Imagine knowing what you customers want by looking at their recent internet searches, cabinet contents, and their closets. While this might seem impossible, it is a representation of how the Internet of Things (IoT) is radically changing the shape of retail forecasting and energy management. In fact, building energy management systems will grow at a compound annual rate of more than 17 percent, reports the U.S. Department of Energy. In other words, the trend is growing stronger.
As more devices come online, everyone and everything is contributing to more data on the needs of society on both an individual and community level. Consequently, energy management and the IoT are two sides of the same coin, and you need to understand why.
Download the white paper, The Evolution of Intelligent Buildings in Retail by Navigant Research here.
1. More Information Leads to Better Demand Forecasts.
Demand on energy resources is tight. If you think back to the rolling blackouts of the early 2000s, the demand on the power grid might seem to have stabilized. Energy output is slightly higher, but the demand has increased far beyond what the system can produce. The reason the lights are still on is that companies are leveraging the power of the IoT to reduce energy consumption across the entire grid.
2. The IoT and Energy Management Solutions Derive Power From Demand.
When a connected device is powered on, packets of data are sent to servers near and far. This might include sleep time, time since the last full charge and maintenance data. In equipment, data analysis might indicate a possible drop in surrounding temperatures. For HVAC systems, this could indicate a possible issue with freon. Alternatively, sensors could be applied to detect and seal off possible sources of freon leaks automatically. This means a malfunctioning system can be cut off earlier, reducing its overall demand on energy resources.
3. Comfort Is Essential to Keeping Labor Costs Down.
Remember those talks from your grandparents about walking to school, uphill both ways and nature’s breeze as air conditioning? Well, those values are part of our past, but the modern world is not built on nature’s air conditioning. You cannot keep employees in a hot environment for long because it could violate OSHA statutes. Now, that might seem like a leap, but OSHA regulations dictate preventing injuries and on-the-job accidents. If an employee gets too hot, he or she may suffer heat exhaustion or even a heat stroke.
Thus, your company, if an HVAC system is not properly utilized, could be on the hook for workers’ compensation or personal injury claims. Ultimately, keeping employees and consumers comfortable can reduce the biggest costs in your company, labor costs, while still reducing the second-highest costs of facilities management.
What Does It Mean?
Essentially, the applications of the IoT and energy management pairings are limitless, reports Carl Weinschenk of Energy Manager Today. The Internet of Things can team up with your equipment, ranging from HVAC systems to refrigerated food cases, to keep costs down and ensure your company runs smoothly. Since energy management and labor costs represent the biggest expenditures for your company, using the IoT and a dedicated energy management system are the keys to maximizing profits and optimizing every aspect of your business.
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