Commercial buildings consume 70 percent electricity in North America and contribute 40 percent to greenhouse gas emissions, reports the U.S. Energy Information Administration. As the public has grown increasingly aware of the sustainability efforts of companies across the nation, more enterprises are looking for ways to improve sustainability and achieve energy cost reductions. Increasing visibility in energy management is the most effective way to understand system-wide energy use and improve earnings before interest, tax, depreciation, and amortization (EBITDA), and Facilities Managers need to be equipped to understand why.
Poor Visibility in Energy Management Across Distributed Facilities Results in Inefficiencies
Energy use in your facility is the sum of all activities and actions requiring electricity, and this ranges from HVAC system units to lighting and beyond. An effective energy management program must start with visibility in energy management. It is impossible to improve what you do not understand, so, energy data from connected assets and information regarding varying environment can empower Facility Managers by showing them where inefficiencies live across their distributed facilities.
Visibility in Energy Management Offers a Measure of Sustainability
The sustainability practices of your company have a significant impact on consumer behaviors. In the “connected” world, consumers can immediately find out the steps a company has taken to enhance its use of energy resources, and not establishing sound sustainable practices or implementing such measures will result in ostracizing your customers. Furthermore, smart building solutions, including sensors, connected to the Internet of things (IoT), help Facility Managers understand which asset is actually using energy and when.
Based on data aligning with malfunctioning assets or optimum temperature settings, Facility Managers can use data to determine asset condition and create a productive environment. This effectively lowers the total cost of ownership (TCO) of facility assets and empowers Facilities Managers with the knowledge to effectively lower energy costs. Moreover, studies indicate that up to 82 percent of companies are actively monitoring energy use through connected, smart building solutions, which offers additional benefits as customer experiences improve.
The Value of Visibility in Energy Management Is Much Easier to Realize Today
The invention of the IoT was a great stride forward in facilities management. In the past, companies may have used sensors to track varying types of data, but data alone is meaningless. Moreover, the volume of data generated by devices and systems can be overwhelming, and processing the data could represent an insurmountable task for a facility team with limited resources. However, automated data collection and analytics can mine through the vast amounts of data to determine what information is “actionable”, its implications to the business and its effect on operational or long-term planning. This enables better budgeting practices and continuous improvement throughout the team.
For example, unexpected energy use for HVAC systems during vacancy hours can indicate a potential use behavior problem among employees. Employees are not turning off the HVAC when they leave, and while automated controls can go a long way in eliminating this concern, it is often impractical to assume employees will shut down all systems at night. Instead, Facility Managers must use both data to make decisions and leverage data to empower continuous improvement throughout the entire facility management department and all employees.
The additional value of visibility in energy management derives from the reduction of total cost of ownership (TCO). Increased energy use among facility assets may allude to a malfunction, and smart building solutions can notify Facility Managers – in near real-time – when a problem starts to appear. Facility Managers can schedule a technician or perform maintenance on the asset prior to it causing a disruption or otherwise contributing to cascading equipment failure that may dramatically increase the cost of repair and jeopardize safety. This level of “predictive” preventative maintenance is the cornerstone of reducing overall energy use and lowering maintenances cost throughout a distributed enterprise.
Put the Power of Visibility in Energy Management to Work in Your Organization Today
Facility Managers have an excellent opportunity to achieve better EBITDA using data and visibility in energy management. Reducing maintenance costs and lowering energy consumption usage will lower the carbon footprint of commercial enterprises, which will boost the bottom line and further enhance brand reputation. Moreover, the technologies of today allow Facility Managers to manage multi-site portfolios from virtually any location, so there are no valid excuses for not gaining visibility in energy management. Find out what your organization needs to do to take advantage of effective energy management and increase facility optimization by visiting ENTOUCH online or contacting us at 1-800-820-3511 today.