How Automated Analytics Tools Drive Energy Savings Without Tying Up Resources

The advantages of gathering energy data are pretty clear for most businesses. The more data you have, the better you’ll be able to identify opportunities to save money.

But getting from the data to the insights requires time and expertise—two things your staff does not have to spare finding energy opportunities. Time spent manually gathering, analyzing, and reporting data to identify cost-saving opportunities is time that isn’t spent on their other priorities. This is how energy management—an obvious need at large enterprises of all kinds—gets overlooked so often. You know your business can cut energy costs by making a few changes, but looking for and capitalizing on these opportunities is a resource-intensive process.

That’s why so many large businesses with significant energy needs are turning to tools that automate the process and turn potential cost-saving opportunities into a reality. Designed with input from data scientists and energy analysis experts, energy intelligence software (EIS) uses complex algorithms to compare data across facilities, send automated alerts of valuable energy-saving opportunities, and make it easy to put them into action.

Let’s look at an example.

When Automated Analytics Drives Real Results

One commercial real estate firm sought out EIS to help uncover ways to identify energy waste and increase overall profitability. Without the adequate tools, staff would have had to collect and analyze interval data across all of their sites. Anyone at any large organization knows how time-consuming this process can be. Considering the pressures of the day-to-day responsibilities for facilities staff, completing that process manually was unlikely at best.

That’s where automated data analytics tools make a difference. For this company in particular, the data showed dozens of opportunities, one of which was high daily energy consumption that didn’t correlate with operational needs. Specifically, many of the buildings were starting up their energy-intensive HVAC systems hours earlier than occupants were arriving to the building, wasting a significant amount of energy cooling empty buildings.

An opportunity was automatically surfaced to the company that included savings calculations and recommendations for how to implement, which spared the company from a large amount of investigation and analysis. An energy advisor followed up on the opportunity with the relevant staff members at the company to help remove any final barriers to implementation. Before long, the company adjusted scheduled startup times at its buildings to align energy usage with occupants’ actual needs.

The end result: buildings stopped using unnecessary energy, the company significantly reduced costs across its portfolio of properties, and neither the buildings’ occupants nor staff were affected in the process.

These kinds of capabilities—like automated analytics that provide detailed recommendations for changes to reduce energy costs—are driving businesses to take a more proactive approach to energy. Last year, Deloitte released a survey of more than 600 decision makers at large US companies that found 79% believe reducing electricity costs is necessary to remain competitive in their markets and 93% have allocated budget to energy management in the past three years.

With the right tools, any business can elevate its energy strategy—all without disrupting productivity.

Learn more about the software that's changing the way businesses look at energy with our free guide.
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Authored By Clay Waters

Clay Waters is the Practice Lead of Advisory Services at EnerNOC.

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