Energy prices in the UK continue to rise, putting immense pressure on how businesses operate. Businesses are even unable to get a contract through their energy suppliers due a lack of liquidity in markets. Yet while we wait for policy makers to take action to protect businesses from a looming economic disaster, businesses must look internally and identify any areas of energy inefficiencies in their operations.
It’s vital for businesses to improve their energy efficiency. Identifying areas where your business can improve its energy efficiency and employ no-cost efficiency improvements within its operations is the best way you can save money on energy costs and weather the energy crisis.
The benefits of energy efficiency for businesses
Using energy more efficiently across your business and its operations is the fastest and most cost-effective way to save money. It also helps elongate the lifespan of your assets and machinery and reduce your greenhouse gas emissions. Businesses that adopt energy efficient practices often enjoy increased productivity, competitiveness, and profitability.
The economic benefits of energy efficiency are many. Importantly, and especially in these unprecedented times of economic uncertainty, being energy efficient will lower utility costs. That saved money leads to the creation of jobs, reinvestments into your products and services, and stabilises electricity prices in the market.
Efficiency is a key component of sustainability because it helps us reduce our electricity demands over time. This means less investment needed in new infrastructure for generation and transmission, which are costly endeavors. Efficiency also diversifies utility resource portfolios – which traditionally have relied heavily on fossil fuels like coal or petroleum products – by incorporating clean energy sources.
What are common sources of inefficient energy use?
In any commercial or industrial operation, inefficiencies can quickly lead to increased costs and decreased profitability. A common issue is switching on heavy equipment at the same time, which results in large peaks in power (kW) usage.
By staggering start-up procedures, you will achieve the same outcome but avoid the peak in your power usage.
Our ClearVUE.Zero energy management software is designed to help you easily identify common inefficiencies and enact the appropriate operational changes to remedy them.
In the screen capture above, ClearVUE.Zero captured a moment when significant power from two sub-metering points were drawn at the same time, resulting in a peak (the highlighted blue point). This could have been avoided with better load planning and demand-side management.
Higher-than-expected base loads
Unidentified loads are an untapped reservoir of potential savings. This could be as simple as identifying that your lighting is consuming more than expected and enforcing new policies, to upgrading and retrofitting your installation (e.g., installing timers).
High base loads are also an indicator of faulty machinery. Identifying these allows you to take preventative action at the right time, increasing the longevity of your equipment, and again increasing efficiency.
With the data from ClearVUE.Zero, you can identify higher-than-expected base loads, giving you the information you need to make changes that will save you money and increase efficiency.
Here, a business can spot a circuit with a higher-than-expected base load, indicating faulty equipment, and resulting in high costs. A business will know exactly where the issue is coming from, allowing them to take appropriate action.
High standby consumption
Standby consumption is the energy used by machinery and appliances when they are not actively being used. According to research, global standby consumption in both businesses and homes accounts for 2 percent of total electricity consumption and 1 percent of CO2 emissions. While small, this is 2 percent of energy costs that can be saved.
ClearVUE.Zero helps you identify wasted energy and energy inefficient appliances by pinpointing high standby consumption. This is when monitored sub-metering points have a high standby consumption, and the machinery is not completely switched off when not in use. ClearVUE.Zero gives you a clear visualisation of each sub-metering point’s standby consumption, allowing you to take action and reduce your overall energy consumption.
Here, the ClearVUE.Zero energy management system is showing a sub-metering point with an abnormally high standby load (outside of working hours). This would prompt an engineer to investigate further and take remedial action where needed.
Poor insulation and air leaks
Higher energy consumption is the result of poor insulation around the monitored area. Even the smallest of leaks in your business’ structure allows heat loss that forces your heating system to work harder.
ClearVUE.Zero can help you identify where there are potential hotspots for heat loss so you can take action to improve the insulation and reduce your energy consumption. By taking action to address these key areas of wasted energy, you can make significant reductions in your overall energy consumption.
Disruptions to standard operating procedures
Standard operating procedures are designed to help businesses run more efficiently and effectively. However, when these procedures are not followed, they can result in a loss of productivity and wasted resources. For example, if high-powered machinery is not run in synchronisation, it can lead to a lot of wasted energy.
ClearVUE.Zero can help businesses to avoid these losses by overlaying data from multiple sub-metering points. This allows businesses to see if equipment is being used correctly and within operating procedures. As a result, ClearVUE.Zero can help businesses to save money and improve their overall efficiency.
Low-efficiency motors are one of the biggest energy users in industry, and their inefficiency often leads to wasted electricity over the motor’s entire lifespan. This, in turn, results in higher energy bills for the company and can also lead to production downtime if the motor is not able to function properly.
ClearVUE.Zero can identify abnormal or high levels of usage for individual metering points. With this information, an engineer could conclude that the problem is linked to inefficient motors. By upgrading to more efficient motors, companies can save money on their energy bills and avoid production disruptions. ClearVUE.Zero’s sophisticated metering system is an essential tool for identifying and solving this type of problem.
Wasted time and Human Capital Optimisation (HCO)
Human Capital Optimisation (HCO) is a key concept for businesses wanting to increase productivity, manage assets efficiency, and gain further competitive edges — all in a sustainable way. In terms of energy management and efficiency, businesses can lose valuable time and money when gathering data and seeking insights on how to optimise their operations and minimise energy waste.
ClearVUE.Zero automates data collection, processing, and analytics and has been designed so that businesses can spend less time manually gathering and processing data and more time optimising their energy use and increasing productivity. Efficient businesses operate with sustainability in mind, ensuring that their human capital is optimised in a way that leads to increased productivity and a competitive edge.
ClearVUE.Zero provides the tools necessary for businesses to reduce wasted time and increase their bottom line. In doing so, ClearVUE.Zero helps businesses to operate more efficiently and effectively, giving them a clear advantage in today’s marketplace.
ClearVUE.Business helps businesses identify inefficient use of energy
ClearVUE.Business is here to help your business weather this storm and emerge stronger than ever before. Contact us today for a free demonstration on how our technology and consultancy services can help bring your operation costs down immediately, without any cost or risk involved.