There is a fair chance if you turn on the news today, tomorrow or the next day you will hear stories of cuts, impending cuts, and the overall effect of cuts. But as they say all clouds do have a silver lining somewhere, we just have to look.
You are well used to me now talking about how cutting energy consumption equals saving money. So if we all know that this is true why are we not all doing it and being quids in?
The answer is simple, like most things in life, there are stumbling blocks and these can be big enough or challenging enough to put energy saving on the back burner. - BUT DON’T! There are tools out there that can easily help identify the what, where, how, when and why!
For example a Building Management System (BMS) is an ideal tool which highlights all the opportunities for energy reduction in one place – just what we like simple and very effective. A BMS will identify unnecessary use of utilities or energy and control it – especially energy intensive equipment, helping you to reduce usage and of course equally as important - reduce overall costs.
Controlling equipment such as heating, lighting, refrigeration and compressors can help improve energy reduction targets from 15 to 30 percent simply by using the equipment smartly. A BMS will ensure equipment is switched off when it is not being used at night, it can ensure your set point temperatures are maintained at a comfortable level and will make sure conflicting equipment, such as air conditioning and heating, aren’t being used at the same time.
But there is one other thing you need to think about, even with the powers of a BMS, that is of course, people.
Both the presence and absence of people can have a significant effect on how a BMS is used, and subsequently how efficient your building can be. I have seen on numerous occasions how staff can override a company’s set point control turning the temperature up or down and even prop open windows and doors. And when they leave a building, it is not uncommon for equipment to be left on simply through forgetfulness – which leads to energy being used unnecessarily.
An easy way of minimising, or even eliminating, this excess use is to use software to enhance the BMS function – engage the staff – empower the staff – if they can see how this all works and how their actions impact on the building’s energy performance they are more likely to think about their actions. Educate them in order to help them help you control the amount of energy being used.
Software like dashboards will showcase the energy being used – in an easily understandable way - to everyone. Displaying the team targets and comparing them against current performance in relation to these can enthuse staff in to being more energy efficient. Of course this all translates into monetary savings too which is good for everyone in the company.
So we should all go with the grain and make our own cuts where we can – and there is no easier place to start than the wasted energy in our buildings. With the right equipment and a collective approach there are plenty of savings to be made by us all!