Energy costs are rising faster than ever before, making the reduction of energy consumption by businesses an increasingly more powerful competitive advantage. As one of the largest variable expenses that can be controlled, virtually every organization has an opportunity to significantly reduce operating expenses by adopting energy management control systems. Organizations can monitor, control, and manage energy usage by collecting detailed information about operations.
One of the most cost-effective methods is sub metering, which can be used to monitor energy usage and power consumption for individual tenants, departments, and pieces of equipment or other loads to account for their actual energy usage.
Energy Management System is complete solution for Energy Consumption Analysis and Secondary Energy Billing. I-Power is a tool useful for charting and analyzing energy consumption. I-Power is used to monitor and manage energy use by energy managers, facilities managers, and the energy consultants and building-services engineers advising them.
The concept of software is very clear and simple: You can only start to save energy when you clearly see how you're using it. I-Power captures raw, complicated energy data from various energy consumption devices such as energy meters and turns that data into useful charts and figures. You can use these charts and figures to visually identify:
Trying to save energy without seeing this information is a bit like trying to get somewhere in a strange city without any road signs or maps: It'll take much longer, you'll miss the easy shortcuts, and you'll never really know how far you've gone or how far you've left to go. Visually analyzing your energy-consumption data helps you to figure out where to start your energy-saving efforts, where to go next, and how to monitor ongoing progress. It creates the core of all serious energy-saving efforts.
Conceptually it's a simple process. However, doing this analysis manually (or using only Excel) tends to get complicated, and the tedious data manipulation takes up precious time...time that could be better spent doing something a computer can't do for you.
The value in energy management software analysis is clear. The extra value you'll receive from using I-Power is an ongoing savings in time, efficiency and overhead costs, as well as a much higher throughput of detailed analysis than comparable software offers.
Easily measure power consumption with Energy Management Solutions so you can manage energy usage smarter:
Energy tracking for:
Energy Management is an ongoing process of monitoring, controlling, and conserving energy in a building or organization. Typically this involves the following steps:
As a rule of thumb: the more data you can get, and the more detailed it is, the better. The old school approach to energy-data collection is to manually read meters once a week or once a month. This is quite a chore, and weekly or monthly data isn't nearly as good the data that comes easily and automatically from the modern approach...
The modern approach to energy-data collection is to fit metering systems that automatically measure and record energy consumption at short, regular intervals or continuously
Detailed interval energy consumption data makes it possible to see patterns of energy waste that it would be impossible to see otherwise. For example, there's simply no way that weekly or monthly meter readings can show you how much energy you're using at different times of the day, or on different days of the week. And seeing these patterns makes it much easier to find the routine waste in your building.
The detailed meter data that you are collecting will be invaluable for helping you to find and quantify energy-saving opportunities. The easiest and most cost-effective energy-saving opportunities typically require little or no capital investment.
For example, an unbelievable number of buildings have advanced control systems that could, and should, be controlling HVAC well, but, unbeknown to the facilities-management staff, are faulty or misconfigured, and consequently committing such sins as heating or cooling an empty building every night and every weekend. (NB "HVAC" is just an industry acronym for Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning. It's a term that's more widely used in some countries than others.) And one of the simplest ways to save a significant amount of energy is to encourage staff to switch equipment off at the end of each working day.
Looking at detailed interval energy data is the ideal way to find routine energy waste. You can check whether staff and timers are switching things off without having to patrol the building day and night, and, with a little detective work, you can usually figure out who or what is causing the energy wastage that you will inevitably find.
And, using I-Power generated detailed interval data, it's usually pretty easy to make reasonable estimates of how much energy is being wasted at different times. For example, if you've identified that a lot of energy is being wasted by equipment left on over the weekends, you can:
Alternatively, if you have no idea of the proportion of energy that is being wasted by equipment left on unnecessarily, you could:
Also, most buildings have open to them a variety of equipment- or building-fabric-related energy-saving opportunities, most of which require a more significant capital investment. You are probably aware of many of these, such as upgrading insulation or replacing lighting equipment, but good places to look for ideas include the Carbon Trust and Energy Star websites.
Although your detailed meter data won't necessarily help you to find these equipment- or building-fabric-related opportunities (e.g. it won't tell you that a more efficient type of lighting equipment exists), it will be useful for helping you to quantify the potential savings that each opportunity could bring. It's much more reliable to base your savings estimates on real metered data than on rules of thumb alone. And it's critically important to quantify the expected savings for any opportunity that you are considering investing a lot of time or money into – it's the only way you can figure out how to hone in on the biggest, easiest energy savings first.
Just finding the opportunities to save energy won't help you to save energy - you have to take action to target them... For those energy-saving opportunities that require you to motivate the people in your building, our article on energy awareness should be useful. It can be hard work, but, if you can get the people on your side, you can make some seriously big energy savings without investing anything other than time. As for those energy-saving opportunities that require you to upgrade equipment or insulation: assuming you've identified them, there's little more to be said. Just keep your fingers crossed that you make your anticipated savings, and be thankful that you don't work for the sort of organization that won't invest in anything with a payback period over 6 months.
Once you've taken action to save energy, it's important that you find out how effective your actions have been:
To confuse matters, many people use "energy management" to refer specifically to those energy-saving efforts that focus on making better use of existing buildings and equipment. Strictly speaking, this limits things to the behavioral aspects of energy saving (i.e. encouraging people to use less energy by raising energy awareness), although the use of cheap control equipment such as timer switches is often included in the definition as well. The above four-step process applies either way - it's entirely up to you whether you consider energy-saving measures that involve buying new equipment or upgrading building fabric.
It's not just about saving energy in buildings - the term "energy management" is also used in other fields:
Anyway, from now on we will pay no more attention to these other definitions - all further references to "energy management" will be to the energy-saving sort described above.
Home energy management
Whilst energy management has been popular in larger buildings for a long time, it has only recently started catching on in homes. Most homeowners aren't even aware of the term, and take more of a haphazard, flying-blind approach to reducing their energy consumption... But the monitoring- and results-driven approach used by professional energy managers is just as effective in the home as it is in larger buildings. So, if you're a homeowner looking to save energy, don't be put off by the fact that this article focuses more on non-residential buildings. Most of the principles that apply to businesses and other organizations are also applicable to homes. Certainly the four-step process introduced above and detailed below is entirely applicable to home energy management.
Why is it important?
Energy management is the key to saving energy in your organization. Much of the importance of energy saving stems from the global need to save energy - this global need affects energy prices, emissions targets, and legislation, all of which lead to several compelling reasons why you should save energy at your organization specifically.
The global need to save energy
If it wasn't for the global need to save energy, the term "energy management" might never have even been coined... Globally we need to save energy in order to:
Controlling and reducing energy consumption at your organization
Energy management is the means to controlling and reducing your organization's energy consumption... And controlling and reducing your organization's energy consumption is important because it enables you to:
On top of these reasons, it's quite likely that you have some rather aggressive energy-consumption-reduction targets that you're supposed to be meeting at some worrying point in the near future... Your understanding of effective energy management will hopefully be the secret weapon that will enable you to meet those aggressive targets...
Managing your energy consumption effectively is an ongoing process...
At the very least you should keep analyzing your energy data regularly to check that things aren't getting worse. It's pretty normal for unwatched buildings to become less efficient with time: it's to be expected that equipment will break down or lose efficiency, and that people will forget the good habits you worked hard to encourage in the past...
So at a minimum you should take a quick look at your energy data once a week, or even just once a month, to ensure that nothing has gone horribly wrong... It's a real shame when easy-to-fix faults such as misconfigured timers remain unnoticed for months on end, leaving a huge energy bill that could have easily been avoided.
But ideally your energy-management drive will be an ongoing effort to find new opportunities to target (step 2), to target them (step 3), and to track your progress at making ongoing energy savings (step 4). Managing your energy consumption doesn't have to be a full-time job, but you'll achieve much better results if you make it part of your regular routine.