In my last post, I discussed the issue of ROI for our Vitality Energy Analytics system and I talked generally about the importance of using analytics data in your decision-making processes. In this post, let’s take a look at some specific ways in which analytics can help you save money.
1. Peak Demand Reduction: For most commercial/industrial power users, demand is a significant if not majority portion of the power bill charges. What you might not know is that most of that demand charge is usually based on the demand spike levels during the highest 15-minute period of the billing cycle. Utilizing a good energy analytics system, you can know where those spikes come from and when they happen. This can often allow you to make one or two simple changes to timing or procedures that can have a dramatic impact on your bill.
2. Alerts: If an underground water pipe breaks, for example, you might have no way of knowing until either the ground collapses around it or the next bill arrives. Real-time metering with analytics, on the other hand, will immediately see an unusual jump in water consumption and send you an alert. This is just one example of how energy analytics can alert you to a situation early enough to fix it before it causes further damage or spikes your utility bill.
3. Power Factor Monitoring: Low power factor indicates inefficient utilization of power and contributes to the demand penalties on your bill. That inefficiency reduces your system’s capacity and contributes to premature electrical component failures. Energy analytics will let you know when a relatively small investment in power factor correction equipment can save you big money on your bill, on plant expansion and on equipment repair and replacements.
4. Maintenance: We all know that break-downs during a production run can be very costly. Idled employees, product destruction, scheduling delays and emergency repairs all contribute to those costs. Energy analytics might not be able to prevent all down-time events but they can provide your maintenance team with information and warnings that will help them spot potential problems before they cause production failures. Repairs during regularly scheduled maintenance are much easier and less costly.
Finally, I might suggest that a smart marketing department could find several ways to use this information to illustrate how your company is doing its part to be environmentally responsible. Analytics and energy savings look really good on social media.