You may have heard this term occasionally - Energy management. Yet, this term seems elusive, as you may question what it really means, as well as the steps you as an individual or a business entity can adopt to start on your energy-saving journey.
A trend has emerged in the recent years, where small and medium enterprises and businesses are keen in engaging in energy management for cost savings. However, SMEs may find it challenging to source for adequate and proper equipment and technology to kickstart this process due to the fragmentation of the market which leads to energy management providers' inability to cater to them.
What. Simply put, energy management is the process of monitoring, controlling and conserving energy in a business.
Why. With the ongoing labour crunch and subsequent increases in foreign levy and labour cost, SMEs are becoming more price sensitive. Energy management may thus provide businesses with an answer to reduce unnecessary costs due to electricity leakage and waste, and emerge to be more competitive and sustainable in the long term. In fact, waiting for an energy problem to exacerbate in severity before tackling the issue could end up being extremely costly.
How. There are both active and passive energy improvements in energy management.
Passive improvements usually include one-off efforts that could help individuals and businesses save on energy cost. This could include investing in energy efficient appliances for your business. You may refer to this link (KIV landing page) for some of our recommended energy-efficient appliances for your F&B business.
Active improvements on the other hand, require concerted long term commitment to ensure that it continues to deliver a benefit. The Intraix Shield Package offers an energy monitoring system to help businesses monitor their electricity budget and track the efficiency of their appliances. According to research published by Schneider Electric in their 2011 White Paper, close monitoring of energy usage is required in order to effectively manage electricity consumption. In fact, a study conducted by the Energy Saving Trust Organisation in the United Kingdom discovered that energy usage of households and businesses fall by between 5% to 15% within the first year of employing an energy monitoring system. This is because energy monitoring provides its users with greater awareness of their energy consumption, prompting behavioural changes. These figures can be extrapolated into Singapore’s context in order to help us understand the importance of having an energy management system.
As noted, managing energy consumption is challenging without the ability to track it. With businesses eager to receive bill alerts and plans that make their bills more predictive, as well as their mounting interest in devices to help manage and track electricity use, Intraix Shield’s detailed software analytics comprising of interval energy data allows for the accurate monitoring of electricity usage, providing SMEs with beneficial insights to reduce their electrical costs. According to EnergyLens, using the interval energy data is the most ideal method to find routine energy waste, and the associated energy savings.
For example, with reference to the above image, businesses will be able to gather valuable information on the days and timings where there was a spike in energy usage, and identify the appliances or unhealthy practices that resulted in such a record.
This trove of information that businesses have on hand can then help them make calculated changes in their energy consumption behaviour. Businesses can, for instance:
Use the interval data to calculate the amount of energy (in kWh) used during the off-peak business hours.
Estimate the proportion of that energy that is being wasted (by equipment that should be switched off).
Using the figures from 1 and 2, calculate an estimate of the total kWh that are wasted.
Further, with the purchases of goods and materials being the largest expenditure for majority of the F&B establishments in Singapore, it should be a priority for these businesses to ensure that they minimise spoilage or damage of their goods and materials.
Intraix Shield package would thus come in as a handy tool as it is able to keep businesses informed of any power failures! This would ensure that remedial efforts can be undertaken with immediate effect upon notification. For F&B businesses, this could be especially important in preventing your fresh ingredients from turning bad, equating to cost minimisation! As Singstat had published, F&B establishments spent $2774.4 million on goods and materials in 2014 alone. Surely, isn’t an effective energy monitoring system that could potentially save an outlet hundreds if not thousands of dollars be a worthy investment?