One of the difficulties of visualising the benefits of remote monitoring is trying to put it into the context of daily business. Once remote monitoring is in place you can clearly see the return in the form of empirical evidence, first hand experience and clear reporting; which all relate directly to your energy costs. Once in place, the return on your (in many cases surprisingly) minor investment are evidenced clearly. However looking at the process initially requires a bit of a leap of conceptualisation that is not always easy to do.
We will be posting some case studies shortly but for the moment, let’s look at a typical scenario and see how the installation of remote monitoring fits into the overall picture.
We will start with a nice thought – the weekend. For most businesses, regardless of size, the weekend means at least a partial shutdown. Even the larger institutions we deal with tend to at least partially close some manufacturing and it is rare to see the offices and support areas running over the traditional shutdown period.
With a traditional monitoring system you receive your periodic bill and at best, you probably only see a night and day rate for your use of main utilities. This really tells you very little. If for the month of the bill you have had infrequent night shifts or overtime for example they are in the overall mass of your final figure. This is where remote monitoring comes into play.
You close down on Friday evening and head off for the weekend secure in the knowledge that the system is keeping track of your usage. During your shut down period we are monitoring your electricity, gas and other utilities to see if they are reducing by the level you would expect.
Let’s assume that a machine or heating system is not shutting down quickly, efficiently or even at all. Your monitoring report will now show you where and when that usage is occurring. From there you can investigate the local source of the use. Something as simple as a few rooms being heated when they are unpopulated can result in a significant spend. The loose formula of 1Kw consumption per Kw of heat is a good measure. If you have someone doing something as understandable as leaving on the heat over a winter weekend shutdown with a group of 4 heaters in an office with a 2 Kw burn each, you will see that use in the report. That is 62 hours (x4) of potentially unneeded heat at 2kw an hour, or a rough total of 496 Kw of energy use. Assume you have a low night rate (let’s say 8p a Kw) then you would burn around £40 of unneeded energy. It doesn’t seem a lot – but multiply that by a year and throw in holidays and other shutdown periods and you are up to over £2000. With a remote monitoring system you can see exactly where your utilities are being used and just as importantly when.
So that’s a simple potential scenario where remote monitoring would clearly see this increased energy use, and you could use that information to plan your energy strategy by putting procedures in place to stop potential waste. If you think about the potential wastage in more complex environments such as hotels or large manufacturing installations, you start to really appreciate just how much a call to discuss remote monitoring could save you.