UNC Kenan-Flagler Sustainability Blog

Energy Career Trek – Charlotte, NC (Part 2: Bank of America)

December 3, 2009 By Ken Allinson

Energy Career Trek – Charlotte, NC
Bank of America

With the Duke tour concluded, we walked along Charlotte’s scenic downtown, to meet our Bank of America contacts.  Our contacts there, including a recent KFBS alum, explained how “BofA” started an innovative building management system to track energy usage by monitoring HVAC system operations, building temperatures, and lighting.  With a custom developed information technology platform, BofA can monitor and even change specific building characteristics at the branch level – all done remotely from a central location.  We got to see this control center, and watch real-time branch conditions change in front of us.

Bank of America explained that they wanted to drive this development effort in house to avoid the risk of a third party provider going out of business later in the effort.  They explained the need for executive support to get the project through an initial period of high investment, engineering challenges and rocky starts, but the company is now considered an innovative leader in this space.  Bank of America uses this data to realize major savings in energy consumption, standardize the facility management of over 2200 branch locations, and even do pro-active facility maintenance – before problems arise!  They have such high quality data (so rare in these operations), that the firm can do simple changes automatically, and communicate to a maintenance company what type of technician or engineer to send, depending on the repair that is needed (HVAC, Freon, lighting, etc.).  The firm can also use this data to discover how effective maintenance technicians are in their on-site visits so that they can and reduce the amount spent on unnecessary (but costly) on-site repairs.  This tour concluded our Charlotte Energy Career Trek.

We are fortunate to have two companies like Duke Energy and Bank of America geographically positioned so close to our school, and I expect we will only strengthen our relationship with each in the years to come.  If you are interested in learning more about these companies, you can check them out at the following links, Duke Energy, and Bank of America.