Optimizing Energy Use With Data Tracking Technology
How much energy is your business or office really using? This can be a difficult question to answer, and without accurate technology we can oftentimes find that energy use is underestimated and can even be the driving factor in many expenses.
Tracking energy usage and emissions from buildings facilities (both internal and external) can provide a business with a comprehensive look at how and where their energy is going and how emissions are impacted, allowing for change to be made if necessary.
Digital twins, the Internet of Things (IoT) are two of the primary pillars of technology that will emerge as anchoring data tracking practices for built environments in the future.
Using Data for Change
How often do you make an important decision without any conducting any research, or at the very least deliberating on the facts and information you have at the current moment?
Probably not often, and if you have, these decisions may not have turned out the way you expected.
Making informed decisions is a must for businesses and those who are tasked with keeping the organization (and its offices) running smoothly. This is where data collection and analysis technology come into play, giving management the foundation needed to make sound decisions regarding their facilities and how to guide them to more sustainable practices.
To put it plainly – it’s a lot easier to hit a target when you know where to aim.
Advantages to data collection
Data collection gives facilities managers and decision makers a direction or targets to aim their efforts at. In the case of energy use and emissions, it is vital to track and see in real-time and with modelling how a building or office environment is using energy and at what levels.
Over time things inevitably adjust and change with ever-evolving circumstances, and data collection software allows facilities managers to see how their energy use has changed over time and where it may require some more attention. This is done without clipboards and logbooks and through easy-to-use software solutions.
Using these solutions and tracking carbon emissions gives the opportunity to see what story the data tells, and create an action plan to address any issues that the data may present to a business’s emissions targets.
Sustainability & data analysis
Sustainability and sustainable practices when talking about emissions, energy use and climate-friendly efforts are dictated by consistency and following a plan. True consistency in climate sustainable actions is much easier to adhere to when there is comprehensive, real-time data on the things you are setting out to change and measure.
Executives and businesses around the world are feeling the pressure to incorporate sustainability and climate into their bottom line, to do this, companies such as IBM are using data and informatics to optimize across the board from supply chain to office operations. In doing so, companies are integrating climate-friendly action and data monitoring into their business practices to become more sustainable in the long-term.
Using information gathered from technologies such as IoT and digital twins increases the accuracy of information while shaping it into palatable forms that can be used to assess a full portfolio.
Data Analysis technology
Data analysis has been revolutionized by the advent of new technologies like IoT and Digital Twins, which are perfectly suited for businesses and organizations looking to improve sustainability practices.
In cases such as New York City – where up to 70% of pollution stems from buildings, there is a push to integrate sensor technology (IoT) to help bring down emissions levels and reduce energy consumption in buildings.
Knowing just where, when, and how much energy is being used and the products of these systems can make a significant difference in how sustainable energy practices are approached going forward. Cities and urban areas could soon see widespread integration of digital twin technologies and the advent of “smart cities”.
Analyzing energy goals
Of course, while technology can be used to improve emissions and energy use, energy goals must be analyzed and reviewed consistently, and adjustments made accordingly to continue to improve and remain within set ranges.
Data collection must be used to set and meet energy and emissions goals by using technology, and this process continues to remain sustainable while improving and working to eventually hit the ideal goal of net zero.
Digital twins can present physical assets at the core of energy and emissions processes – energy plants themselves. Using digital twins and ensuring efficiency in the production of energy with the least emissions possible will help bring down carbon emissions if the energy we use is produced in a sustainable manner.
Research suggests that this technology could help to reduce carbon emissions by 50%, with clean city projects are being piloted in cities around the United States already in areas such as Pheonix and Las Vegas.
While digital twins present data on the physical environment in modelling, IoT connects the built environments and systems within it together ensuring that they operate smoothly, oftentimes automated, while collecting information.
IoT technology links systems and sensors such as heating, lighting, air conditioning and even doors/occupancy all to a central system and can be set to stay within a certain range or time frame to condense the use of energy and mitigate emissions.
Comprehensive systems like IoT give facilities managers and businesses easy access and control over their emissions and can help bring things into sustainable ranges quickly.
Energy and emissions will continue to be a major focus point in built environments for the rest of our lives. Technology is emerging and improving in order to help us meet goals and optimize energy use while still meeting our needs.
Horizant specializes in IWMS and solutions that can help your business optimize operations and meet your energy or emissions targets and make your organization environmentally sustainable while you chase the ever-important net zero target.