Learn Smart Ways to Use Energy Data and enjoy Smart Savings

Share this post

Share on facebook
Share on linkedin
Share on twitter
Share on email

These were your choices in energy…until now

Every month you get your electricity bill, it shows your total energy consumption and how much you owe to your electricity provider.  Sometimes what it shows does not make much sense, and most of the time you actually don’t understand why you pay the amount that you pay.   But you are not in the energy business, and there is not much you can do about this situation since you cannot operate your business without energy, right?

Not necessarily.  Close your eyes and imagine that you had a heatmap of the energy consumption inside your factory, or hotel, or retail outlet, and it gave you live information every 60 seconds.   What can you do with that?  

For the first time you can actually see where you consume your energy, when you consume it, and perhaps ask yourself why some business areas consume as much as they do?  You can easily visualize if two identical pieces of equipment consume different amount of energy, which might mean one of them needs to be fixed.  This Knowledge and Power to make decisions is what we call Energy Intelligence.

OK, sure, you read about these ideas in our previous post, but do they actually work?

Why not ask 3 million consumers who already tested this…

The European Smart Metering Industry Group (ESMIG) recently published a report based on feedback from 3,043,780 electricity consumers across Europe, focused on identifying potential energy savings through data provided by smart meters and other monitoring devices (Full report: The Role of Data for Consumer Centric Energy Markets and Solutions).  The report refers to the number of data devices used (smart electric meters, in-home smart devices such as thermostats) as “feedback channels”.  The key findings of the study may surprise you.

Source: ESMIG Report – The Role of Data for Consumer Centric Energy Markets and Solutions

Source: ESMIG Report – The Role of Data for Consumer Centric Energy Markets and Solutions

Source: ESMIG Report – The Role of Data for Consumer Centric Energy Markets and Solutions

Finally, and very importantly, the vast majority of consumers participating in the study felt it produced meaningful results.

Source: ESMIG Report – The Role of Data for Consumer Centric Energy Markets and Solutions

In summary, the majority of energy users found that Energy Intelligence is not only helpful and does generate real savings, but also felt that they could extract more value if they continue with real-time monitoring and knowledge of their energy use.

But how can this work for a business?

Energy Intelligence in Practice

3-D Energy has been working with a manufacturer of machine components to identify areas for energy cost optimization in their business.  Initially the owner of the factory was skeptical – in his view he could not afford to reduce energy consumption anywhere in the business. But the 3-month data analytics of real-time energy consumption revealed a different story.

The manufacturing facility works in three shifts.  As expected, a monthly energy consumption chart (below) showed a clear pattern of energy usage during the week, and almost no consumption during the weekend. 

But the factory owner did not appreciate how much energy – sometimes as much as 17-18 kW – was being consumed during the weekend for no apparent reason.  This raised a number of questions.

A more granular review of consumption, on a weekly basis, raised even more questions. The production manager claimed that they used energy constantly as the three shifts had stable production orders. Instead, the real-time data showed very significant range of energy consumption during different times of the day.

Finally, examining a daily consumption pattern (below) was even more telling.  There was no pattern to the low/high range of energy consumption despite the stable production orders, and strange fluctuations in consumption midday identified abnormal equipment behavior.

Upon detailed review with the operational manager several issues became apparent:

  • Several machines needed maintenance and as a result had abnormally high energy consumption
  • Unnecessary equipment stayed on during the weekend, creating sizeable energy usage
  • The facility manager did not appreciate that the steady energy consumption during the peak hours of 19:00 – 21:00 significantly contributed to the factory’s very high electricity bill
  • Management also didn’t realize that the majority of their energy consumption during the day could be offset by similarly shaped production of a solar system

As a result of 3-D Energy’s data-driven Energy Intelligence approach, the production line operator made adjustments to the non-performing machines, resulting in immediate energy savings.  In addition, the factory owner is working with 3-D Energy on evaluating investing in a solar system specifically sized to help the factory offset its heavy energy consumption during the day, potentially in combination with energy storage battery to offset evening peak hour usage. The factory’s management realized that “energy data disaggregation” – getting detailed knowledge of energy consumption inside the factory – was directly linked to improving its profitability.

So – do you still feel there is nothing you can do to improve your understanding of your energy bill?  The knowledge and the answers are all inside your business, you just need to use your energy data as an asset.  If you are looking for energy savings, don’t search in Google for “solutions to energy price increases”, use 3-D Energy’s Energy Intelligence platform to identify the problems first.  The solutions will present themselves.

More posts