The buildings and buildings construction sectors combined are responsible for 36% of global final energy consumption*. Access to accurate, energy consumption and cost data is allowing greater interaction between a building and those who manage it to adapt, improve and optimise, and is essential to operating smarter buildings.
However, it is not the capturing of this data that is key, but the ability to translate it into something usable and understandable; data views that can be interrogated, analysed and transformed into meaningful actions and improved ways of doing things, reducing cost and resource demands and allowing problems to be detected before they become issues. And this data needs to be shared with all stakeholders in a way that they want to see it, with the information most relevant to them.
With access to billing and fiscal metering data, there are a number of simple steps that managers can take to make significant impact on smart buildings strategies.
Are there potential savings opportunities from vacant energy? Once you can see your energy profile by HH in kwh and in pounds and pence, you can understand when energy isn’t being used efficiently and discern whether there is a behavioural change opportunity, for example, ensuring lights and heating or air-conditioning are being turned off systematically when a particular office or shop is shut. Technology allows the scrutiny of 1000s of sites’ data and the instant identification of vacant energy outliers – far more time and resource-effective than analysing one site at a time. Operations managers should expect their energy management system to automatically alert them should a vacant energy outlier occur, by how much the site has exceeded the expected norm and the associated cost, allowing corrective action to be taken promptly.
As the price of electricity and non-commodity costs increase, understanding what is being charged at which period in a clear, easily-visualised way, is instrumental in making informed decisions about energy efficiency measures, such as where potential behind the meter generation could be embedded and how potential adjustments of power could be made.
Looking for erratic HH consumption can help identify problems, and alert users to prompt investigation before they become larger issues. With triggers that most energy management platforms offer around spike detection and corrections, sites managers should be closely monitoring consumptions that look irregular to the norm.
Cost, consumption and carbon data, including tracking of potential energy reduction schemes, can easily be communicated to building occupants. Managers who are not already doing so, may want to consider the use of wall boards and dashboards where users see targets and current energy reduction status. Benchmarking also enables and promotes healthy competition between building managers, to continue to meet targets and reduce consumptions.
There is potentially a new era of how large organisations promote energy reduction performance, with some organisations looking to publicly give access to live data.
Crown Commercial Service (CCS) is responsible for an energy portfolio worth £1.6bn per annum, the largest value outside of the big six. Utilidex will supply CCS with the Utilidex Energy.Hub energy management system. They will be using some of the key features of the solution, which will enable them to drive added value from both a trading and commercial perspective. CCS supports the public sector to achieve maximum commercial value when procuring common goods and services and serves over 1,200 public sector energy customers. In 2017/18 they helped 17,000 buyers save £601m of public money using CCS commercial agreements
The service is available to new and existing CCS customers and delivers:
- Increased data accuracy via direct data up/downloads from suppliers and system operators
- Improved data management to facilitate a more accurate understanding of the estate position of each department and improved accuracy in tracking usage profiles, allowing efficiencies/savings to be identified and delivered
- Bespoke report building, enabling the identification of benchmarks of similar sites to highlight areas of high consumption patterns, where changes to the buildings could lead to reduced consumption
- An increased ability to self-manage energy estates, including self-serve on-boarding and estate changes (the ability to add/remove sites)
The ability for CCS to access live customer data through the Utilidex Energy.Hub will inform the development and delivery of trading strategies and energy efficiency and demand management initiatives through the full suite of CCS Energy framework agreements.
Colin Formby, Head of Energy Operations adds, “The Utilidex Energy.Hub will help enable us to achieve CCS’s ambitious energy and buildings strategies. We’re excited to be able to offer a more unique energy management system to our customers and are looking forward to working with Utilidex”
Utilidex is a named supplier on CCS’s Utilities Management Software, Metering and Ancillary Services RM3800 framework for the supply of energy management software.
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