Monitoring energy performance in local authority buildings.
Energy management has been an important function of organisations since the oil crisis of the mid 1970’s led to hugely increased costs of energy. Although the financial costs of energy are still important, the growing recognition of the environmental costs of fossil-fuel energy is becoming more important. Legislation is also a key driver. The UK has set an ambitious greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction target of 80% of 1990 levels by 2050 in response to a strong international commitment to reduce GHG emissions globally. This work is concerned with the management of energy consumption in buildings through the analysis of energy consumption data. Buildings are a key source of emissions with a wide range of energy-consuming equipment, such as photocopiers or refrigerators, boilers, air-conditioning plant and lighting, delivering services to the building occupants. Energy wastage can be identified through an understanding of consumption patterns and in particular, of changes in these patterns over time. Changes in consumption patterns may have any number of causes; a fault in heating controls; a boiler or lighting replacement scheme; or a change in working practice entirely unrelated to energy management. Standard data analysis techniques such as degree-day modelling and CUSUM provide a means to measure and monitor consumption patterns. These techniques were designed for use with monthly billing data. Modern energy metering systems automatically generate data at half-hourly or better resolution. Standard techniques are not designed to capture the detailed information contained in this comparatively high-resolution data. The introduction of automated metering also introduces the need for automated analysis. This work assumes that consumption patterns are generally consistent in the short-term but will inevitably change. A novel statistical method is developed which builds automated event detection into a novel consumption modelling algorithm. Understanding these changes to consumption patterns is critical to energy management. Leicester City Council has provided half-hourly data from over 300 buildings covering up to seven years of consumption (a total of nearly 50 million meter readings). Automatic event detection pinpoints and quantifies over 5,000 statistically significant events in the Leicester dataset. It is shown that the total impact of these events is a decrease in overall consumption. Viewing consumption patterns in this way allows for a new, event-oriented approach to energy management where large datasets are automatically and rapidly analysed to produce summary meta-data describing their salient features. These event-oriented meta-data can be used to navigate the raw data event by event and are highly complementary to strategic energy management.
- PhD