U.S. Energy Group Launches Fuel Consumption Study for MF Buildings

Fresh Meadows, N.Y.–U.S. Energy Group has launched USE-Analysis, a large-scale fuel consumption analysis study, which is designed to define the amount of oil, or gas equivalent, that buildings in New York City typically use. The aim is to apply this information to help buildings achieve peak operating efficiency. USE-Analysis, which started with U.S. Energy’s existing customers and is now open at no cost to all New York City multi-family (rentals, co-ops and condos) and commercial buildings, analyzes key building indicators along with historical fuel usage to develop two numbers: the amount of fuel the building is currently using by “degree-day” and the amount it would be using if it were operating at peak operating efficiency. Once these two numbers are known, U.S. Energy Group recommends a “Pathway to Peak Efficiency.” The popular “rule of thumb” has been that a one-bedroom unit uses 525 gallons of fuel per year, or .75 gallons/square foot; however, this is not supported by a credible statistical analysis. U.S. Energy Group recognizes that the only way to understand usage is through “real-world” monitoring and benchmarking. The goal of USE-Analysis is to systematically aggregate existing building data for a large sample of buildings and develop a more accurate portrait – a city-wide benchmark of normative fuel usage. First, the building owner or manager is asked to supply U.S. Energy Group with information, such as a building’s fuel bills for the past two years, the size of the building, the type of heating system the building has (such as steam, vacuum or hot water); and any noteworthy building features (penthouse units, cast-iron or aluminum radiators, etc.). Typically, the fuel information is easy to obtain from suppliers with simple authorization (most fuel companies can easily provide past bills on an account, and some have them available online), and U.S. Energy Group analysts can assist in the process to make it even easier for the building owner or manager.  Next, U.S. Energy Group processes the information, using a specialized database analysis tool. The end-goal is to develop two numbers: the amount of fuel the building is actually using and the amount it is projected to utilize if it were operating at peak efficiency. Finally, U.S. Energy Group presents the owner with a Pathway to Peak Efficiency, which is a series of recommendations for the specific building. Managers can reduce their operating costs significantly if the Pathway goals are implemented.  “This study is crucial to understanding how various categories of buildings use fuel and how to reduce their usage,” says Anthony Jabbour, product manager at U.S. Energy Group. “We look forward to having a better understanding of normative usage and helping building owners save money.”