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Beyond Savings: The Environmental Impact of Energy Monitoring Systems Muthuraj Marimuthu April 22, 2024

Beyond Savings: The Environmental Impact of Energy Monitoring Systems

Energy monitoring systems not only save money. They bring significant environmental benefits by providing precise data on energy usage. As a result, organisations can make informed decisions about their consumption, leading to more sustainable practices and reduced environmental impact.

Of course, there’s now the looming threat of financial penalties for non-compliance with reporting requirements. In fact, a survey conducted last year showed that 60% of UK companies were set to miss an important reporting deadline.

Participants included 800 businesses that had at least 250 employees, in many sectors including retail, manufacturing, pharma, logistics, and construction. The general consensus was that there’s significant uncertainty about measurement and reporting under the new European Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (CSRD). In fact, 27% of leaders reported feeling worried.

(While the CSRD only applies to EU member states, there are situations in which it can impact British companies. Our alternative are the UK Sustainability Disclosure Standards, but it’s not confirmed when these will be in place.)

Thankfully, there are solutions that make reporting far easier. In this article, we’ll uncover how energy monitoring systems not only save money and help companies stay compliant, but also report their compliance accurately – so they never miss any deadlines.

How Do Energy Monitoring Systems Reduce Energy Waste?

Energy monitoring software – such as our invoice validation and analytics platform – uses billing data to enhance energy efficiency through the analysis of invoiced energy consumption. As such, it gives organisations a basis for troubleshooting inefficient consumption patterns. Here’s how it works.

Detailed Consumption Reports

Such software generates detailed reports that break down energy usage by site, time of day, type of energy, and specific billing periods. These reports help businesses understand when and where energy is used most, allowing for targeted interventions.

For example, if the software identifies peak usage during off-hours when a building should be using minimal energy, this can indicate opportunities for reducing waste; perhaps energy-saving practises are being neglected, for example, or assets are performing poorly.

Our software can be scaled to hundreds of thousands of meter points for the ultimate visibility.

Trend Identification

The historical analysis of billing data can identify trends in consumption over time. This might include seasonal variations or unexpected spikes in usage. Recognising these patterns helps companies anticipate higher costs and investigate the underlying causes of fluctuations in order to address inefficiencies.

Benchmarking

The software can compare energy usage across different sites or departments, establishing benchmarks for typical consumption. This is particularly useful for organisations with multiple locations, allowing them to identify which sites perform best. They can then study the best practices of more efficient sites and implement similar strategies elsewhere.

Supporting Renewable Energy

Energy monitoring systems can significantly enhance the integration and utilisation of renewables. Here are several ways in which it can help.

Matching Renewable Energy Production to Usage

For businesses that generate their own energy on site through solar panels, for example, the software enables them to track the amount of energy produced versus the amount consumed.

If the amount of non-renewables used is sub-optimal, businesses can maximise their use of on-site generated energy and reduce reliance on non-renewable sources.

Verification of Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs)

Energy management software can verify that the amount of RECs purchased matches the amount of renewable energy claimed in the energy bills, ensuring accuracy, transparency, and compliance.

Load Balancing

Through the analysis of consumption patterns and the intermittent nature of renewables production, software can help in planning load balancing strategies.

This may involve shifting high-energy processes to coincide with high production times from renewable sources or using battery storage systems more effectively.

For example, energy-intensive practises like manufacturing processes or data centre operations could be scheduled during the hours when solar power generation is at its highest.

Financial Analysis

Some analytics tools can calculate the financial impact of using renewable energy by comparing the costs of generating or purchasing it versus purchasing traditional sources. It can provide detailed billing insights that show the cost-effectiveness of renewables over time, taking into account potential government incentives and feed-in tariffs, among other factors.

Compliance and Reporting

With governments worldwide imposing ever-stricter regulations on carbon emissions and energy efficiency, organisations need a straightforward way to collect the necessary data in order to stay compliant. Energy monitoring systems are invaluable tools for doing so – and for simplifying the reporting process.

Scope 1, 2 and 3 Emissions

It’s important to use a system that generates accurate reports for scope 1,2 and 3 emissions. These categories are defined by the Greenhouse Gas Protocol, the most widely used international approach for measuring and managing GHG emissions.

The scopes define emissions from different sources. Here’s what each one pertains to:

  • Scope 1: These emissions come directly from sources an organisation owns or controls. This includes emissions from vehicles or industrial processes using equipment the company owns.
  • Scope 2: These emissions are indirecte., they are the result of the company’s activity but from sources they do not own or control. In fact, it mainly pertains to the emissions from utility providers; the idea is that although the emissions occur at the utility’s plant, they are a result of the organisation’s own consumption.
  • Scope 3:These are all other indirect emissionsthat occur in the company’s value chain. They can include emissions related to purchased goods and services, waste disposal, transport (such as employee commuting and other business travel), and distribution (with vehicles not owned or controlled by the organisation).

Our solution ensures accurate reporting for all scopes.

Conclusion

The benefits of energy monitoring and validation extends far beyond simple cost savings. Through precise data collection and the actionable insights that result, monitoring systems pave the way for significant environmental improvements.

They play a crucial role in reducing energy waste, providing the means for troubleshooting and benchmarking across sites, and they support the adoption and optimisation of renewables. They also help ensure compliance through their automatic and accurate collection of data, and their reporting capabilities.

On the whole, such software not only helps companies stay within the boundaries of compliant energy use, it also helps them to be proactive in their environmental responsibilities, going beyond the minimum standards to achieve greater levels of sustainability.

To request a demo of our platform, Optii, or learn more about our range of Bureau Services, contact ustoday.

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