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Energy bills are a major expense for consumers and corporations alike. Using an energy management system can help both shave an enormous amount of money on their annual expenditure, as well as reduce their carbon footprint.
Commercial and residential properties are undergoing an energy management revolution. Steps are being to transform the energy efficiency of buildings from the ground up, with a number of innovative energy management solutions emerging. These are designed to improve sustainability, energy efficiency and significantly reduce costs.
Organisations can utilise energy management software in their commercial properties. A holistic building management system can measure, monitor and gather data about energy usage, allowing building managers to make informed decisions about lighting, computer and HVAC systems, while more sophisticated technology can totally automate the process using information about building usage and occupancy.
This is particularly important when it comes to HVAC systems, which typically account for around 40% of total building energy consumption. Proper heating and ventilation can, in turn, improve wellbeing for staff, meaning a proper energy management system can benefit the environment, the balance sheet and health.
Similarly, lighting control systems can use meters and sensors to control daytime lighting according to the occupancy of a building, and the particular time of day, week and year. This can also apply to outdoor lighting. Ultimately, such a system could reduce lighting costs by up to 30% annually
Building management systems can even detect inefficiencies within devices, letting facilities managers know when to replace or upgrade faulty equipment demonstrating poor energy usage. This kind of smart office technology is rapidly becoming the bread and butter of commercial facilities management.
Smart meters are now becoming commonplace. The UK government’s stated ambition is for energy suppliers to installer smart meters in every home in England, Wales and Scotland by the end of 2020 and for good reason.
Consumers can use these meters to dramatically reduce both energy usage and costs. They feature graphical displays that give users detailed information about energy use, send meter readings automatically to suppliers (giving consumers more accurate bills), and give them more options when setting central heating and water heating schedules.
Other energy management solutions seek to redesign the house from the ground up. Germany has developed an innovative concept for energy-efficient housing. The so-called passive house (Passivhaus) reduces a building’s carbon footprint using ‘superinsulation’, solar panels, triple-glazed windows and heat exchanges. A passive house is well insulated and effectively air-tight, meaning it doesn’t require a conventional heating system, minimising energy loss.
Passive houses have a homogenous interior temperature and lose less heat than a typical house. Many are equipped with sustainable lightning, low-energy light sources and motion detection sensors, as well as an efficient electrical appliance, to maximise energy usage.