Saturday October 31, 2020

Knowledge is power in streamlining energy use

The disruption and ongoing economic uncertainty caused by Covid-19 mean that it’s more important than ever to manage and reduce business costs

9th October, 2020
Colin Bebbington, Retail Director with Bord Gáis Energy

Even pre-Covid-19, energy costs were climbing up the Irish corporate agenda because of social and business trends, increasing pressures on natural resources and rising expectations about corporate environmental performance.

Next-generation energy management and performance is an emerging corporate best practice that offers multiple benefits to an organisation’s bottom line while supporting the low-carbon ambitions of the programme for government.

Energy is among the biggest cost areas for companies along with people, product costs, facilities and equipment. But it’s the only one that is not monitored and managed carefully. Indeed, it’s often the largest inadequately monitored part of a company’s cost structure.

The choices a company makes about its energy sourcing and consumption can profoundly influence its cost structure.

And how it manages the environmental and climate impacts of its energy use – principally carbon emissions – is an increasingly important differentiator for consumers, investors and corporate customers.

With our sister company, Centrica Business Solutions, Bord Gáis Energy offers a suite of end-to-end energy management solutions that help Irish businesses turn their energy footprint into a source of competitive advantage and inspire growth.

It’s often a rude awakening to executives that their companies can’t easily say how much energy they use. We frequently come across businesses that are struggling to understand precisely how, when and where energy is being used across their site or sites, making it difficult to know where their energy costs really lie, or the best opportunities to improve energy and operational performance.

On top of this, many businesses don’t know how to achieve cost efficiencies without jeopardising carbon reduction targets or spending large amounts of money.

Energy Insight is an innovative wireless energy monitoring solution that gives your energy-using devices the ability to talk and tell you how much energy they’re using and when, how efficiently they’re operating, and even to alert you when something is about to go wrong.

It is a network of self-powered sensors attached to energy-using devices in a business. They communicate with a cloud-based analytics platform, PowerRadar, to deliver insights into energy usage, allowing customers to manage and reduce energy consumption throughout their business, right down to device level.

The monitoring solution addresses the market need for energy cost control and business sustainability by enabling businesses to proactively manage their energy in real time.

From manufacturing and production facilities to a small supermarket or office, every size and shape of business stands to gain from Energy Insight. Businesses gain a comprehensive understanding of their energy usage through real-time, device-level monitoring.

Electricity costs can be lowered by taking action when inefficiencies and energy waste are identified. Operational efficiencies are maximised by benchmarking and managing energy consumption and the risk of equipment failure and costly downtime is reduced through predictive analytics and sophisticated alerts.

Customers will typically start to realise energy reduction and cost benefits within one or two billing cycles. However, benefits are often immediate as the system can alert users to energy being used at unusual times such as lights being left on in an empty office building.

Answers to these questions will quickly reveal performance opportunities and gaps. For example, a big retailer can measure its energy use per square foot of retail space and calculate the cost savings potential from addressing the gap. It can also assess its annual rate of energy reduction.

Simple process

The installation process is simple. Bord Gáis Energy delivers a tailored Energy Insight solution in four easy steps, with minimal disruption to normal business operations.

Firstly, a member of the Bord Gáis Energy business team will organise a suitable time to conduct a short assessment of your site(s). They will then tailor their Energy Insight solution to your specific needs and energy strategy and help you define the solution that is best for your business.

Once you are happy to go ahead, Bord Gáis Energy will project-manage your entire installation for you. It will install the non-invasive wireless sensors to the power lines going into the devices you want to monitor quickly and easily, with minimal disruption to your operations.

Once in place they draw their power from the cable they are clamped to, meaning they are very low maintenance with no batteries to replace, and the sensors connect to a bridge which uploads the data to the PowerRadar platform.

Bord Gáis Energy will then activate PowerRadar, which will sit at the heart of your energy strategy. This is a cloud-based, secure software which provides you with the ability to view and manage your energy from anywhere while ensuring that your data is secure.

We will help you create your account and ensure key performance indicators are in place.

Using PowerRadar, you can see all of your energy data at once. You can create real-time alerts, view analytics and schedule reports to completely understand your energy consumption. You can use this to manage your energy better and define your savings and efficiency strategies.

At Bord Gáis Energy, we are more than just a commodity supplier. We work as an energy partner to our business customers, big and small, providing a full suite of energy services. Where businesses once saw energy as a cost, Bord Gáis Energy can help them understand it as a source of value and sustainable, competitive advantage.

With over 35 years of expertise in the energy sector and the industry-leading energy management software, PowerRadar, Bord Gáis Energy will work with you and your business to ensure you receive the best possible return and will continue to support your evolving energy efficiency strategy.

If you are interested in Energy Insight, email [email protected] or visit bordgaisenergy.ie/business to view more products and services

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