In today’s highly competitive business environments, finding ways of reducing costs is on everyone’s agenda. Energy management has been proven to reduce energy costs for many different businesses and rising energy costs make the business case even more attractive today.
With a whole host of different of energy management solutions on the market, how can you choose the correct one that meets your own business needs?
The following 7 Tips are meant as a guide to help prospective users of energy management solutions to select the best technology that matches their requirements.
1 – KNOW YOUR REQUIREMENTS
You should understand the energy flows that you wish to monitor so that you can decide which type of
solution to deploy. For example,
▶ Do you want to measure and record data on electricity consumption only or do you also want to monitor thermal fuel use such as gas or oil consumption?
▶ Do you want specific areas and circuits to be monitored?
▶ Do you want the solution to integrate existing monitoring systems?
2 – GO FOR REAL-TIME DATA
You should ask the supplier about what type of data will be available from the solution. Some solutions will provide only quarterly hourly energy data on your building or facility on a site-wide basis, as this is relatively straightforward to collect from energy utility meters. Other solutions will offer far better granularity on energy data collection when it comes to electricity use, offering real-time data not only on a site-wide basis also by area or circuit/appliance. This type of information offers far better scope for identification of saving opportunities.
3 – DO NOT GO FOR MONITORING ONLY
The energy solution should be able to offer much more than just the display of energy data on a daily, weekly, monthly or yearly basis. Does the solution offer a cloud-based solution accessible from any device? Are there customer support and energy consultancy services provided? Can the solution automatically identify significant energy consumers and discover energy-saving opportunities for you?
4 – MATCH THE SOLUTION TO YOUR EXPERTISE
It is important to understand who will be using the solution. Are the users looking for a complete Building Energy Management System which offers control of equipment and appliances? These solutions can often be over-specified, very expensive and sometimes complex for many people to use. A solution that is intuitive to use, allows you to monitor energy use in the areas you want and facilitates reporting & analysis may be a better option for your business.
5 – LABEL CIRCUITS BEFORE INSTALLATION
Make sure that all energy flows to be monitored are correctly labelled before any works have started, as this is very important to ensure data for particular circuits or areas is reliable.
6 – UNDERSTAND INSTALLATION REQUIREMENTS
Ask the supplier if there will be any disruption to business operations during the installation and ensure that the works are carried out by a certified installer.
7 – PLAN TO ENGAGE WITH THE SOLUTION
The success of most energy management solutions are determined by the level of user engagement with the solution. Will the users have time to use the solution? Will the users understand energy data or will they need support? Will the users be energy aware and capable of findings energy savings?
Choose a solution that saves time by pushing only relevant information the users. Not all users will be energy experts so choosing a solution that provides energy analysis support will help those who are not capable of finding energy savings on their own. The appointment of an energy team or energy champion will also promote ownership of energy saving targets or goals and help overall engagement with the solution.
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