The Benefits of Energy Intelligence Systems3 min read
What is “Energy Intelligence”? It is the holistic knowledge you have with regards to delivery, usage, reliability, benchmarking, resiliency, and total cost for all your commodities (including electricity, natural gas, renewables, and water/sewer). Simply put, this collective knowledge comes from various information sources that allow you to act and make the best decisions to optimize your facilities and operations, while conserving treasured energy and water resources.
Traditionally, there have been neglected data sources or siloed information systems that can provide certain pieces, but now more than ever, customers are looking for a holistic view to pinpoint the cost and consumption of specific systems and how they impact their overall sustainability and profitability.
Energy intelligence systems are especially relevant to any entity which has significant energy and water budgets, equipment, assets or extensive number of buildings and utility meters, such as government, military, higher education institutions, public housing, hospitals, healthcare facilities, industrials, retail, and real estate investment trust (REIT) properties.
Internet of Things (IoT) as a Tool to Generate Energy Intelligence
Energy intelligence software systems are able to consolidate cost and consumption data, as well as “carbon footprint” data. Energy intelligence systems can connect specifically to all aspects of energy and water systems through the help of smart equipment, meters and Internet of Things (IoT) devices.
IoT devices such as sensors or software may be incorporated in energy and water equipment, allowing them to talk to each other over wired or wireless networks. From there, these devices can communicate how long they have been running and can track if they’re operating out of normal operating range or had a failure. This information can be sent to an energy intelligence platform like SkySpark® to perform analytics, fault detection, develop load duration curves or other detailed usage or performance profiles.
Additionally, utility bills and smart meters can interface with that data to provide detailed insights about how much it costs to operate based on real-time pricing. This information can be normalized against weather to compare operations year-over-year and benchmarked against other similar buildings, operations or pieces of equipment.
Finally, preventive and reactive maintenance systems can be integrated with energy intelligence data to address equipment service requirements based on operating hours or failures.
Benefits of Energy Intelligence Systems
From improving operational efficiencies, lowering energy consumption and costs, tracking real-time progress on your sustainability goals, the benefits of energy intelligence systems are plentiful.
- They provide the ability to benchmark existing equipment or building energy use and compare data to historical consumption.
- They can measure and verify savings achieved on energy and capital projects.
- They can help with efforts to reduce building carbon footprint and export the usage data reporting to ENERGY STAR® Portfolio Manager® and similar platforms based on clients’ needs.
Including the benefits of an automated utility bill ecosystem, such as our such as our Pear.ai platform completes the holistic energy intelligence experience by combining usage and consumption to the cost. An automated utility bill ecosystem, in general, will:
- Address data reporting (automated analytics and graphics for C-level and facility management staff)
- Identify and track billing errors (wrong bill, meter changes, payment not correctly applied to a bill, misreading of meters on a bill or bills not adding up)
- Offer rate analysis (cost of utilities, commodities, distribution, and other charges)
- Provide bill consolidation (aggregate bills and meters for a holistic look and to optimize rates)
- Offer the ability to identify consumption issues (anomalies in consumption as compared to prior billing usage)
- Check and correct rate plans
- Allow for one-click bill payments
- Map commodity meter locations for ease of identification and management across a town, state, or country
- Provide a year-over-year variance analysis
Automated utility bill ecosystems are a comprehensive tool for clarity, organization, and reconciliation of the cost side of energy and water use.
Other advantages include the ability to proactively identify opportunities that can save a customer money and the ability to benchmark locations by commodity, utility, tariff, usage, costs, unit cost, demand and load factor.
Measurement, Verification & Reporting
One significant component to energy intelligence is the measurement and verification (M&V) and reporting piece. M&V provides the ability to track and report performance of energy projects including energy conservation measures, carbon reduction initiatives, fuel conversions, and more. Many teams rely on this type of compiled data and impact stories to communicate accomplishments to their constituents. Energy intelligence systems have the ability to produce custom, tailored reports based on specific needs and prepare reports for audiences of all sizes and levels, such as stakeholders, shareholders, students and alumni.
M&V is also necessary for the verification and reporting of performance for utility programs and other incentives. Energy managers rely on these reports as a means to communicate progress on energy and cost reductions as well as climate and carbon goals in reader-friendly formats with downloadable views and graphics.
What we know today is that energy intelligence has the power to create meaningful change; with the help of a retail energy services supplier like Constellation, we can help you examine and determine where best to spark your change.
For more information, visit www.constellation/energysolutions.
Robert Belyea, Principal Technical Sales Manager
Stuart Erhardt, Principal Technical Sales Manager