We’re in an era of price volatility in gas and electricity prices, coupled with greater scrutiny on the environmental impact of businesses in their day-to-day operations. According to the Department of Energy & Climate Change, the average SME can slash its energy bill by 18-25% simply by installing energy efficiency solutions in their facility.
Are you looking to improve energy use in your business? Prevent wastage, track consumption, identify opportunities to save on energy and reduce your carbon footprint while at it? It can be a daunting process to do it all manually. Taking those meter readings, preparing spreadsheets and combing through quotes and energy bills to validate them – this is not something you should be enduring in this day and age. Not when there are dedicated systems built for the task. That’s where Energy Management Software (EMS) comes in.
Importance Of Energy Management Software
Wasted energy = Wasted money
Failing to improve energy efficiency is costing SMEs loads of funds, with it coming to between £5,801 and £12,109 of missed annual savings for individual businesses. These are 18% – 24% of their energy costs. Where do you stand?
Take timers and thermostats for instance. When not properly set and controlled, or even simply forgetting to turn them down when not in the room, it can easily lead to unnecessary costs. How often do your staff forget to turn off the air conditioning when they leave the meeting rooms? Do you account for weekends or bank holidays when setting the controls of the AC? Mistakes like turning the temperature high on the thermostat to “quickly warm the room” are common, yet heating costs go up by about 8% with every 1°C rise.
There are installations that you can make to minimize wastage. For example, the Chinese Contemporary Arts Centre in Manchester is able to save £4,363 annually just by having a £100 timer installed to its heating system.
Some energy saving measures won’t even cost you a penny. For instance, did you know that you can save up to 30% of your heating costs simply by preventing cold air from entering the building? This means not keeping the doors just open for convenience. So how can you find points of weakness and areas of improvements in your facility? Install an EMS.
While businesses vary from one industry to the next, energy management basically boils down to:
- Metering systems where the consumption is recorded
- Determining how much energy can be saved by identifying opportunities for this
- Implementing policies and changing existing systems to take advantage of these opportunities
- Tracking progress after the improvements have been made
Benefits Of EMS For Your Business
Data Acquisition – Where accuracy and reliability matters
Energy data comes from different angles and formats. From the building automation systems and IoT devices that have been set up, bills sent in by the utility company to the spreadsheets needed to analyse them – what if you had it all from one point of reference? The EMS gives you a “bird’s eye view” of all your energy data from one interface. It collects the data from any system – and being cloud-based, is accessible from anywhere in the world.
The ecoVaro data loggers can be connected with the Wi-Fi network of the facility or function independently, depending on your specific requirements. They monitor readings 24/7, retaining the data even when they have been powered off. The end-to-end encryption assures you of the security of the information that is being obtained.
Integrating the EMS into the existing systems will simplify the data collection process, and even for the cases where there isn’t a direct method transferring the data into the system, the setup wizards that come with the EMS allow you to prepare the required data and import it.
Data Analysis: From consumption, energy leaks to areas of improvement
The first step is accurately collecting the data. The next step is making sense of it. The analysis modules with the EMS allow you to monitor the energy consumption of the facility in real-time.
The energy data is displayed in engaging graphics that are easy to understand at a glance. The dashboard setup, with its customised layout, enables you to monitor the performance of the specific information you want, toggling through usage and savings data, to the meters and sites that are being tracked. With the ecoVaro Energy Management Software, you get Consumption Charts, Regression Charts, Cusum Charts and Heatmaps right to the submeter level. This information can be broken down into 15-minute durations, with the daily, weekly and monthly consumption reports.
Getting everyone on board
Making changes to company-wide energy policies needs to have the different parties on board – from the energy manager in charge of crunching the numbers and presenting the information, the CFO of the business, the staff running day-to-day operations, all through to plant operators for those in industries. An easy mode of communication is needed, that will be understood and availed in reports that can be shared with the relevant parties in the organization. The graphical displays that come with the EMS enable actionable information to be displayed in a simplified manner – that way all members of the business or organization will be able to comprehend it.
Meet your Energy Goals
The baseline that is created in the EMS is used as a standard when assessing the impact of future changes to the energy consumption. Using the information that has been obtained, the management can set up energy saving policies and implement changes, and track KPIs (key performance indicators) along the way. For instance, the market research company DJS Research installed a timer switch that turns off their two water coolers when they aren’t in use. This action saves them £144 annually, and had already paid for itself within 35 days.
You will be in a position to assess the actions that provide your business with the best ROI over time, monitoring the progress and verifying the savings from one central dashboard. Cutting costs here will enable you to divert the funds to other areas of your business, including promotions, marketing, and product development.
For businesses in the energy sector- including electric, oil and gas plants, they specifically need carbon emission reports, to pinpoint areas where the building’s energy efficiency can be improved. ecoVaro EMS allows you to set alarms and KPIs in the facility for issues to be identified and resolved immediately they crop up.
Turn to ecoVaro
EMS systems are used across the board – from optimising energy use in hotel rooms and hospitals, mapping out usage patterns for those in the agriculture and supply chain niches, running facilities for utility providers, all through to increasing the efficiency of equipment operation for business in the food and beverage sector. Want to learn how you can cut down your energy bills and make your business more eco-friendly? EcoVaro’s team is ready to get you started.