Why building energy monitoring remains pivotal in 2022 and beyond

In the face of climate change and dwindling natural resources, energy conservation and carbon reduction is a major goal of the 21st Century.

Another driving factor is the rise of ESG (Environmental, Social, and Governance) issues. Driven by demands from consumers, investors and stakeholders, as well as regulatory change, ESG is reshaping the way that businesses of today operate.

According to a 2020 report by the World Health Organisation (WHO), it is essential that we decarbonise and transform our cities and buildings. Although this can be a complex process, digitalisation is a significant enabler of the carbon-reduction revolution.

The transformative potential of digitalisation became even more significant during the COVID-19 pandemic, which shows us how modern technology can provide a substitute for in-person tasks and interactions—and often a more efficient one at that. Similarly, embracing smart technology can help businesses, buildings, homes and cities reduce and optimise energy consumption.

The transformative potential of digitalisation became even more significant during the COVID-19 pandemic, which shows us how modern technology can provide a substitute for in-person tasks and interactions—and often a more efficient one at that. Similarly, embracing smart technology can help businesses, buildings, homes and cities reduce and optimise energy consumption.

What does energy efficiency look like?

Sustainable energy efficiency aims to minimise the amount of energy used without hindering economic growth or compromising our quality of life. This can include:

 Avoiding energy losses
Recycling and reusing various types of waste
Reducing energy demand
Using renewable sources

An energy monitoring and control system is a crucial ingredient in any energy efficiency strategy.

Deploying a smart building energy management system allows a building and its equipment to become more efficient and more environmentally friendly. Notably, the implementation of energy management solutions provides building and facility managers with comprehensive data that allows them to understand their current energy consumption and how it can be reduced and optimised in the future.

The role of an energy management system is to:

 Gather information from various energy sources and users
Monitor energy, demand and power quality
Analyse multivariable and single-variable data to identify problems and trends
Provide alerts if energy consumption goes beyond set parameters or if any failures in mechanical or electrical systems are detected
Integrate with the control systems to enable automation
Identify energy wastage
Benchmark the building’s energy consumption
Facilitate effective energy visualisation and analytics
Provide data dashboards and trends for energy consumption
Enable effective decision making

5 key benefits of a smart energy monitoring system:

Reduce energy consumption for both environmental and economic benefits
Reduce running costs through smart automation and control
Minimise maintenance and repair costs by picking up potential problems quickly
Improve the conditions and comfort levels for users of the building
Demonstrate ESG values

By monitoring energy supply 24/7, an energy monitoring system allows managers to reduce unnecessary wastage. For example, if excess solar energy is being produced but isn’t being used, there may be scope for the facility to reduce its reliance on the grid.

Energy management software collects all data into an online (often cloud-based) portal, presenting facility managers with the opportunity to manage their energy remotely through any connected device. This allows them to maintain control over high-voltage equipment and complex building operations from anywhere in the world. Instant alerts can notify managers of any irregular power supply issues or other energy discrepancies, allowing them to respond quickly when needed. In addition, automations remove many manual management tasks.

In the ESG space, climate change continues to be a leading consideration. In 2022 and beyond, the global transition towards net zero is likely to continue at pace. An energy management system has an important role to play in helping managers work towards net zero in both a micro and macro capacity.

IoT technology has become a business change accelerator. Facility and building managers of today can now employ smart technology to achieve net zero objectives. Armed with actionable data, they will be able to address energy consumption and efficiency both now and in the future.

Matthew Margetts

Matthew Margetts is a Director at Smarter Technologies and brings experience in media and technology spanning more than 25 years. His background includes working for blue-chip companies such as AppNexus, AOL/ Verizon, and Microsoft in the UK, Far East and Australia.

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