption at these big exhibit halls looks like. Here’s a quick overview of energy consumption, and a few efficiency tips to ponder while you attend AESP National in San Antonio next week.

What does the energy usage of a big conference look like?

 The first thing we need to look at is the building itself. At Agentis, we consider remote audits to be one piece of a much larger equation that includes more reliable inputs: on-site visits from utility staff, information collected from customer input and customer support calls. Unfortunately we won’t be able to use those more reliable sources of information for this blog, and of course, this is a fun exercise and everything here is a best guess… so please, grain of salt with these numbers.

Okay, some basics first. The Marriott website lists the total conference space at 60,472 sq ft. 1001 guest rooms and 30 stories. That's a decent amount of information for us to start with. We can look at several other hotels with a similar profile in the Agentis user database and begin to get a clearer picture of where the AESP 2019 venue stands in terms of energy use. Once again, these consumption numbers are missing a lot of the factors we would need to accurately display the demand/efficiency profile for the AESP National venue, but let have a look at our results either way.

Average Demand for a mix of similar buildings on the third week of January. 




How can large conference hotels reduce their energy spend?

As you are all well aware, there are countless ways a business can improve energy efficiency. Low cost and no cost practices and improved scheduling can have a major impact and capital projects can save customers of this size thousands of dollars a year.

Additionally, Agentis data shows that hotels and lodging facilities are one of the worst performing business types when it comes to reducing energy use during off hours; these businesses reduce their energy use by only 34% on average. Compare that to Religious Worship and Manufacturing businesses. Both of those segments reduce their energy use in excess of 60% during off hours.

Recently, a similarly sized Midwest hotel used Agentis heatmaps to identify unusually high peaks during on-peak hours. The hotel operators determined that bringing in their laundry staff a few hours earlier each day would save significant amounts of money by shifting on-peak usage to off peak hours. Bringing in the staff earlier could also help lower peak demand.  An example heatmap for January at our example hotel is included below.




With enough information we could also generate a macro comparison for a cohort of hotels like this one. The facility manager could view an analysis of how their building compares to similar buildings (like we did in the example for this blog but on a much larger scale). That analysis would look something like the chart below. Offering a quick, helpful insight and slight behavioral nudge to improve efficiency.




 A more energy efficient energy conference

The most important aspect of suggesting energy efficiency programs or capital improvement projects is sending actionable, relevant information to the business. We don’t know a lot of details about the AESP national venue, but with just the information from their meter data we would be able to generate some pretty unique, and valuable insights. Imagine how much more powerful this information would be when combined with insights from key account managers, customer service staff, and user submitted feedback.

Why did we bother doing this?

Because it's fun. Also, because we can’t claim to be energy experts if we aren’t constantly thinking about these things. Large conferences use a lot of energy, and I guarantee you there are a lot of ways we can make them more efficient. Luckily for our customers, Agentis software automates all of these calculations and generates personalized suggestions for improvement at the touch of a button.

See it in action

If you want to see what these tools look like live, stop by booth 309 in the main exhibit hall next week. We can walk you through all of the features in this blog, plus a whole lot more!


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