Utility Management for a large organisation is not a straightforward task, as any energy professional will tell you. And in the coming months and years we can expect further pressure on energy managers – not only is the current economic climate causing organisations to look to optimise every pound they spend, but net zero targets mean that efficiency will play an ever-increasing role in corporate utility management, as businesses aim to reduce their carbon footprint.
Working smart is key to ensuring consumption, carbon and costs are managed effectively. At Inspired Energy, our investment in technology has enabled us to offer our clients smarter ways to manage their utilities. From profile alerts that automatically indicate unusual consumption, to utility dashboards that allow you to analyse your utility data at a granular level, we look at some of the options for smarter utility management.
If you want your business to have a hands-on approach when it comes to data, you’ll need to ensure your metering infrastructure and contracts are appropriate for your needs. For businesses that want to get to grips with data and knuckle down on their ever-increasing costs, then securing an AMR (automatic meter reading) contract for your non-half hourly supplies or a data collection contract for your half-hourly supplies, would be incredibly beneficial.
One of the main advantages of AMR is the managed rollout, meaning you have greater control. We can project manage the rollout of AMR, working with the business, suppliers and the contracted agent that you want to use. We can also help end-users by giving them direct access to our proprietary software so you can view your utility data all in the same place, whether that be for electricity, gas, or water.
Energy Monitoring and Targeting software, such as SystemsLink automatically takes your utility data (including electricity, gas, water, oil, solid fuel, biomass, LPG waste) and allows you to monitor and analyse it using reports built into the system.
The way you use the software will depend on your role within the organisation, and of course your goals – you might want to report on your carbon data, for compliance reporting such as SECR, which you can do at an individual site level or across the whole portfolio. Or if you’re in a finance role, you might be concerned about cost control and how your sites compare in terms of energy spend. If you have cost reduction goals in place, you can keep a close eye on how you’re doing by viewing consumption or cost data against a given aspirational target in close to real-time.
Depending on your portfolio, you might find it hard to compare sites – but even where sites are very different from one another, you can often find a custom metric to compare them – as the software allows you to rationalise consumption across sites that may be of different sizes.
The software will also automatically calculate your maximum demand, so that if you need it, you can retrieve a quick visual representation of your maximum demand, and whether that is in breach of your available supply capacity. This will help you to avoid available supply capacity penalty costs, or of course, it can also be an indicator of a surplus – creating a potential saving opportunity.
One effective use of the software is to support staff engagement initiatives. For those with multiple sites, you can see which are performing best, maybe creating a sense of competition between them. One of our clients set up a ‘Green Champion’ initiative supported by our software. Using consumption data and the league table presentation method, staff were given incentives to improve their restaurant’s performance when it comes to energy use. This encourages staff to take ownership of their energy usage, engage with existing efficiency measures, and even make their own suggestions for improvements.
If excess consumption is a concern for your organisation, profile alerts are the smart way to tackle it. The profile alerts service is designed to combat energy waste, helping organisations drive action at priority sites. We will help you set appropriate consumption thresholds for each site based on historical data and other site information. Consumption for each meter is then monitored and where it breaches target, exception alerts are automatically generated and emailed to a designated person, allowing a rapid response. We will also contact your high priority sites to follow-up and provide support to your on-site team.
We work with some of the largest energy users in the UK, and although procurement remains a priority for businesses, as the energy landscape changes and further regulation is introduced, we’re finding a greater demand for our tech-based support solutions. By taking a smarter approach to utility management, we can help you consolidate your utility data, gain a better insight into consumption and achieve your budgetary and environmental goals – get in touch for a chat or a 1-2-1 software demo today. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01772 689250.
You can learn more about smart utility management by catching up with our Inspired On-Demand series.