Lesson 3: Understand your electricity bill and make practical decisions how to cut energy cost

Energy Intelligence - Lesson 3

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Introduction

Meet Mariusz.

  • Mariusz is the manager of a manufacturing facility which produces machine components.
  • Mariusz is in charge of ensuring that the factory equipment works without failure and without unnecessary stoppage, and that the finished product is produced on time and according to specification.
  • When Mariusz was asked why the factory’s electricity bill for this month was 12% higher than the previous month despite lower production, he did not know the answer.

Mariusz has been using Energy Intelligence to visualize the energy consumption in his factory every 60 seconds. Now he can really understand his electricity bill.  Even more importantly, with this information he can make practical decisions how to eliminate Energy Waste in the factory.

What is Energy Waste?

As a business owner or facility manager, you are well aware of the high energy costs it takes to keep your company going. Between production lines, lighting, heating and ventilation systems, compressors and other miscellaneous expenses, you know that it can cost a small fortune just to keep your facility running.

But did you know that as much as 15-20% of that money goes to nothing? Here are the biggest causes of Energy Waste in commercial facilities:

  1. Old, inefficient or broken equipment
  2. Running equipment unnecessarily – for example during the night or during the weekend
  3. Inefficient lighting
  4. Not having an energy management system that can identify and alert you to areas where energy is being wasted

How does Energy Intelligence help?

1. Old, inefficient or broken equipment
You won’t see this on your electricity invoice, but broken or failed equipment can have a long-term impact on your factory’s productivity, as well as on your energy costs.

A detailed real-time monitoring of energy consumption for the production line on the graph below spotted equipment failure on June 4th.

How can you make sure that you will not miss a similar problem in your busy day because you simply won’t notice it? Don’t worry, the factory’s engineer was alerted by email about the unusual occurrence, and after evaluating it realized that the machine needed unscheduled maintenance.

2. Running equipment unnecessarily
Every good facility manager makes sure that equipment is not on when it is not needed. But there are times when adjustments are necessary, but not apparent.

On the chart below detailed real-time data showed that despite that the factory was closed on Saturday (July 6th), nearly 30 kW were consumed at an unusual time in the evening. After examining the equipment, the facility’s engineers realized that the machine settings needed to be adjusted to avoid working unnecessarily.

3. Inefficient lighting
It is normal to have sizeable energy consumption from 8 am to 5 pm in your administrative building.

But what was causing energy consumption spikes during the weekend (July 6th and 7th) when the building was closed, as seen on the chart below? Upon further inspection the factory’s engineers found out that the old halogen lights were drawing too much energy in unexplainable spikes. After this pattern repeated itself on multiple weekends, a decision was made to replace the old lights.

4. Energy monitoring system
You may think that you need a very expensive energy management system in order to properly monitor your consumption, something you cannot afford at the moment.

That is not the case. Our advanced software not only provides you with very detailed energy usage information, but also sends you simple actionable alerts to let you know when you exceed targeted maximum energy consumed. So you can avoid unnecessary costs, without much hassle.

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