Why energy monitoring is the key to reducing your organisation’s carbon emissions
Where once it may have been seen as a ‘nice to do’ there is no longer any escaping the fact that each and every one of us has a responsibility to do our bit to save the planet.
If the world is to stand any chance of meeting current climate change targets– a 45% reduction in carbon emissions by 2030 and net zero by 2050 – much more needs to be done. If the targets fail to be met, temperatures could rise well in excess of the 2C deemed to be ‘safe’, with irreversible damage done to the planet.
With the energy sector responsible for almost three-quarters of current greenhouse gas emissions, it’s easy to see why reducing energy consumption is so crucial.
For many businesses this will mean a renewed focus on energy management strategies.
- Are the current systems in place enough?
- How can we measure progress against targets?
Which is where the role of smart technology becomes ever more important. Smart technology and the Internet of Things (IoT) have already helped many organisations make huge advances in reducing their energy usage, but as the drive to reach net zero by 2050 ramps up, it will no longer be something reserved for big businesses. Advances in the technology used mean it is becoming more accessible and affordable for all and will be a key part of many companies’ carbon reduction toolkits.
Smart technology is the name for devices connected to the internet that can collect and transmit data to a centrally stored hub. This hub can be local to the organisation but, increasingly, will be part of the cloud – information stored on a secure area of the internet, without the need for external servers.
Typically, the technology consists of sensors and receivers, which can measure a range of different parameters including temperature, air quality or how much power is running through a piece of equipment.
When it comes to energy monitoring this is usually carried out with CT clamps (current sensors) which are placed on cables and monitor how much power is running to and through them. They can measure energy consumption at a circuit, zone or machine level, while temperature sensors can give an indication of how much energy is being generated.
Monitoring energy usage across your organisation in this way has a number of benefits:
Continuous monitoring in real-time: Using smart technology means you have a continuous view of the energy use within your building. Data collected by the sensors is fed back to a central dashboard and, at any given point in time, you can see the energy usage picture across your building or organisation, meaning you always have a clear picture of your energy consumption
Ability to make instant changes: You can react instantly to implement changes to reduce energy usage as you have an overview of areas of high energy usage. It helps to identify things like machines left running when they shouldn’t be or equipment that isn’t performing as efficiently as it should be and may need maintenance.
Helps ensure a consistent, reliable power supply: By monitoring the energy flowing into and out of machinery you can spot potential issues before they arise, for example surges in demand at particular times, and put plans in place to change these.
Reporting and planning becomes easier: Data produced by the systems means you can easily produce reports on energy usage for your organisation – something that will be crucial when being measured against ambitious energy-saving targets. Being able to monitor usage trends also means you can look at specific machinery, rooms or offices and develop action plans for energy reduction.
It helps with staff engagement: Being able to produce data which shows people exactly what impact changes are having is a useful tool in making sure everyone in the business plays their part in reducing energy use.
It’s flexible: Using cloud computing systems allows organisations to flex their capacity as needed. It means you can scale up and down as your needs change without having spent vast sums of money on expensive IT equipment.
Software provider SensorFact helped their customers reduce their energy consumption by an average of 10% when they integrated Pressac’s wireless sensors into their systems.
As a result, the Netherlands-based company have rapidly grown their customer base and their energy-monitoring solution is now used by brands including McDonald’s and Heineken.