Energy Monitoring & Targeting: The No.1 Energy Saving Investment

Siemens rate energy monitoring and targeting as the number 1 energy saving investment that typically delivers the fastest returns (typical payback period 1-3 months).  In their Top 10 Energy Saving Options guide, Siemens report that:

“An effective monitoring and targeting system is typically the most important element of any energy management programme and will deliver the fastest payback.

The ability to measure and monitor real time key performance indicators on your site, by collecting the right data in the right way, will mean you can highlight problem areas and identify quick payback opportunities.  More than just a metering system – which won’t in itself save you money – an effective monitoring and targeting system includes the right software systems and reporting tools. Typically, it will show that 3% to 10% of the entire utility spend can be eliminated using low cost solutions.


Siemens Top 10 Energy Saving Investments

Ideally, the monitoring and targeting system will collect data through the automation system or building control system. If this is not possible, a separate energy management system can be easily implemented.

The system should collect data from all the major loads to provide the required degree of visibility and will include electricity, gas, water, steam, heat, coolness, fuel oil or other parameters as appropriate.

A further advantage of a monitoring and targeting system is that it provides the information to validate the savings from major capital investment projects”.

Energy Monitoring and Targeting at the heart of SEMS

Energy Monitoring and Targeting is at the heart of SMARTech energy’s SMART Energy Management Service (SEMS). At the start of a SEMS programme we install best-in-class real-time energy monitoring equipment, which:

  • Gives 24/7 monitoring of energy consumption and power quality. Second by second data is read and reported live on a minute by minute basis
  • Is engineered to allow continuous, remote monitoring; with data being able to be viewed in real-time on any computer, or across a range of mobile devices
  • Provides accurate measurement of up to 30 electrical parameters and can read existing meters (e.g. gas and water)
  • Can be installed to provide analytics of the incoming supply, or individual circuits, or even to individual pieces of equipment.

Through real-time energy monitoring, rich analytics are generated. This enables us to understand the ‘heartbeat’, or pattern, of energy use and to inform the assessment of where energy is wasted. In addition to consumption, analytics are generated in a range of other parameters including:

  • Voltage
  • Current
  • KVa
  • Power, apparent power, and reactive power
  • Power factor.

All of the above can provide data to identify energy efficiency opportunities.

The analytics generating from energy monitoring are then combined with data generated from an in-depth site audit to profile a site’s energy consumption. Now that we understand WHERE, WHEN and HOW energy is consumed, our consultants look for opportunities to improve energy efficiency through:

  • Process and behaviour changes
  • Low cost changes (e.g. installing motion sensors or timers)
  • Improving plant and equipment (either through retrofitting or new).

The implementation cost for each opportunity is calculated. Through the understanding generated by profiling the site’s energy consumption (above), the utility cost saving, application energy saving (kWh), CO2 reduction, and payback period is calculated in order to provide information to help the business to assess the cost benefit of making the change. Typically, energy saving opportunities of 30-50% are identified.

Check out our new animated video to find out more about SEMS.

Using Energy Monitoring to Quantify Savings

After energy efficiency measures have been implemented, energy monitoring enables us to review the outcomes. Using live data from the real-time energy monitoring equipment installed at site, we quantify and measure the savings achieved from each action taken against the base-line identified during the profiling of the site’s energy consumption. The results from these quantification exercise are pulled together into a report which is reviewed with the client. This step validates actions taken and proves the expected return on investment are realised, helping to build confidence in the process, paving the way for the implementation of the next energy efficiency action.

Ongoing energy monitoring also has many other benefits including:

  • Behaviour is a big driver of energy savings. Ongoing monitoring allows our clients to ensure that expected management practices and operating routines are followed
  • Providing early warning of performance issues in production processes, equipment and systems, allowing preventative action to be taken, optimising up-time and reducing maintenance costs.

If you want to take action to reduce your organisation’s energy consumption, boost profits and cut carbon emissions, why not contact us to find out more about our SMART Energy Management Service. As a Carbon Trust Accredited Supplier, we can also help most businesses access a 15% capital grant (up to a limit of £5,000) towards the cost of energy saving projects. Please contact us through our website or call us on 01225 635660.