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More Data, Less Energy

Data drives us. In today’s ultra-connected world, more is more. I own multiple devices to stay connected: a desktop at work and at home. A blackberry for business use; an iPhone for personal.  Two tablets.  A PVR cable box.  A modem.  A smart TV (I’m still not sure what makes it smart!).  All of these devices are available a moments’ notice to connect, download and transmit. Assorted_smartphones[1]

The growing demand worldwide for network connected devices comes at a hefty price:  $80 Billion.  That is how much money the International Energy Agency estimates was wasted in 2013 due to inefficient networked devices worldwide.  In their latest report, More Data, Less Energy:  Making Network Standby More Efficient in Billions of Connected Devices, the IEA points to inefficient “network standby” mode as a major energy hog that will only get worse if it is not addressed by smart device manufacturers.  These networked devices wasted over 400 TWh of energy in 2013 – more than three times electricity that is used annually in Ontario.  To put this in perspective, our smart devices waste about as much energy on an annual basis as would be produced by 200 standard coal fired generators.  Individually, the waste is small – but when you string the problem together, these small inefficiencies add up to a huge opportunity for improvement.

Reading this report got me thinking about energy efficiency, and the methods successful efficiency programs utilize to drive tangible results.  Small, systematic inefficiencies can lead to big impacts on a company’s overall energy profile, but finding these inefficiencies can be a challenge without access to the right information and tools.

At Bruce Power Direct, my goal is to help my clients become empowered energy consumers and achieve their consumption related objectives. Through implementation of our Virtual Energy Manager (VEM), we are helping our clients develop and maintain comprehensive energy management plans, generating annual savings of 10-25% on their total electricity spend.  The good news is, most of my clients start with the low hanging fruit:  making small, systematic changes which add up to big savings.

Our online, cloud-based Virtual Energy Manager helps our clients by:

  • Collecting electricity usage data directly from the utilities, giving you access to your usage information;
  • Normalizing electricity usage information based on weather and consumption drivers to develop a baseline for usage;
  • Aggregating data across multiple locations to facilitate benchmarking and best practices;
  • Integrating with building and process automation systems to provide real time alerts for consumption related activities;
  • Doing all of this on a cloud-based platform, giving users access to the information they need no matter where they are.

Even small changes can have a large impact on electricity usage, but you can’t manage what you don’t measure!  Electricity is a variable cost that, through effective management, can be reduced by developing and executing a comprehensive energy management plan.

Energy analytics are an essential part of any energy management program. To learn more about energy analytics, and how you can harness data to find savings in your energy spend, download our whitepaper:  Harnessing big data to kick-start your energy management plan.

Contact me today today to learn more about our Virtual Energy Manager, and see for yourself how small changes to your energy profile can have a big impact on your bottom line.