Improving Energy Performance in the Retail Sector

John Kane is the Business Unit Director at Energy & Technical Services Ireland.

Since becoming actively involved in the energy management sector over 15 years ago, I have witnessed firsthand an exponential growth in market and technology knowledge amongst clients, contractors, suppliers and the public at large. These have allowed for vast improvements in energy performance in the retail sector.

The availability of hardware and software solutions has increased dramatically over the years. In particular, the increased prevalence of cloud-based reporting software has enabled a paradigm shift in the quantity and quality of data accessible to us at any time, day and night, Monday through Sunday. Rapid developments in portable technology have also been key to this, allowing us to step into our virtual offices at any time. It’s not difficult to see how these advancements have transformed how those working in the retail sector approach energy management.

But let’s face it: not all of us wish to have access to our energy consumption profiles at the dinner table, or during weekend family time. Many of us strive to be in the position of knowing that our energy systems are being professionally managed and are under control without us having to check-in. The last thing we want is to feel the burden of doubt when we leave the office.

The challenge for those responsible for energy management and those accessing the energy data, particularly amongst those who manage multi-site property portfolios, is having both the time and technical ability to know how to achieve this. Indeed, having access to such powerful technology is one thing, but knowing what to do with it is another.

What areas of energy management are key to the retail sector?

Energy monitoring software need not be complicated or expensive; a modern system will have the capability to provide the correct amount of information in the ideal format and in a straightforward manner. As with all sectors, in retail, it is not possible to accurately identify opportunities for savings without understanding fully what energy is being used, where it is being used and when it is being used. Indeed, having a strong grasp of the what, when and where is essential.

Energy sub-metering and access to live energy data is the life-blood of all successful energy management programs. Effective sub-metering strategies can assist in identifying opportunities, but it should be noted that the level of granularity should be carefully assessed. All businesses will have different requirements depending on their size and, for some organisations, having too much data can be costly while providing very little in terms of benefits to the organisation. As a result, it’s important to take a tailored approach to your energy management solution – there is no “one size fits all.”

Allied to sub-metering is advanced energy system controls. ETS have the expertise to identify the appropriate level of system controls and commission them in such a way that it provides incredible energy cost savings. Our team of experts can then follow the system remotely and continually identify opportunities and implement increased energy savings.

What steps should businesses take?

If your business is struggling to harness its energy data in a useful manner to generate savings, a trusted advisor can be the key to unlocking its potential and securing your company’s energy systems.

ETS are experts in managing multi-site properties in all sectors from an energy, compliance and reliability perspective. Our key differentiator is our team of Master’s and PhD qualified energy analysts and buildings services experts who proactively manage over 2,000+ buildings and 100,000+ data points in the UK and Ireland. We can provide valuable guidance and support when it comes to your company’s energy usage.

Questions about energy management technology?

If you have any questions regarding the energy needs of your business, our expert team at ETS are always here to help. You can contact us by calling 0117 205 0542, emailing us at or you can submit a contact form.

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