Blog, Facilities Management, Mechanical & Electrical (M&E)

Energy – If You Can’t Measure it, You Can’t Manage it!

Before you embark on a major project to reduce energy consumption, do you know where you currently use energy? That is the vital starting point, as RFM’s Client Services Director Mark Flanagan explains.

The last ten years have brought about fundamental changes to commercial energy usage – both in new legislation, such as the Carbon Reduction Commitment Energy Efficiency Scheme (CRC) and ESOS phase 2 (Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme), and also with increasingly tight budgets resulting in expenditure cuts. The findings from a recent energy report* revealed that companies rate energy management and reducing energy consumption as important to their business (7.4 out of 10) but monitoring consumption as only fairly important (5.6 out of 10) in this process.

*Business Energy Statistical Summary, July 2019

black transmission towers under green sky

Regardless of the different energy targets, each organisation strives to meet, access to accurate and comprehensive data underpins the instigation of an effective energy-management strategy. How can businesses decide on the most effective methods of reducing their usage without first analysing where inefficiencies currently lie? How can you manage it if you can’t measure it?

Energy Consumption as the Starting Point

By using energy consumption as the starting point, businesses can be advised on the most appropriate energy-saving measures to install. Monitoring and targeting software, like RFM’s Energy Sense product, can help identify ideas of potential energy reduction, therefore enabling the board to ensure it invests in the right areas. Businesses looking to improve their energy efficiency should look for a reputable installer that can survey the building, specify the products and system design, and provide programmable installation, commissioning and lifecycle maintenance. For example, RFM’s Energy Sense proposition covers all these aspects, offering a seamless solution for organisations committed to meeting energy reduction targets and incorporating a wealth of strategic, passionate energy reduction partners.

gray GE volt meter at 414

Energy Sense supports the work of our Facilities division, as energy and building managers can monitor specific energy usage and record the improvements brought about by the new measures by working with the RFM facilities team. Monitoring software tracks business-specific key performance indicators set by the individual building manager so that not only can the effectiveness of a particular initiative be measured and its level of success fed back to the board, but it also allows energy managers to monitor, measure and minimise their consumption in line with energy-reduction costs and measures, all from the comfort of their desktop.

Energy monitoring software also allows facilities managers to spot any discrepancies and spikes in energy usage which can highlight any problem equipment and can also indicate if building users or tenants have tampered with manual controls or switches. This is particularly useful for buildings such as schools, which are empty for several weeks of the year, as energy levels can be set to an unoccupied mode, and monitoring can ensure the building is kept at the optimum temperature for energy efficiency throughout the break. For the same reasons, monitoring software can also be effective in managed offices, shopping centres, manufacturing sites as both data and energy usage can be identified floor by floor, via sub-meter installation for individual tenants or divisions. Simple, inexpensive and effective.

Do you know where your energy is being used?

A feature of Energy Sense monitoring software is that it can be used to highlight which sites in a company’s portfolio are performing best against their energy reduction targets, effectively in a league table. The sites are categorised in red, amber or green depending on their performance, providing an at-a-glance view on energy reduction progress to any organisation.

landscape of city buildings during night

Regardless of the size or function of the organisation, being able to personalise what and how their energy-management system monitors and reports are vital. An accurate energy-monitoring system is also important for companies taking part in the CRC and ESOS. Using the Energy Sense approach, facilities managers can set up alarms to alert them in terms of cost, carbon or consumption. This means they can track their progress against forecasted emissions and ensure they stay within the purchased emissions allowances.

The comprehensive work of the RFM Facilities division supports organisations both in their compliance with current energy legislation and helps to implement long-term practical goals to deliver energy savings and carbon reductions. While complying with energy legislation is a growing focus for facilities managers, businesses must focus on the bigger picture of ensuring energy efficiency remains a focus and that energy emissions and costs are reduced as a result, we see these compliance measures only increasing.

With the latest initiative just being released by the Chancellor, businesses and public buildings (including school upgrades) now have a £3bn pot to utilise in improving energy efficiency and also carbon reduction, give RFM a call to discuss how we can assist you to tap into this funding!

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