Five Reasons You Should Consider Retro-Commissioning

Why should you scrap an existing wireless controls system that can still provide the functionality you need to manage lighting, HVAC and more? You shouldn’t. Retro-commissioning affords you the flexibility to enhance energy efficiency by using data points and control devices that were not available when your system was initially installed. Here are the top five reasons you should consider retro-commissioning if you manage a facility or own a building that has an advanced wireless controls system.

1. Your system might not be working properly, even if the lights stay on. 

Many times, systems are decommissioned unknowingly. This happens because these systems operate differently than they had for the last 50+ years. When something is not working properly, facility managers typically have no one to call for support. In turn, they often reset the sensor, and if it is on a wireless system, it kicks them off the network. The lights stay on now, but the system is not working at its best. It's not maximizing energy savings; it's not using the data available to operate at peak performance.   

Often, lights are left on 24/7, so people in the building are satisfied, but the energy bills are high. Today, there are services available to support businesses when an issue arises so they can ensure the building occupants and whomever is paying the electric bill are both satisfied, and systems continue to operate properly.  

2. Many systems were not installed correctly and do not provide the flexibility needed in today’s business climate.

Existing, older systems can be retro-commissioned to meet the specifications of your business today. Now, it's possible to add the necessary functionality to your existing system, and meet your future needs with a new system extension. That allows you to harness the power of your existing assets while future-proofing your system with the latest software and control devices. The new wireless building management systems will never need replaced, only updated.   

3. Systems commissioned in the early 2000s are typically outdated and do not meet today's energy efficiency goals. 

While energy efficiency was the main driver when purchasing lighting systems back then, today’s advancements in control devices and software capabilities can drive efficiency further than ever imagined. Most facilities and building managers thought, at that time, that once the systems were commissioned, maintenance was not required as long as the lights were on. However, all systems need to be maintained and updated to ensure energy efficiency. Unfortunately, there was a lot of misinformation out there, and most busy facilities managers took a "if it's not broke, don't fix it" approach, leaving their systems vulnerable to issues leading to energy waste and unnecessary costs. 

4. Just because you have an advanced control system and you think you are saving energy, it doesn't mean that you are.

When you have a support partner, like SBT Alliance, with the expertise to ensure the system is running efficiently and saving you money, then you can be sure you are optimizing your system to best meet your goals and help your business generate revenue.   

5. Retro-commissioning can help you find additional savings opportunities.

Often, a controls system audit will reveal additional opportunities to gain efficiency, productivity and profitability. Now, we can use the abundance of data the system collects and big data analytics to improve the efficiency of your warehouse staff or to know where to place certain products in a retail environment to increase sales, for example. In the re-commissioning process, there should be opportunities to better understand how a space is utilized so that the project can be fine-tuned to meet real needs and goals.   


A professional control system audit looks at your existing system inventory—any machinery that uses energy, lighting included—to determine how much energy is being used. From there, a professional advanced lighting controls consultant can explain where higher efficiency can be achieved.  Once the project has been completed, the vendor should do another audit to ensure your money, energy and capital cost goals have been achieved with the advanced control system.