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Gas efficiency for heating offices - Case study

05/20/2016 - 02:30 PM

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This is the story of a successful case, told to us by Eliana Tius, Project Manager at TIM.

Which problem/requirement gave rise to the “Gas efficiency” project?
The project stemmed on the one hand from awareness that in the last few years winter temperatures have not been so harsh and there have been fewer week-on-week variations with respect to the past, and on the other from continuous research to optimize the resources so as not to generate unnecessary energy consumption in all aspects of our business, not least in the management of buildings where the main energy costs relate to electricity consumption (for the operation of computer workstations, lighting and summer air conditioning) and gas (for winter heating).
Which working group did you create for this project? Which professionals skills were used to implement “Gas efficiency”? Which company departments were involved?
To address this issue, in addition to professional skills specifically aimed at the energy efficiency projects we have “in house”, first and foremost the expertise provided by EURIX, the company behind the solutions we have applied, was necessary as well as, within TIM, the support of colleagues in Real Estate for the operational aspects.

Interview with Eliana Tius, project manager

Eliana-Tius-300x300
 

The aim of the test  

 

TO REDUCE GAS CONSUMPTION BY AT LEAST 25%  

 

 

 

What proposal(s) did you develop to meet the requirements and achieve the set objectives?

Today home automation is increasingly widespread, allowing us to monitor our consumption in the home and to take action by turning domestic appliances and systems on/off and regulating them.
We thought about applying the same principle to our offices, with a system that allows us to set the time the gas will be switched on based on the outside temperatures and, above all, to vary the consumption dynamically, day by day. Firing up the boilers on 15 October and keeping them on constantly at the same level for the whole winter until March, sometimes including Saturday and Sunday in order to not experience "thermal inertia" on a Monday morning, is an outdated way of handling the matter, as well as being excessively costly and unnecessary.
The goal we set ourselves was to start with a test on a limited number of properties, that were large and for the most part concentrated in the north and therefore with high consumption, which would allow us to obtain, for each one, a reduction of around 25% of the gas consumption compared to previous years.
What was the most critical issue you faced during this project?
Naturally, the new solutions offered by constantly evolving technology apply at best to the new systems, in perfect working order, in real estate contexts that are "simple" and similar to each other.
That said, the TIM property portfolio is highly varied; above all, in the case of very large properties, it is typical to have several apartment blocks that are entirely independent of each other, often fitted with distinct heating systems to which various interventions, system alterations and changes of use have been made over the years...one reason why the application of a solution like this cannot be standardized from property to property, but instead it must be studied and a "customized" solution found for each case.

The most difficult thing?


"CUSTOMIZED" RATHER THAN STANDARDIZED SOLUTIONS

because TIM's property portfolio is highly varied

 

Working alongside other professionals involved in this area gave me an overview of the issue from a technical point of view.

Eliana Tius

Did participation in this project/work help to expand your professional skills? How?
The subject of gas efficiency was entirely new to me, as was property/system management. Working alongside other professionals involved in this area gave me an overview of the issue from a technical point of view.
As for relationship aspects on the other hand, working in a group, as always, allowed us to test organizational, communication and collaboration dynamics which inevitably enrich the quality of everyone's work experience.
Describe the solution chosen to carry out the project, the reasons behind the choices made and the strengths of Gas Efficiency.
The solution put forward by the supplier to address this issue envisages being able to automatically regulate, remotely (telemanagement) and dynamically (in real time), the operation of a heating system used to heat offices, using the temperature information received by the command centre directly from temperature sensors positioned outside and inside the building.
This way we comply with the regulatory and comfort requirements without however wasting m3 of gas, overheating rooms that are often “ventilated” by those who work in them by opening the windows, improper behaviour that should not in any case be necessary.
We wanted to start with the buildings that “spend the most” (around 100,000m3 of gas consumed per year) to obtain, in terms of application of the Pareto Principle, the maximum benefit with the least effort possible, to then refine and possibly extend the approach to other property cases.
The solution proposed by EURIX, called EOS3, in addition to offering the possibility of constant gas savings, allows property managers to obtain a more detailed overview of the energy uses, ensuring that they need not worry about altering the boiler settings as the weather changes and that they can quickly intervene either remotely or on-the-spot in the event of a fault, and finally (but no less importantly) facilitating the dissemination of a culture of the correct management of resources both among the people who occupy the building and the those who manage and maintain the properties.

The solution proposed


TELEMANAGEMENT IN REAL TIME to comply with regulations without wasting gas

Important

 

DISSEMINATE A SMART MANAGEMENT OF RESOURCES CULTURE IN THE COMPANY

The results

TARGET EXCEEDED: THE SAVING WAS OVER 30% ON AVERAGE

...the gas bill for these 11 properties was "lightened" by 30%...safeguarding the welfare conditions for work environments.

Eliana Tius

Illustrate the main results obtained with the Gas Efficiency project
The aim, as mentioned above, was to obtain savings of 25%. All things considered, once the EOS3 system was installed in the 11 large properties identified, with different characteristics and geographically distributed between Milan, Turin, Florence, Genoa and Bologna, the results speak for themselves: the target was even exceeded, achieving savings of over 30% on average (ranging from 27% to 57%). In other words, the gas bill for these 11 properties was "lightened" by 30%, naturally safeguarding the welfare conditions for work environments.