What is it?
Building operators have long abandoned hope of keeping everyone, everywhere comfortable. However, that’s because they have to set setpoints that occupants have little to no control over. Advanced setpoint controls take the guesswork out and allow users to give the system feedback directly.
How does it work?
Advanced setpoint controls are software systems that sit along the existing building automation systems. The software includes cellphone apps that allow occupants the ability to provide feedback on their space comfort conditions. The system uses this feedback to broaden or narrow the temperature ranges considered comfortable for spaces each person occupies. It can also give occupants direct feedback or control over the heating and cooling system when their space becomes uncomfortable, for an instant blast of hot or cold air.
What are the most appropriate applications?
Spaces where regular occupants will commonly have access to a smartphone are best. Also consider any spaces where occupant comfort has a substantial impact on the bottom line. Spaces without regular occupants should continue to use the existing strategies for maximizing the number of people who are comfortable.
What are the savings?
These systems save energy by allowing spaces to drift further from traditional comfort conditions, requiring less heating or cooling to meet the space needs. Energy savings varies, but is typically on the order of 0.5-1.5% of the facilities annual energy bill.
What are the non-energy benefits?
Dramatic increases in productivity occur when employees are more comfortable with fewer distractions. On average, if occupants spend 15 minutes doing productive work rather than being distracted by the heating and cooling equipment, the results would often be on the same order of magnitude as the annual cost of energy usage.
What is the cost?
Costs for these systems vary on scope and features, so interested parties should consult with a vendor.
What is the status/availability of the technology?
This technology is not yet widely available. There is currently one commonly known vendor (comfyapp.com).
What kinds of incentives/programs are available?
Right now, this technology would typically be evaluated under Custom Rebate programs. Incentives will vary depending on customer specifics and current setpoint levels.