Case Study

Retro-Commissioning Pivots Building Toward Energy-Efficiency

An Aggressive 5-Step Retro-Commissioning Plan Drastically Reduces Energy Waste


  • Utility-sponsored Retro-Commissioning conservation program valued at more than $40,000
  • Energy Conservation Measures (ECMs) drive easy Return on Investment (ROI) decisions for clients
  • Utilizing data as an asset, an energy-draining facility becomes an energy-efficient model for the rest of the portfolio

The Problem

A government building portfolio, based in Michigan, encompassed a variety of aging facilities with varying levels of energy efficiency. The portfolio desperately needed benchmarking and data-driven solutions to implement proactive Energy Conservation Measures (ECMs). Consumers Energy, a Michigan-based utility provider, has been on the cutting-edge for years with its rebate incentives for reducing energy waste in qualifying buildings. Their Retro-Commissioning (RCx) stimulus for this program was valued at more than $40,000, with the belief that similar buildings can save an average of 15% or more on energy through this incentive program. Synergy was entrusted to perform Retro-Commissioning on the least efficient facility within the client’s building portfolio in order to provide the “proof of concept” for other facilities to follow. (Click the Consumers Energy website for more details regarding their RCx program)

The Plan

As with most things during the pandemic, conducting energy audits at State facilities proved to be a challenge, as energy efficiency took a back seat to occupant health and safety.  This meant that at the time the audit was to be performed, the typical energy footprint of the facility would be drastically impacted by the reduction in occupants and activity within the facility.  In response, Synergy’s engineering team had to retroactively decipher the building energy usage prior to the pandemic. This was accomplished by working directly with the Client to retrieve the historical trending data of the facility, which aided Synergy in understanding the pre-COVID building usage. The trending analysis required diligent data scrubbing to determine the pre-COVID state to determine possible energy savings for the post-COVID state, while maintaining the proper IAQ and ventilation standards for occupant health and safety.  All of these challenges were met and efficiently accomplished using Synergy’s 5-Step Retro-Commissioning Plan:

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