In order to reduce electricity costs, you need to understand where you’re wasting energy – you can’t manage what you can’t measure. There are several simple steps any business can take to identify possible sources of wastage and reduce their energy consumption to help achieve cheap business electricity bills.
The Carbon Trust recommends implementing an energy metering, monitoring and targeting (MM&T) information system to structure your business electricity management1. The system is made up of a cycle of the following stages:
- Data capture, including dependent variable such as weather conditions
- Conversion of data to information through analysis
- Conversion of information to knowledge through communication
- Action to eliminate waste and improve business electricity efficiency
Here’s a brief guide on how to conduct MM&T in your business:
The key here is taking regular readings and comparing them with previous months to monitor consumption. It’s important to bear in mind that weather conditions will affect consumption – colder months, for example, will naturally see a rise in energy usage. In manufacturing, it can also be helpful to measure energy use against output by taking a meter reading before and after production of a single item. In office spaces, this can be done against staff numbers or floor space. If your business operates during standard hours, you could take a reading on Friday night and Monday morning to try and identify any possible wastage during the weekend.
There are several types of advanced meter systems which can make the measures outlined above even simpler. Half-hourly meters capture a reading every 30 minutes and can be very useful in analysing advanced usage patterns. Sub-meters can help you focus on individual areas or processes. Small loads can be measured by plug-in meters that sit between a socket and an appliance plug, and can be very helpful in identifying inefficient appliances and equipment.
All businesses and homes are expected to have smart electricity and gas meters installed within the next ten years. Smart meters produce comparisons to live readings in real-time for an instant image of energy consumption. This can help businesses tailor their consumption to make best use of off-peak times. The live reading is automatically sent to the suppliers to ensure accuracy. British Gas Businessis the leading supplier of smart meters with over 200,000 businesses already signed in the United Kingdom.
The Carbon Trust can assist in performing a walk-round survey of your business that will help identify potential wastage problems and inefficient equipment and appliances.
If technology is integral part of your business, don’t compromise on that. Go with the best company that can deliver services like cloud computing and high speed network availability so that it does not affect your day to day business.
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