Whether or not you’re the one paying your facility’s energy bill every month, it may seem like there’s little you can do to alter that recurring expense. And even if you did start investigating ways to save, the job might prove to be more time-consuming than you expect, thanks to the variety of factors involved in energy supply, usage, and billing.
Now, with the help of an energy expert partner, companies and building managers can realize significant savings—up to 20% of their utility bill—without having to become experts in the industry themselves. Plus, utilizing energy as a service (EaaS) oftentimes gives your company an opportunity to try out smart building technology—something many EaaS providers leverage to identify ways to save. This article explains two ways Internet of Things (IoT) analytics are commonly used for energy management as a service.
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Energy Management As A Service: 2 Ways Smart Building Technology Is Used
The foundation of any successful energy conservation plan is data—data on your current building performance, data surrounding industry averages, and data crunching that compares potential energy-saving initiatives. IoT technology enables the easy capture of valuable building data with energy-monitoring IoT sensors.
Wireless sensors can be attached to all your major pieces of equipment to gain greater visibility into just about any aspect of your building. Not only is monitoring important for building an initial load signature, or profile, for your facility, but continuous monitoring of your energy systems with feedback loops that measure energy usage to activities and conditions can lead to reductions of 10–15% in annual energy costs.
Two ways IoT remote monitoring is used in the energy as a service model are:
1. To Implement Energy Efficiency Measures
Understanding your facility’s load signature helps evaluate the current level of efficiency of your systems. The visibility provided by IoT sensors and analytic platforms allows you to take immediate steps to combat pernicious energy use patterns, and save money as a result.
For example, upon gathering data around energy use, your EaaS provider may discover that your building’s HVAC system is responsible for the largest portion of energy spending. Further investigation might reveal that the HVAC system turns on at 5 a.m., and that most of the staff doesn’t arrive for work until 8 a.m. The data shows HVAC as a clear area for improvement, and your EaaS partner might recommend altering the scheduling of the HVAC system to turn on two hours later. This strategy allows a building to save tens of thousands of dollars while still maintaining adequate air quality.
2. To Access Alternative Energy Sources
Introducing you to various energy production options is a key part of the EaaS relationship. Whether it’s a solar farm, generators, microgrid, combined heat and power, or another production method, your EaaS partner will evaluate alternate means of producing power and recommend one or more that will help you reach your goals for both savings and/or sustainability.
Many corporations aiming to go green are increasing their reliance on renewable resources like solar power. An energy as a service partner can provide access to solar power by helping you build, finance, and operate a local solar power plant. Or, if the plant is owned by a third party, the power produced can be purchased by entering into a solar power purchase agreement or a virtual power purchase agreement.
Almost every solar installation comes with a solar power monitoring device that monitors both external conditions (like wind speed and radiance of the sun) and elements of system performance (like system output and battery voltage levels). IoT sensors monitor and optimize temperature, lighting, and energy consumption, producing a wealth of data your EaaS partner can use to improve your building’s overall performance.
There are even more ways the energy as a service model and IoT technology can benefit you—download this free ebook to read about them.
Thanks to EaaS, it’s entirely possible to regain control over your energy costs, whether you’re trying to achieve profitability, sustainability, or anything else. Get our free ebook to learn more about energy as a service, and how the right combination of advanced technology and energy expertise could help your company today.