What about sealing the windows or installing a new heating system? Is that part of business optimisation?
No. Business optimisation doesn’t include construction measures – except maybe changing small pumps or vents. The aim of business optimisation is generally to achieve the greatest possible reduction in consumption with the minimum possible effort. The combination of many small adjustments can have a huge positive impact.
It’s all about «simple goals» or «low-hanging fruit» that Wincasa aims to achieve – or pick – on Swiss Prime Site Immobilien’s behalf. Reductions in consumption that are easy to implement and have an immediately perceptible impact on usage and cost. The guideline is that all investments should pay off within two years. Business optimisation can usually save 10% or even 25%, although these numbers depend heavily on the building, its age, size and use. Whether a building is used for accommodation, offices or – as here in Otelfingen – for industrial purposes makes a key difference when it comes to adjusting the heating, air conditioning and lighting.
But to know where to start, first you need data. How much energy does the building use? What do the electricity, water and cooling meters show? This is all recorded by a meter box with various interfaces for different meters or a direct connection to the building’s control system. The energy values are saved to a server at 15-minute intervals and can then be accessed by the energy control system. Or the data is collected manually. But the evaluation is always performed by technology and by experts at Wincasa. Like Jan Rüegg.
Mr Rüegg, what do you do with all the numbers the system produces?
Analyse them. At the end of the year, we look at all the measurements that have been taken. How have they developed in comparison with the previous year? Are there outliers? And if so, what are the reasons? If a particular measurement differs from the previous year by more than 20%, the system gives us an automatic warning. Then we obviously take a closer look.
So that means you need a whole year to know where the property stands in terms of consumption, and then another year to be able to compare.
Exactly. You can optimise after a year and, after the second year, you see what difference it made. This helps you build a good basis for adjustments. We also perform repeated spot checks in the meantime. For quality management purposes and to ensure that all the values are being recorded. We also carry out an on-site check for every building, during which an energy engineer spends one or two days inspecting everything in detail, implementing improvements directly and documenting them in their report. After a year, we can see what effect these measures had.