How smart technology is reducing business energy consumption

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The current coronavirus pandemic and economic situation has been a cause for concern for business leaders across the globe. Increasingly, the impact it is having on the environment has altered greatly over the past two months. Over the years, rising energy costs have also played an important role in the way businesses operate, meaning that large office spaces aren’t the first thing on the minds of decision makers. This pattern will continue to shift as the coronavirus makes us rethink the way we work as more and more employees are still able to be productive whilst at home.

It’s worth bearing in mind that home working isn’t suitable for every industry, and business energy costs are increasing year on year. This is where smart technology can play an important role in helping us become more efficient by consuming less gas and electricity, whether in the workplace or at home.

For almost everyone, it will not come as a surprise that technology has completely changed our daily lives, both personally and professionally. However, as important as technology is, we must not discount other practical ways of reducing power costs. It is still equally important to compare and switch to the most competitive business energy tariff. Online comparison sites such as Utility Saving Expert have made it easier than ever to find the cheapest deals. Business owners and managers will input a few details about their company and energy usage before being presented with a list of options to choose from. Deals can be filtered by price, contract length or tariff type.

Data gathered through smart technology can be analysed and then used to make informed decisions for any organisation. This isn’t just applicable to the manufacturing industry either. The energy sector has also benefited through a number of bespoke software solutions that can help manage and support business operations. Calculations are made surrounding associated costs and how to optimally reduce overall carbon emissions, leading to a cleaner and more sustainable future.

Research and development in smart technology and renewable energy has driven energy efficiency to new heights since the turn of the millennium. Action was taken for a number of primary reasons – to reduce a country’s carbon footprint, and to combat the ever-increasing price of non-renewable fossil fuels.

For example, a Building Energy Management System (BeMS) can allow a company to operate a building of any size in a more efficient way. This is made possible by monitoring usage statistics and adjusting smart settings accordingly in an optimal way. Relevant areas that are well served by these systems include heating, lighting and security. Previously, these systems were extremely complex and prohibitively expense for most. Fortunately, with the proliferation of cloud computing and the adoption of smart devices, the process has become seamless and costs have decreased substantially, regardless of business size.

While discussing the advantages of implementing smart technology in the energy sector, Head of Origination at E.ON, Dr Chris Horne, said that: “The technology has changed - it’s now accessible to many more customers and there are new products which help to improve engagement with energy through displays that can be placed in public areas… By bringing this data into a central system, monitoring many sites, and abnormal usage patterns can be identified against other sites within a company’s portfolio or by comparison with similar sites from other companies.”

Most larger businesses are already well aware of how peak demand times significantly increase their energy costs. This is where smart technology offers a good solution in helping firms be more efficient in how they utilise gas and electricity. The peak electricity demand period for companies is normally between November and February. Customers, no matter what type of tariff they are on, will be placing greater pressure on the National Grid during these winter months.

As a result of this, it’s more important than ever for an organisation to have a clear understanding of its own energy usage is in comparison to other businesses within the same sector. Conducting an energy audit is one helpful way to understand what steps can be taken to improve efficiency in the workplace. Another great site to compare business energy suppliers is simply switch.

An energy audit can help you understand how much power each area of the business uses, or even if there is gas and electricity that is being wasted unnecessarily. By identifying areas for improvement, business owners and managers can take the necessary steps to improve processes, benefiting them in the months and years ahead.

Aside from receiving cheaper commercial energy bills, businesses have a social responsibility to reduce carbon emissions and play their role in preserving the planet for generations to come.