Reducing the amount of energy you use in your business has numerous benefits. It saves money, can make your business more efficient, and also makes you look better to your customers. But achieving these goals is not as simple as buying all energy-efficient products in the marketplace and installing them in your business. As with everything else, you need to make sure that the energy management solutions you’re bringing in are right for you.
Here are a few tips to help determine what you need and what are the best solutions for you:
Make a List of Your Goals and Requirements
The first thing you need to do is to decide what energy usage you want to monitor and what your goals are with that monitoring. For example, do you want to only look at your electricity use, or do you also want to become more efficient with your use of natural gas? Is there a specific area you want to make more efficient, or do you want to reduce energy consumption company-wide? You should first decide what it is you’re trying to accomplish before you start doing anything.
Focus on Real-Time Data
When you’re gathering information about your energy usage, you want to prioritize getting real-time data rather than information that is updated hourly or even every 15 to 30 minutes. That’s because real-time data will show you how you’re using energy from second to second. You’ll be able to see exactly when you start using more power than expected and can link that increased usage to what was occurring at that time. This will more clearly help you determine where you can save money.
Gathering real-time data is also useful for reporting and fine-tuning solutions after you implement energy-saving techniques because you’ll be able to see how well those solutions are working at any given time and then adjust them accordingly.
Look for Solutions that Match Your Budget and Experience
Another thing to consider when looking at energy management solutions is who will be using these tools and how much money you can invest in energy saving products upfront. Do you need tools that will give users full control of everything in the building? Often, these systems are very costly and will quickly deplete your budget. They may also be more complicated than some users can handle. Look at what you need, what you can afford, and how easy potential solutions are when deciding in which options to invest.
Make Sure the Data is Accessible
Does the monitoring solution you’re considering offer cloud-based storage and access? If it doesn’t, users may be more limited in terms of how they can access and use the information it provides. Also, make a note of what type of customer support is offered and if you will have access to any type of energy consultation. Some energy monitoring tools will automatically identify areas that are using more than average power and offer solutions, but that’s not true of every system.
Before you begin doing anything, make certain that all of your energy flows are labeled. This way, you will know exactly what areas are using more power than others and be able to direct your efforts to the correct tasks. If things aren’t labeled correctly, you may not know precisely what from which areas you’re collecting data or where to install your energy-saving solutions.
Know What to Expect from Installation
When you’re installing your energy-monitoring devices and other solutions, what type of disruptions can you expect? Will your office or workplace be without power during some of the work, or will the HVAC system need to be taken offline? Will work crews need to be in any areas where customers or clients are? Will they need to get into every employee’s workspace? Knowing what the installation will entail will help you minimize the disruptions during the process of installation.
Be Ready to Make the Most Out of Your Energy Management Solutions
While installing an energy management solution is the first step in becoming more energy efficient, you must do more than merely have that system installed. You have to make full use of it. That means you have to train your team on how to use the information gathered and how to best employ that data. If you don’t know how to find the best ways of saving power, the data you collect won’t be that useful to you.
Seek Help from the Experts
Fortunately, you’re not alone on the journey to energy-efficiency. There are partners out there who can help you achieve your energy management solution. Take Scanalytics Inc., for example. This company has created a smart flooring solution that you can use to gather information on what parts of your business are used during certain times of the day. You can learn about the flow of traffic and how long customers spend in certain parts of your business. This information can help you determine where and when you need to power up certain systems, allowing you to save money by powering things off when no one is near them.