Amber Buhl

Track B: Commissioning
Wed/PM 2:30 PM - 3:00 PM
United States
RCx Persistence in a California Utility Program

Utility retrocommissioning programs claim a measure life of 3 or more years, depending on the measure and the program. RCx measure life is variable because the measures are generally controls based and easily adjustable. Building operator training has been shown to improve savings persistence. However, building operators have competing priorities, and things like staff changes, equipment retrofits, or the recent pandemic make it difficult to maintain savings.

California implemented an innovative program combining elements of RCx and MBCx that focuses on maintaining the persistence of savings. In this program, after verification each customer participates in ongoing maintenance for three years. The program calculates RCx project savings annually while the customer maintains a measure-by-measure maintenance log and engages with the program engineer bi-annually. Savings is verified using whole building modelling or measure level savings that reference trend data.

In January 2022, 7 of the 18 total projects will be complete through the entire 3-year monitoring period. Based on data gathered from completed projects, those currently in the reporting stage, plus the insights gathered from ongoing engagement, we will shed light on when RCx measures do and do not persist and offer strategies to improve future program designs.

Amber is the lead engineer on a variety of commercial and industrial energy efficiency (EE) and demand response (DR) utility programs across the nation. She has been the lead engineer on a Retro commissioning program for the past 7 years and retro commissioned several buildings as well. in across the nation. In her 14 years experience she has managed engineering teams, performed over 50 on-site investigations to identify and quantify energy and demand savings opportunities, facilitated workshops and trainings for commercial facility staff, scoped and installed measurement and verification (M&V) equipment, and developed technical documentation to ensure third party engineering firms and engineering staff are meeting the public utility commission requirements. Amber is a licensed Professional Mechanical Engineer in the State of Oregon.

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