/ Written by John Kane, Business Unit Director (Ireland)
To secure and optimise energy systems, correct decisions need to be made at each step of the purchasing, installation and operational stages of a project. Typically, the decision-making process stops once the project in question is installed and commissioned, and little or no effort is given to ensuring savings are being delivered and sustained over the long term.
In addition to finding the finances to proceed with an energy efficiency project, creating the time to provide oneself with sufficient information to make an informed decision along this project path can also be a significant challenge.
Since becoming actively involved in the Energy Management business over a decade ago, I have witnessed at first hand the exponential growth in market and technology knowledge amongst clients, contractors, suppliers and the public at large.
Deregulation of electricity and natural gas markets has opened opportunities for businesses to optimise energy procurement and make substantial savings against standard fixed price tariffs. Whether in falling or rising energy price markets, significant savings are available for those willing to actively manage their energy procurement.
Similarly, the availability of hardware and software solutions has increased dramatically over the years. The prevalence of cloud-based reporting software has enabled a paradigm shift in the quantity and quality of data accessible to us at any time of the day or night, Monday through Sunday. Developments in portable device technology has been a key enabler in this development and allows us to be in our virtual offices at all times.
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 under-control at all times, and not feel the burden of doubt when we leave the office.
The challenge for those responsible for energy procurement 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 take advantage of these opportunities. Indeed, having access to the information is one thing, knowing what to do with it is another.
In a similar way, LED lighting retrofit programs are widespread throughout the UK and Ireland, and provided the correct contractor and technology components are chosen, these systems can provide significant cost savings over an extended lifetime.
However, it is a regular occurrence that a significant portion of energy savings are missed by clients who do not monitor the energy consumption of the new lighting system on an ongoing basis due to poorly managed lighting controls. For a small percentage of the overall lighting project cost, a metering system can be installed which will track lighting consumption on an ongoing basis, flagging excessive lighting usage during out-of-hours or low-footfall time periods.
Indeed, an energy audit of the facility may praise the site manager for installing a modern, energy efficient lighting system, but only ongoing monitoring will demonstrate if the new system is delivering on its full savings potential.
If you find yourself or your business in this position, a trusted advisor can be the key to unlocking this potential and help secure your company’s energy systems. ETS are experts in managing multi-site properties, 24/7, in all sectors from an energy, compliance and reliability perspective. Our key differentiator is our team of Masters and PhD qualified energy analysts and buildings services experts who proactively manage over 1000+ buildings and 5000+ meter points in the UK and Ireland.