Don’t wait to start online energy monitoring
Energy consumption and energy management is becoming more and more important to manufacturers and commercial businesses. However, before you can manage you must first monitor, measure and understand your energy usage. This is where online energy monitoring will be a valued operational management tool.
If you are serious about reducing your electricity bills and optimising energy usage then these tips can help you get started.
Get management involved.
Buy-in from top management is essential to get real energy management going. Small initiatives like changing to led lighting air-conditioning temperatures should be easy to implement on a departmental or office level. But real energy management touches the fundamentals of how you do business and this will require the support from the decision-makers.
Electricity usage can be compared with any other consumable in business. Procurement managers measures usage and supplies from production raw materials to office supplies. Pricing is negotiated, wastage is avoided and cost of product is tied to cost of supplies.
Why is electricity not accounted for in the same way? Utility bills normally gets sent straight to accounts and settled. Managers may look at an unusually high electricity bill, but a utility bill does not tell you where the electricity was used or wasted. It does not give you specifics on the time of day you used electricity.
Eskom and local electricity providers have tariffs based on time of day usage, peak demand usage, etc. By knowing your electricity consumption profile you can take advantage of the most beneficial tariff or make behavioural changes to adept to a more economical tariff structure.
You can also benefit from Eskom and municipality incentives to reduce consumption and demand.
Large businesses have taken to employ energy or sustainability managers or make use of energy management consultants. They understand that electricity is a resource to be managed and that effectively doing so will impact their bottom line. The investment in energy measurement and management will yield a considerable return on investment.
Measure first, then manage.
When management has given the green-light for an energy management initiative, you need an online meter installed to start the online energy monitoring process. Online energy monitoring gives you real-time, detailed data that you can monitor and analyse.
To effectively achieve your measurement goals, you want detailed and timely data. You want to catch spikes in electricity usage as you switch on machinery and appliances. Similarly you would want to see significant lows that is unplanned.
You would want the data to be accessible and visible to key people throughout your organisation that can influence energy usage. Visibility also provides motivation to reduce costs.
An energy monitoring solution usually evolves into an energy management application. The software that helps you understand your electricity usage naturally will also help in making energy management decisions. It is important to know which machines uses the most electricity and how this usage fluctuates. The online energy monitor and online energy monitoring software will help you to decide where to spend your efforts to cut electricity usage.
However the real value lies in fully understanding what the data is telling you. The data can tell you how your electricity consumption is spread between divisions, lines, machines, shifts and time of day. This information then translates into better understanding how your current processes work and how they can be improved.
Before planning and implementing any interventions, it is important to compile sufficient data over a long enough period.
Install the right hardware
Commercial and industrial buildings requires a different approach to energy usage monitoring than your home. An overall view of your electricity usage makes for a good point of departure. However, to really get useful data, you want to identify the machines and processes that are your biggest energy consumers. Select an online energy monitoring meter that is tailor-made for the purpose. The Power-Star online energy monitor has been designed to monitor and capture energy usage data in a variety of different environments.
The data is available immediately as it is captured. With energy usage being measured and captured every 60 seconds you are able to accurately monitor and manage your energy usage and electricity consumption.
Your online energy monitor should be web-capable, like the Power-Star online meter, and easy to configure and install.
Energy monitoring, measurement and management is normally not the primary task of a single person. Therefore, it is important that the meter installation should be easy and quick to perform.
Choose the right software option.
Your newly installed online meter requires the right software package to interpret the captured data. The Power-Star energy measurement system is cloud-based software that captures and displays data from the online meter in real-time. The data can be accessed by any of your registered users from anywhere in the world at any time to give a minute-by-minute breakdown of what is happening in your business, energy-wise.
Power-Star designed the software to be as comprehensive and user-friendly as possible while remaining committed to continuous improvement.
A demonstration of the software can be requested here.
Be aware of what online energy monitoring means to you.
Measuring and monitoring your electricity usage is the starting point. Energy management starts with information, and monitoring your usage, supplies you with this information.
With clear energy usage goals and electricity expenditure targets you can devise strategies based on sound information.
Power-Star has the hardware and software that will enable you to effectively monitor and measure your energy usage. Online energy monitoring couldn’t be easier or more affordable.