How is your building like a toddler shopping in Target? The Sarah Connor Control Trends Chronicle

Sarah Connor here, and it’s a Chronicles entry that I like to call “WOW on Wednesday,” featuring a new product or a new perspective. During last week’s Event, Dave Molin, VP General Manager of Honeywell Building Controls Systems, revealed current trends and future outlooks in energy.  Seeing that I am Sarah Connor, sent to save the world from the predicted invasion of Energy Inefficient Machines, I listened attentively.


U.S. Energy consumption can be divided into three categories; 32% industrial, 28% transportation, 40% buildings.  Yes!  The largest category of energy consumption is spent on buildings.  And what part of that consumption can we control? HVAC and lighting!  In the past, spikes in energy pricing due to natural disasters and supply limitations have caused ripples in our economy.  Generally, these interruptions are considered “episodes” from which we recover without lasting impact.  But in the future, this will be completely different.  Real-time pricing and demand-response implementation is here to stay.  There is new awareness in energy conservation.  Legislative mandates and elevated social awareness are at an all-time high.   At Honeywell, 60% of their products are related to energy efficiency and conservation, so the tools are available.  Your goal, as you partner with Sarah Connor to save the planet, is to understand those tools, and to effectively communicate solutions to those energy-hungry facilities managers.


While pondering this ominous task, I stopped by Target pick up a few things.  As I pulled out the cart, I remembered those shopping trips with my toddler-aged son, John.  (You remember him… the one that the Terminator sought to kill.)  I’m sure that you have experienced this, too.  The minute a toddler spots a toy, they want it, and they want it now.  There is no reasoning with them.  The toddler has no comprehension of a budget or what is necessary or what is prudent.  All they know is that it looks good, and they will scream and holler until they get it.  Is this the way some facilities managers consider their energy consumption?  “I need heat and air and lights and I want as much as I can have and I want it now.”  These are the toddlers of energy consumption.


Then that toddler grows up a little and gets an allowance.  Suddenly, the child needs to reason, “Do I want this or this? But regardless, I’m spending all of my allowance before I leave the store, because who really needs to think about saving for tomorrow?”  Maybe you know some facilities managers who are growing up a little in their energy consumption, and while they understand the concept of saving and how controls can play a part, they are still not thinking about the big picture.


What about the young adult Target shopper?  This is the person who now has to live from paycheck to paycheck.  Suddenly, making every dollar stretch is the force that drives buying decisions.  This penny-pincher really has to learn how to be the most frugal consumer.

This is your goal.  You need to arm yourself with the knowledge about emerging control technology so that you can grow these energy-hungry buildings from the toddler stage, through the child-with-an-allowance stage, to the mature energy-conserving consumer of the future.


While I move to the checkout, I hope that you will think about this little analogy when you are proposing your next energy-saving control plan.  Utilizing energy-saving controls requires discipline and product knowledge.  Visit Control Trends regularly for the information you need, because the future of the planet depends upon you!


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