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Will energy monitoring and metering benefit my business?

Energy monitoring and metering are now an essential part of good facility management, providing valuable insight into facility and equipment performance, and supporting better management of energy use and costs. Proof of improved performance via metering can be the key to unlocking increased property and product value. Energy metering and monitoring can help you

  • Operate your facility more effectively
  • Save energy, money and time
  • Target opportunities for improvement
  • Comply with regulations
  • Track and report your energy performance improvements
  • Secure funding for energy efficiency upgrades from within your organization & third parties

Why energy monitoring and metering matters?

There may be a variety of reasons for tracking and analyzing your energy usage, depending on your situation. Your primary reason might be related to running costs, building performance, customer expectations, leasing obligations, production efficiency, continuity of service, sustainability goals or reporting and compliance.

From all of these starting points, accurate, up-to-date and usable information about your energy usage can open the door to a whole range of benefits and improvements relating to energy efficiency.

Improve Energy Management Practices

  • Benchmark your site and compare it with other facilities
  • Know the impact of each equipment item or area
  • Set and achieve energy performance targets
  • Establish an energy baseline and Identify unexpected increases in energy consumption
  • Monitor the impact of efficiency use it to estimate savings from measures energy-saving measures

Manage Consumption

  • Track your energy expenditure
  • Be alerted when your facility exceeds expected energy consumption costs
  • Manage Track and report energy
  • Compare day-to-day consumption levels taking into account variables consumption for separate in weather or facility operation business units
  • Validate retail energy bills
  • Mitigate peak demand (e.g. by controlling peak loads) and save costs in network capacity charges
  • Predict energy consumption for different operating profiles, e.g. according to weather conditions efficiency projects or production output
  • Build better business cases for your report on your energy performance
  • Charge tenants for their energy usage

Operate your facility more effectively

Reduce Risk & test technology:

  • Provide data on the impact of changes to facility operation
  • Reduce implementation risks
  • Accurately monitor and evaluate
  • Provide relevant information about your facility’s operation

Optimal Facility Operation:

  • Focus attention on equipment faults or incorrect operation e.g. BMS, PLC, SCADA
  • Track the general health of your facility
  • Reduce time spent on daily or asset life
  • Expose inefficiencies in control settings and plant operation and extend weekly meter reads

Fault Diagnosis:

  • Detect drift in equipment set points and performance
  • Detect component failure
  • Optimize equipment maintenance and replacement times

How to create a business case for your management to approve Energy Monitoring System?

Formulating a compelling business case that sets out the costs, benefits and risks of an energy monitoring & metering system is often the key to winning support for the system from senior management and other stakeholders. When preparing your internal business case, think about:

  • Your initial budget – revise the proposed metering and monitoring solution if required
  • Whether you have clearly defined your goals and needs from the Energy Monitoring System
  • Who in the organisation is going to approve the energy monitoring and metering plan
  • Who will benefit from its implementation
  • What reporting will be required (e.g. will you need exception-based or continuous alarming when parameters drift out of pre-set boundaries)
  • Who will be responsible for the monitoring
  • Who will act if energy use is higher than expected
  • The value of the investment and savings expected

Typical Energy Savings Matrix

ActionTypical energy savings Savings mechanism
Installation of meters only0 to 2%Awareness that consumption is being monitored; savings not likely to persist
Enhanced billing and allocation through EMS2 to 5%Improved awareness, ongoing
Feedback on consumption and facility tune-up through EMS & OEE5 to 15%Improved awareness, and identification of opportunities for simple operational and maintenance improvements
Real-time feedback and continuous commissioning15 to 30+%Improved awareness, identification of opportunities for simple operational and maintenance improvements, implementation of energy efficiency projects with verified results, continuing management attention

There are other beneficial cost reductions from implementing your energy monitoring & metering system that should also be considered, including:

  • Reduced staff time identifying and diagnosing faults
  • Reduced maintenance costs
  • Potential creation of energy savings certificates for efficiency projects
  • Cost recovery from charging tenants for electricity
  • Reduced maximum demand and peak capacity charges
  • Reduced staff time undertaking manual reads of meters for reporting or billing purposes

Energy Management Plan Guidelines

An energy monitoring & metering system can assist greatly with the process of creating an energy management plan or energy management system for your facility.

At a minimum:

Develop an energy management plan that:

  • Identifies the main energy consuming equipment and lists key information about it
  • Lists energy-related responsibilities of staff
  • Presents known issues or desired efficiency upgrades
  • Sets out a framework and plan for improving energy performance.

Implement simple, trackable key energy performance indicators

  • Introduce an energy management position into the company, either as a dedicated employee or by amending the position description of an existing staff member and making them accountable for key energy performance indicators
  • Monitor and report on progress at regular intervals to senior management.

The implementation of an energy management plan, or the formal adoption of the ISO 50001 system, will help you to develop a framework of continuous improvement for your facility. Continuous improvement can mitigate against drift in performance caused by ageing equipment, sub optimal set points, sensor inaccuracy and changes in facility operation. It will also help you to identify and prioritize new capital expenditure on major equipment.

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