Three Ways You Can Control Energy Use 24/7

20 January 2017

Whether your business operates 24 hours a day or is only open during certain hours and days, controlling energy use is a never-ending consideration. A light left on while all your employees and customers are at home sleeping and the building is locked, for example, costs money and reduces your profits. When you scale this up to multiple lights, multiple days, other equipment, heating, and all other factors that impact energy use, the costs can be significant.

The solution is to exercise as much 24/7 control over energy use as possible.

Monitor Use

You can start by gaining an understanding of when your business uses energy. When you understand this you can then look at whether that use can be modified without negatively impacting business operations.

You can only do this effectively, however, in conjunction with the next point. In fact, monitoring your energy use is an important element in all of the following points. For example, by monitoring energy use you can identify problems or unexpected spikes that you can investigate further.

Understand Your Tariffs

Do you know how your energy provider charges you? For example, what is the difference in price at various times of the day? How much do prices fluctuate? Do you even know the business electricity prices per kWh or the current business gas rate you are being charged?

Spending time getting a full understanding of your energy bills will help you reduce the amount you spend.

Let's use an example of a business that creates its own energy through solar panels (or other on-site technology) as well as using electricity from a supplier. It could decide to use the electricity it generates on-site at peak times after monitoring how and when the business uses electricity in general, and understanding how its supplier charges for that use.

You could also make changes to the way your business operates to lower the cost of the energy you use. For example, you could alter your times of operation or change the time or order of certain processes so there is less use of electricity at times when charges are at their highest.

Automate Your Use

Instead of leaving it up to people to control their electricity and heating use, you can control this automatically. You can do this through a number of technologies, such as motion activated lighting and doors as well as timers and thermostats.

The most sophisticated systems give you a lot of control. For example, you can zone your buildings so that heating is based on need rather than simply being on or off. You can also use lighting systems that control the amount of light that is emitted. For example, the system will lower lights during the day when natural light is there to supplement it and will then automatically turn the lights up as it gets darker.

The most modern systems let you monitor a lot of these functions remotely, making them ideal for multi-site operations.

The key factor in all the points above is being more proactive about energy use. When you do this, it’s much easier to reduce it.

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