Businesses of all sizes have felt the effects of burgeoning energy prices in recent years. The emergence from lockdown and, more recently, the Russian invasion of Ukraine has dramatically pushed up prices - and affected profitability - for Britons. Price increases have been seen across Europe, but the UK’s energy prices remain higher than comparable economies.
The statistics are meteoric, with natural gas prices rising 96% between July 2021 and July 2022. Additionally, analysts predicted that electricity prices could exceed £5 000 later into spring 2023. The price spike has been attributed, in part, to Britain’s reliance on natural gas, which generates around 40% of the nation’s electricity.
Businesses are set to feel additional pressure as the government scales back energy subsidies for businesses by about 85% in the next financial year. The new programme means businesses will have to foot the bill for rising energy costs rather than the government, which is worrying at a time of such price volatility.
THE SMART WILL SURVIVE
Businesses have long experienced environmental and commercial pressures to reduce energy consumption. However, this is something of a watershed moment for businesses - a time to get smarter about energy. Technology and the power of data are set to power businesses who use these tools intelligently into the future.
Smart energy monitoring solutions - like those from Smarter Technologies Group - are simple, scalable, and affordable for most businesses. By creating a digital twin of your energy profile, users are given a low-risk method for monitoring usage, identifying wastage, and developing strategies for reduced consumption and a reduced carbon footprint.
Businesses stand to enjoy a range of commercial energy management benefits, whether they are looking for tighter controls around peak usage or to long-term planning and strategy. Advanced metering provides real-time insights into how energy is used and a platform for analysis and data-driven decision-making, predictions and forecasting - and it paves the way for automation.
One of the major drivers for transformation to smart buildings and smart cities is the demand for efficiency and resource preservation. With this in mind, a key component of smart buildings will always be smart energy monitoring, which will optimise existing systems and guide the way for the switch to renewable and alternative energy sources.
STEEPER GROUP: SMART ENERGY MONITORING IN PRACTICE FOR EVIDENCED SAVINGS
Steeper Group provides technologies and products in the field of prosthetics, orthotics, and assistive technologies. As the tenant, Steeper Group worked alongside Royal London Investment Management to improve efficiencies and save money on their energy spend through the implementation of smart energy monitoring systems.
Smart electricity and gas monitoring systems were installed, which provide real-time energy consumption monitoring and access to historical data for analysis and action. Prior to the installation of these systems, they had used supplier invoices for insights, which often contained inaccuracies and lacked the detail required to make meaningful, empirical changes.
The Steeper team also had a hypothesis that energy consumption could be reduced by isolating unused processes and sought to prove this by testing its Regenerative Thermal Oxidizer across 16 processes.
The following results were recorded:
● 40% reduced gas consumption: 3500 kWh of gas was saved per week by eliminating previously unidentified usage that was taking place on dormant days, as well as unnecessary heating. These sources of usage would have remained undetected if not for the use of smart energy monitoring solutions.
● Reduced energy consumption on process testing: By isolating processes, they were able to measure the effect of this on consumption and realised they could save up to 40% on their gas consumption through the implementation of an isolation regime. This regime is anticipated to reduce gas usage from 298kW per hour to 188kW per hour and electricity usage from 38kW per hour to 19kW per hour.
As a result of this, Steeper Group experienced cost savings and reduced emissions. Royal London Investment Management had access to tools that assisted with their environmental, social, and governance obligations and reporting.
OTHER BENEFITS FROM MAKING THE SHIFT TO SMARTER
● Aids in accurate billing and streamlined administration.
● Allows for improved flexibility in response to changing market conditions and volatility.
● Utilisation of a load balancing adapter means greater responsiveness when it comes to power outages and surges - with two-way communication capabilities providing remote control abilities.
● Inspires action from insights around electricity leakages and other factors to help reduce wear and tear.
● Together with other smart technologies, make decisions around heating, cooling, and other processes that not only benefit workplace conditions for employees and customers, but do so as efficiently as possible.
● Smart, digitally evolved processes are a strong saleable point for businesses. Outside of this, a technology-driven commitment to sustainable change is a strong marketable point in generating business and appealing to a more conscientious buying public.