There is no doubt that “efficiency” has become a buzz word in business. Most of the time,when it is mentioned, what we are talking about is “cutting costs”. However, when energy efficiencies are mentioned it can have a more of a holistic solution, for instance cutting a business’s carbon footprint, or making a workplace better and amore enjoyable place to work.
When you combine this with technology, energy efficiencies can be a massive positive change and improve every employee’s working conditions. Let’s have a look at some of the ways this happens.
Apps have changed the way we work, live and play and this is highlighted in the number of energy efficiency apps. For instance, one of the apps making saving energy fun is “Joulebug” which makes energy efficiencies into a game of achievements and gamification, whilst saving users and the business money. Fuelgood, another app, helps motorists drive more efficiently, by using GPS to track journeys and calculate costs. It then gives advice for better motoring habits.
The UK government is rolling out smart energy meters to millions of homes and businesses between now and 2020. The criteria for businesses is that they can employ no more than 10 staff and their annual turnover must not exceed around £1.4million. Businesses which meet this criterion could be eligible for smart energy meters. These meters connect to the internet and share information with both the consumers and your energy supplier.
Cloud Based Energy Aggregators
These are exceptionally clever devices which can help reduce energy bills considerably. Peter from ECA Group Ltd said “Basically like a traditional smart meter these can really provide information about the way energy consumption is distributed amongst appliances and devices the business uses.“ Air conditioning, freezers and other electrical appliances are remotely accessed and the use is adjusted to take advantage of supplier’s price fluctuations.
Operating costs are a complete headache for businesses big and small. One of the biggest operating costs a company can face is its lighting load which can be up to 30% or 10% of overall operating costs. Wireless LED Lighting control systems are another example of the internet improving efficiency for businesses whilst saving costs. The benefits of wireless networking is that entire business infrastructures including factories and offices can be controlled from the palm of your hand. Like cloud-based aggregators these can be maximised to take advantage of supplier’s price fluctuations and business needs.
With increase in wind capacity from 24 GW in 2001 to 370 GW in 2014, the renewable energy sector is turning more and more to the internet of things to reduce operational costs and remain profitable. With data available like real time wind speeds, the winners in the renewable energy market will be those who use IoT analytics. In fact, many wind farms are already accurately recording data such as acceleration, temperature and vibration.
Of course many energy efficiencies such as turning off lights, do not need IoT and are plain common sense.