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The growing demand for renewable and sustainable energy sources is pushing companies to manage their energy use. Industrial energy management is part of the smart built environment and should, according Ernst & Young, be seen as an important part of any smart building ecosystem.
Robin Kent, an energy industry professional, said that in the 1990s energy management was a ‘minority sport’ so attracting industry interest was difficult. However, given the 21st-century importance of saving the environment, energy management is at the forefront of smart building planning.
Energy Management techniques can be used across organisations and by following the right approach it’s possible to make substantial savings. Ultimately, it is the use of management and technology to improve an organisation’s energy performance. In order to live up to their name, intelligent buildings have utilised these techniques to manage energy effectively.
New intelligent buildings are emerging across Europe and use energy management systems to measure their energy efficiency and energy flow to make sure they stay high.
Managing energy has financial, environmental and reputational benefits. A study by Ernst & Young found that in the US alone a 20% reduction in commercial building energy usage and could save $80 billion annually on energy bills, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and create thousands of jobs.
Less energy use results in lower costs. The Carbon Trust found that companies could save up to 20% on fuel bills by investing in cost-effective measures and managing energy use.
Energy management increases occupant comfort. Smart office technology, ranging from lighting and productivity to heating, ventilation air conditioning (HVAC), ensures smart offices meet employees’ needs.
The Edge Building, a smart office building in Amsterdam, is very successful in employing energy management techniques. Using 70% less electricity than similar office buildings, it uses an aquifer thermal energy storage system for all the energy required for heating and cooling.
The building and its occupants are connected via an app that can help them adjust the environment in its smart offices based on individual preferences to light and temperature.
Carbon Dioxide is the top greenhouse gas emitted by most organisations. Energy management ties into the wider concern of carbon management which, in turn, links to the organisation’s overall environmental management.
One of the key pillars of a smart building environment is efficiency and health. The aim is to gain maximum results from each unit of energy used and to achieve the same outcomes using less energy.
Energy efficient buildings are those that provide a reduction of the energy needed for heating and cooling. 75% of an industrial unit’s heat is lost through building fabric, suggesting that modifications are necessary to reduce this.
Improving a building’s building fabric will reduce energy and maintenance costs, provide better temperature control throughout the building and lower capital expenditure as a more efficient building requires smaller or fewer heating and cooling systems.
30% of energy used in commercial buildings is wasted, according to Pangea, a global IoT company. With efficient management of energy this figure could drop, which is beneficial both financially and environmentally.
Remeha Commercial, the UK’s leading supplier of heating solutions, found that UK buildings are responsible for 18% of the nation’s total greenhouse gas emissions. The environmental impact of an inefficient energy system is alarming. Making your building energy efficient reduces its energy demand, making operating costs lower, whilst reducing the building’s carbon footprint.
Environmental policies are on the rise, and in order to remain ‘intelligent’, buildings have to comply. A building that is energy efficient would face no difficulty in complying with regulation, increasing its overall productivity.
A building that is deemed environmentally aware gains sustainable credentials and is recognised for ethical operation. Given the importance placed on climate change in the 21st century, there is large profit in investing in an environmentally friendly strategy.
Using energy management software, businesses across Europe are transforming their offices into smart ones. With proven decreases in cost, and inevitable decreases in their carbon footprints, big companies are slowly turning to energy management as the solution.