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How to Implement an Effective Energy Management Strategy

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Energy Guide

Effective energy management is the stringent control of energy consumption. The average UK office spends £10,423 per year on energy and 29.15% of that is used on air conditioning. Therefore, businesses should use energy management solutions to identify inefficiencies to order to correct them, reducing energy expenditure on the bottom line.  

Why Commit to Effective Energy Management? 

Energy management is vital for businesses for several reasons, below are the most important. 

  • Sustainability is a hugely important topic for modern business. Energy management, and the ability to lower consumption, helps businesses work towards the UK governments new legislation to become carbon neutral by 2050. Sustainability and energy efficiency are closely connected, not only in the opportunity to have a positive impact on the environment, but also in the contribution that energy (and operational) efficiency make to the sustainability of the business in its environmental, social, and economic dimensions.
  • The cost reduction aspect is the largest advantage, the ability to cut so called, ‘fixed costs’ to a fraction is a huge draw. 
  • Flexibility in business is key to promoting growth, especially in a business environment that is reeling from one of the biggest economic downturns in recent history. The pandemic has cut global GDP rates by 5.2%. The flexibility brought on by energy management allows for businesses to sure up their market position with a healthy cash flow. 

Implementing an Effective Energy Management Strategy  

Monitoring and Metering 

This initial audit is the first step in controlling energy usage, if businesses highlight where the drain is, and identify which assets are not performing to optimum efficiency, they can be replaced or repaired to ensure a high standard is maintained. 

The Hark Energy Monitoring Platform is an innovative solution that allows you to do this. It connects energy dependant assets using cutting edge sensors to collect and display real-time data regarding heat, humidity, light levels, etc, from potentially millions of data points. Our solution connects to existing metering infrastructure for monitoring and reporting. We offer a full range of connectivity solutions for monitoring, consumption and generation. 

Identification of Issues  

The second step is to identify reasons for high consumption in the network, the Hark Platform can do this by adding an extra level of intelligence to your operations by using highly developed machine learning based analytics to generate incredible levels of insight. 

The intelligent asset monitoring platform does this in the following process; 

  • Once connected, the solution’s inbuilt machine learning will study asset usage and performance patterns to examine its nominal performance. 
  • Then any performance variations are noted for the engineers to rectify.  The solution monitors significant pattern changes and anomalies to spot failures in efficiency. 
  • It builds up a catalogue of information which can be used to predict the lifespan of assets and can adjust these in real time according to incoming data. 

The predictive maintenance features help prevent the risk of unwanted damage and unplanned time spent out of action. Saving businesses thousands of pounds in repair fees, and parts that can be damaged when a machine runs after failure. Our solution utilises AI and machine learning to benchmark and analyse incoming data to spot trends and emerging outliers. This allows companies to predict when an asset will become inefficient and need maintenance. 

The solution vastly increases visibility from estate wide to microscopic scale to track inefficiencies, such as over working refrigeration equipment and lights being left on when the ambient light level is sufficient, right down the specific asset. 

Automation for Future Efficiency 

Our solution uses cutting edge hardware to engage automation, which reduces energy usage by changing the conditions of the assets in use. It creates interconnectivity between sensors and the AI to understand the set rules and action a response without a human being involved. An example, in the case of store lighting using excessive energy, it will measure the ambient light outside and make the corrective measures to lower inside lighting. Saving thousands of pounds over the course of the year. In addition to this, it can also affect internal assets in reaction to energy costs throughout the day, as it processes data about energy prices, it then reduces power in assets to reduce costs. Such as HVAC systems, if the price rises above a certain variable, the intelligent platform reduces air conditioning to ensure costs stay low. 

Implementation and Results 

We have experience implementing our energy monitoring platform on a nationwide scale, such as our work with one of the UK’s top 4 retailers. Annually, their retail estate consumes large quantities of energy. Each store hosts a range of power-reliant assets such as bakery ovens, 24/7 refrigeration, HVAC systems, and lighting. We proceeded by;  

  • Installing millions of sensors onto existing assets to gain full visibility of consumption via ongoing analysis.  
  • Tracking incoming data to benchmark existing consumption to gain a greater understanding of variances between stores, time of day, asset type and consumption. 
  • Highlighting errors in the supermarkets energy consumption processes that were leading to high usage, even down to the granular level, with cases reported of bakery ovens being left on causing high usage. 

Our energy monitoring and management solution is now operating in over 600 stores across the country, monitoring over 256,000 sensors in their 600+ stores, collecting and analysing approximately 200 million data points every day.  

Our solution has allowed the client to cut their lighting cost by 2%, with the next target being raised to 4.5%. In addition to this, the solution has saved the retailer over £1 million in 2019, and in January 2020, it saved enough energy to power 35 homes for a year, or 24 million mobile phones. 

As each business is different and requires a bespoke energy management solution, consider using a comprehensive platform that is developed to fit a range of assets, like our energy monitoring solution. To implement an effective solution that will drive efficiency, get in touch with our experts.  

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Lucy Woodhead
Lucy Woodhead

Further Reading

Loss In Retail
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Measuring and Scoping Retail Loss

Retail loss can amount to a significant sum of money if left unchecked, as estimates put shrinkage at around 2%

Case Study: Scaling with a Top Four UK Retailer

The Hark Platform revolutionised efficiency for a top 4 UK retailer. £0.5 million saved in 3 months. 600 stores nationwide. 368 million daily readings. 24,000 assets monitored.

Find out more about the Hark Platform...

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