April 2012                                                                                            PSE.com/ForYourBusiness
Re-Energize Your Business header
In This Issue
West Coast Energy Management Congress
Tune-Ups - Not Just for Cars Anymore
Case Study - The Westin Bellevue
PSE's New Incentives for Building Tune-Ups
Upcoming Events
Quick Links

Spring typically represents something new or renewed. Fittingly, PSE has new programs to renew existing buildings. Our new Building Tune-Up programs offer the choice of a simplified approach or a comprehensive approach to tuning up existing buildings. Existing buildings remain a "goldmine" for potential energy savings and PSE offers excellent incentives for tune-ups. While you are tuning up your buildings, think about tuning up your professional knowledge and contacts by attending the West Coast Energy Management Congress in Seattle on May 23 & 24. This is a not-to-be-missed event that is chocked full of education and networking opportunities for energy professionals. We hope to see you there!

Save the Date! West Coast Energy Management Congress


May 23 - 24, 2012

Washington State Convention & Trade Center - Seattle, WA

Website:  http://www.energyevent.com



West Coast Energy Management Congress (EMC) is celebrating its 30th Anniversary with a focus on new developments shaping the energy field. EMC 2012 features a multi-track conference program and expo to be held at the Washington State Convention Center in Seattle on May 23-24, 2012.


A prestigious line-up of industry leaders such as Opening Session speakers: Cal Shirley, Vice President, Customer Solutions, Puget Sound Energy speaking on "Enlightened or Obsolete - Energy Companies of the Future" and Rebecca Zimmer, Director, Global Energy & Resource Management, Starbucks Coffee Company with a presentation entitled "Starbucks Environmental Performance & Energy Conservation".


Additional conference presentations will facilitate your understanding of these technologies, covering such big-picture topics as Energy Management, Policy & Trends, High Performance Buildings and New Technologies. More specific session topics include Energy Management Best Practices, Energy Management Success Stories, Who Will Own Energy Efficiency Programs in the Future?, Benchmarking, Building Systems, Incentives/Rebates, Financing, Commissioning for Energy Efficiency, Metering, Data Centers, Innovative Partnerships, Building Intelligence and Intelligent Controls & Information Technology.


Additional exciting events at the show include the U.S. EPA ENERGY STARŪ presented Pacific Northwest Green showcase, the New Technologies breakfast, The Council on Women in Energy & the Environment (CWEEL) Breakfast, the AEE Pacific Northwest Chapter Luncheon and a series of Certification & Seminar opportunities.


The EMC is the largest energy conference and technology expo held on the U.S. West Coast specifically for commercial, industrial, institutional and government energy users. It brings together the top experts in all areas of the field to help you set a clear, optimum path to energy efficiency, facility optimization and sustainability, as well as innovative solutions to improve your return on investment.


PSE is hosting this event along with its producer, The Association of Energy Engineers (AEE). AEE is a professional association augmented by its strong membership base of over 15,000 professionals in 84 countries and its widely recognized energy certification program in the fields of energy engineering and energy management, renewable and alternative energy, power generation, energy services, sustainability, and all related areas.


For more information about attending or exhibiting at the West Coast Energy Management Congress, visit www.energyevent.com.

Tune-Ups - Not Just for Cars Anymore 


By Cal Shirley

Vice President of Customer Solutions

Puget Sound Energy


Just about everyone who owns a car knows that getting it tuned up will get you better gas mileage and save you money. What if a similar concept could be applied to buildings? What if building owners could save $30 billion a year in energy costs, reduce greenhouse gas emissions by more than 300 million tons a year and create thousands of new jobs in the United States? Better yet, what if they could do it by using existing technology and at such a good price that the efforts would pay for themselves in less than two years?


The good news is that they can. A study conducted by researchers at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory identified the commissioning of existing buildings, or "Building Tune-Ups," as "a golden opportunity for reducing energy costs and greenhouse-gas emissions." The not-so-good news is that many building owners and managers either don't know how building tune-ups can benefit them or how to go about implementing a commissioning program.


Building tune-ups have not yet been totally embraced by facilities managers but that means there is still plenty of opportunity to put them to work in our public and commercial buildings.


What is a building tune-up? A building tune-up is a systematic process for investigating, analyzing and optimizing the energy performance of building systems. It focuses on the operation of the building, its mechanical equipment, lighting and related controls, and helps them to perform well, thereby saving energy and improving comfort for occupants.


Retrofits for energy-efficiency involve replacing outdated or inefficient equipment. Building tune-ups, on the other hand, focus on improving the operational efficiency of what is already in place, meaning that greater efficiency can be achieved with no major capital expense for the building owner.


One example was a building that had its heater inadvertently locked on. Not surprisingly, this led tenants to crank up the cooling system. The result, which was not immediately seen, was that the air outside originated at 70 degrees, then was heated to 120 degrees and then chilled to 60 degrees. An incredibly inefficient process increased the building owner's utility bill substantially. Another example is the building that had the blowers left on after a routine fire test. The blowers then ran 24 hours a day until the facilities managers were required to conduct a fire test again. Of course, the blowers that had been left running had increased the building owner's energy bill. These buildings were out-of-tune with problems that could be corrected by building tune-ups resulting in big savings for the owners.


Why should you care about building tune-ups if you are only renting space in a commercial building? Many operations and maintenance issues have a great effect on the comfort of tenants. And one way or the other, you are paying for part of your landlord's energy bill. When the building doesn't function efficiently your comfort may be challenged and your rent almost certainly will be affected. Find out more about PSE's incentives for owners who are willing to tune up their buildings for better energy performance. PSE.com/TuneUps

Commissioning of Existing Buildings Yields Big Savings 


Case Study - The Westin Bellevue



The Project

The Westin Bellevue boasts over 300 up-scale hotel guest rooms, as well as 175,000 sq ft of public space that includes a large lobby, two spacious ballrooms/conference rooms, hotel offices, and guest-room corridors stretching throughout 19 floors. Like many hotels, Westin was urged-by its Starwood Hotels and Resorts management, and by its tenants-to cut energy use. The challenge was finding where to save electricity and gas in a hotel built to newer energy codes, and how to do it without ruffling the sensibilities of discerning guests.


The Challenge

As The Westin Bellevue's Chief Engineer Tim Altier tells it, he knew his dilemma was solved when he heard about a new PSE grant program to commission commercial buildings that are at least three years old. Not only does PSE's Comprehensive Building Tune-Up Program pre-screen for the best candidates, but it pays up to 70
 percent of the cost of commissioning, regardless of results. And if expected energy savings continue a year beyond project completion, PSE pays up to 100 percent of commissioning cost. Altier contacted PSE, wondering if his hotel, built in 2005, would qualify. But qualify it did: the hotel's systems were in good condition, and its energy use was high. The next step involved a thorough investigation by Ed Culp of MacDonald-Miller Facility Solutions-a local PSE-approved commissioning provider whose company also happened to be The Westin Bellevue's original design/build mechanical contractor, as well as its ongoing maintenance contractor. The investigation confirmed that there was room to save energy even in such a new hotel. "Set it and forget it" is a common hotel operating policy, particularly at top-drawer hotels, explains Altier. All public space in The Westin Bellevue was conditioned year-round to a constant 72° F, and the hotel's HVAC control system was not used to its fullest potential.


The Solution

With PSE's support, Altier, his hotel engineering staff, and Ed Culp of MacDonald-Miller went to work. As luck would have it, the hotel's HVAC zoning was separated between public space and guest rooms, so subtle energy-saving changes could be made in public areas without affecting guests' luxury hotel perceptions. HVAC scheduling in the hotel's conference rooms was a major energy saver: before commissioning, the hotel's 25,000 sq. ft. of conference rooms were conditioned constantly, whether or not they were occupied. "A 5000 sq. ft. conference room might be empty 100 hours every week, but heating and cooling would continue," says Altier: "On a sunny day, in an empty southwest-facing, glass-walled conference room-well, let's hope the staff remembered to close the blinds." Control settings were changed to make "unoccupied"-primary air damper closed, VAV-box series fans off-the new default mode for conference rooms. Staff members now program the HVAC system to run only when the rooms are occupied. "You only need to schedule once, when the conference room reservation is made," says Altier.


Another energy conservation measure was adjusting HVAC setpoints for the hotel lobby and guest-room corridors. As Altier says, it's a matter of perception: "These spaces don't have to be as warm or as cool as you'd think, because hotel guests are in them only briefly." Winter heating setpoints were lowered from 70° F to 66° F, and summer cooling setpoints raised from 75° F to 78° F, for a generous 12° deadband with no heating or cooling, only make-up air circulation. "More energy saved, with no complaints from guests or hotel staff," reports Altier.


Energy-saving adjustments were also made to The Westin Bellevue's central cooling and heating plant, including implementing a load-based control strategy wherein system temperatures are controlled based on outside air conditions. This substantially reduced electricity consumption.


The Results

HVAC scheduling for conference rooms, adjusted HVAC setpoints for lobby and corridors, cooling and heating plant optimization, and other measures all are estimated to add up to impressive energy savings at The Westin Bellevue - at least 10 percent savings on the total energy use of the facility. "PSE's Comprehensive Building Tune-Up Program cost the hotel nothing, and saves us electricity and gas every month. What's not to like about that?" --Tim Altier, Chief Engineer, The Westin Bellevue

PSE's New Incentives for Building Tune-Ups


Simplified and Comprehensive Tune-Up Programs 




Building systems can get out of tune just like cars - operating in an inefficient manner and wasting energy. Cost-effective and substantial energy savings can be achieved through improved operation and maintenance of a wide variety of non-residential buildings. In fact, most building owners can identify no-cost and low-cost improvements that have a payback time of less than two years. That is why PSE offers financial incentives to building owners for a choice of two types of building tune-ups - a simplified approach and a comprehensive approach.


Simplified Building Tune-Ups

Off-site technical support


Analysis and tracking of energy usage

Relevant webinars

Performance incentives


Comprehensive Building Tune-Ups (formerly Building Energy Optimization Program)

On-site technical support

Comprehensive on-site review of systems

Analysis and tracking of energy usage

Existing building commissioning process

PSE-approved Commissioning Providers

Systems Manual

On-site training

Incentive for Commissioning Provider

Performance incentives


Nearly every commercial and public building owner in PSE's service area will benefit by becoming aware of PSE's incentives for tuning up their buildings. Different eligibility rules apply to PSE's two building tune-up programs. However, they both serve PSE customers with non-residential facilities larger than 50,000 sq. ft. Visit

 to learn about the full eligibility rules for each program, or contact a PSE Energy Advisor at

Upcoming Events  


Electric League General Meeting

Presented by Puget Sound Energy, Seattle City Light, Snohomish County PUD, and Tacoma Power. The meeting will feature and overview of utility incentives.

Date: April 19, 2012

Time: 11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

Location: PSE Auditorium, EST building

                 355 110th Avenue

                 Bellevue, WA 98004 

Click Here for more information or to register



Future of Business Conference

Presented by Sustainable Connections. Come and hear Kimberly Harris, President and CEO of Puget Sound Energy deliver a keynote address on Friday, April 27, 2012.

Date: April 26 - 27, 2012

Time: 5:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. on April 26; 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on April 27

Location: Whatcom Museum Old City Hall (on April 26)

                 121 Prospect Street

                  Bellingham, WA 98226


                 Whatcom Community College (on April 27)

                 237 West Kellogg Road
                 Bellingham, WA 98226

Click here for more information or to register



Northwest Foodservice Show

Stop by PSE's booth and check out the latest on incentives for energy efficient commercial kitchen equipment.

Date: April 29 - 30, 2012

Time: 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on April 29; 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. on April 30

Location: Washington State Convention Center

                  800 Convention Place

                  Seattle, WA 98101

Click here for more information or to register



Energy / Facilities Connections

Presented by the Washington State University Extension Energy Program. Come and hear Bob Stolarski from PSE present information about PSE's commercial incentives for energy efficiency.

Date: May 9 - 11, 2012

Time: 7 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. on May 9; 7:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. on May 10; 7:30 a.m. to 12:40 p.m.

Location: Enzian Inn

                 590 U.S. Highway 2

                 Leavenworth, WA 98826

Click here for more information



West Coast Energy Management Congress (EMC)

Presented by the Association of Energy Engineers. PSE's Vice President of Customer Solutions, Cal Shirley will deliver the keynote address, "Enlightened or Obsolete - Energy Companies of the Future" on May 23, and the sessions will include presentations by Senior Energy Management Engineer, Holly Townes PE and Ben Rupert, Program Manager of PSE's Building Performance Team.

Date: May 23 - 24, 2012

Time: 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. on May 23; 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. on May 24

Location: Washington State Convention Center

                  800 Convention Place

                  Seattle, WA 98101

Click here for more information or to register

We hope that this issue has provided you with some ideas and resources to improve energy efficiency at your business. Let us know if you have ideas for future articles. Please look for our next issue in July 2012.

Thanks for using energy wisely,
Your energy specialists at Puget Sound Energy