Resource Round-Up: Free and Inexpensive Resources for Energy and Facility Managers

by | Oct 16, 2018 | Administration, Empowerment, Operations & Maintenance, Uncategorized | 0 comments

Free stuff can be a fantastic thing. It’s even better when the free stuff is something you can actually use and has value.

During a recent exercise to round up free and useful energy management resources for a colleague, I found myself thinking how handy it would be to have all these links, white papers, handbooks, etc. in a single location. So, I created one.

Lucky you, mi casa es su casa. Well, my library is your library. I hope you find some valuable treasures while browsing. On the flipside, if you know of any free or reasonably priced resources out there, don’t be stingy! I’d love to know about them and share them with others as well.

Below are links to some of the resources that I’ve used in the past when creating content or while researching material related to energy management, facilities management, and training programs. Much of the material is healthcare-specific, but these strategies and concepts could easily be transferred to other industries like higher education and commercial. I also listed some handbooks available for purchase, which are highly valuable, especially considering their reasonable price tags.

Free Online Resources: Guidebooks, Case Studies, and Training

Energy Management and Sustainability

The webpages below offer valuable content to those interested in or working within the world of energy management and sustainability. Those just getting started with the early planning stages of a sustainability program can benefit from the material as well as those who are well-established and seasoned energy managers.

American Hospital Association Sustainability Roadmap for Hospitals: This webpage is practically a one-stop shop for how-to guides, case studies, and supporting documents for energy projects and sustainability goals – everything from energy procurement to establishing a baseline to actual, proven energy cost reduction measures. The links are well-organized, and the content is created independently, making it neutral to all vendors, products, and service providers.

Click on either link below to begin exploring the content.

American Society for Healthcare Engineering (ASHE) Energy to Care Toolkit: Hospitals, after you upload your energy data to ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager, enter it into the Energy to Care dashboard. This tool not only has a modern, user-friendly interface, but its graphs and trend widgets are extremely helpful. Beyond the dashboard, which is free and amazing, there are other energy management tools in the toolkit.

Have you been looking for a boots-on-the-ground level project list that can be implemented at practically any facility and will yield a high level of savings? Look no further. The Toolkit Checklist is a practical list of energy projects that are categorized by cost and return (e.g. no/low cost and high return/savings). We all know that upgrading your central energy plant will generate energy savings, but this list offers other practical, smaller projects to get you started.

Click on this link to start un-tapping your energy savings potential:

International Performance Measurement and Verification Protocol (IPMVP): The subtitle for the guidebook is Concepts and Options for Determining Energy and Water Savings. Even though it was last updated in 2002, the methodologies for calculating and determining energy savings is still what is most commonly used and accepted across industries today. The Protocol does a fantastic job of explaining how savings are calculated and for what type of project. If you’re an energy manager, then this document is a must-have bookmark in your web browser.

Click on this link and download the pdf: IPMVP Volume I

The Association of Energy Engineers (AEE) Certified Energy Manager (CEM) Basic Concepts Video Series: This video series is set up as a refresher course for those preparing to take the Certified Energy Manager exam. Basic energy and accounting concepts are reviewed, including how to calculate net present value, perform an energy audit, interpret a psychrometric chart, etc. This series alone won’t elevate someone to CEM level, but it offers great sample problems and practical tips nonetheless. If you’re just entering the world of energy management, this would make a great starting place to get oriented to the language and topics.

Click on the AEE link to learn about the series and other CEM exam prep resources or click on the YouTube link to begin watching.

EnergyCAP Resources: Although some of the resources (videos) are specific to EnergyCAP’s service and software offerings, the website does offer case study information for successful energy projects, which could be helpful to someone seeking to implement their own energy and sustainability program.

Click on the link below to browse through the available case studies and other resources.

Heads-up – to download material from the website, you must offer up your contact information first:

Facilities Management

Some of these webpages offer great information about energy management and sustainability, but they also offer a broader knowledge base in facilities management and operations and maintenance. Most of these websites are multi-faceted and include videos, guidelines, and case study information. You could easily spend hours sifting through and exploring the content (I’m speaking from experience!).

Energy University: Schneider has made training material highly accessible with free online videos, and the content extends beyond the boundaries of energy. Energy University offers over 200 free online courses in topics like data centers, energy management, HVAC, and control systems. The self-paced modules are great for those seeking to learn the fundamentals of these concepts. For those seeking a deeper dive into the content or hands-on training, then supplement your learning experience with an apprenticeship program or an industry-specific workshop (which, of course, won’t be free).

Register with Energy University and begin building the curriculum that best suits you.

ASHE On Demand: ASHE members have access to a library of previously recorded webinars and conference presentations on subjects like facility management, emergency preparedness, engineered systems, and sustainability.

Bonus value: earn continuing education units by listening to the applicable webinars/recordings and taking a quiz when finished.

ASHE Monographs: ASHE members can download these monographs (white papers) at no cost to them. Alternatively, a physical copy can be purchased by society members and non-members on the AHA online store.

Browse through the content via the following link:

Alternatively, browse through all the available resources on a particular topic using the ASHE Resource Library.

Joint Commission Standards Interpretation: On their website, The Joint Commission offers answers to frequently asked questions related to Standards interpretation. Even better, the Standards are categorized by topic and can be filtered by Manual, chapter, or keyword, which makes this resource user-friendly and helpful when you need an interpretation answer quickly. I find the Environment of Care and Life Safety FAQs particularly useful to facility managers, but it’s all relevant to healthcare.

Bonus value: If you can’t find the question/answer you’re looking for, then The Joint Commission offers an option to ask custom questions to a Standards Interpretation Group. Simply fill out the form, and the experts will send you a response.

Operations and Maintenance Training

There are other operations and maintenance apprenticeship programs out there, many of which have been established for decades, but the one with which I’m the most familiar is the University of Arizona apprenticeship program for their skilled crafts workers. The University presented their case study at the 2018 APPA Annual conference, which is where I first learned about the program.

Fortunately for us, the University of Arizona shared its webinar audio recording and slide decks on the APPA website for others to learn from. The University has graciously published their lessons learned and tips that helped get their program off the ground and underway.


Popular Resources for Purchase

These books, videos, and training content are not free, but they are reasonably priced for their value and prove to be great resources for those in the energy or facilities management fields.

  • ASHE Health Facilities Commissioning Handbook and the Guidelines – both available for e-book or paperback purchase to society members and non-members on the AHA online store
  • AEE On Demand Streaming Video and On Demand Workbook Download courses
  • Energy Management Handbook, 8th Edition (Turner and Doty) – available for paperback or hardback purchase through AEE’s website, Amazon, and other suppliers
  • Guide to Energy Management, 8th Edition (Capehart, Turner, and Kennedy’s – available for e-book, paperback, or hardback purchase on Amazon and other suppliers
  • How to Measure Anything: Finding the Value of Intangibles in Business (Hubbard)


About me: My career has offered me a whirlwind of opportunity in the engineering and construction industry, but my passion is rooted in developing and implementing training programs for facilities management teams. Every facility manager I have ever had the privilege of meeting simply wants to do good work, and my mission in life is to empower them to do more of it.

I have been responsible for the development and management of over $370 million in specialized energy solutions and infrastructure projects. Since starting my career in healthcare engineering consulting, I have provided healthcare facility managers with the tools and resources they need to make data-driven, well-informed decisions that improve their energy efficiency, building performance, and facility operations. The most recent of these solutions is a healthcare facilities operation and maintenance training program, the first of its kind in the industry.

Let’s connect: If you have a success story in facilities management, I’d love to hear about it and learn how you made it happen.

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