Intelligent Bureau - Internet of Things (IoT) thought leadership

Brin Sheridan, Chief Operating Officer at Utilitywise PLC, one of the UK's largest and leading independent utility cost management companies, comments on how modern day energy bureaus can reduce energy consumption of HVAC systems.

Historically standard bureaus would review utilities metering data to assess and identify inefficiencies in building and equipment performance and consumption. This data analysis allows the bureau team to deliver insights, allowing businesses to make changes to the way in which they operate or manage their buildings/equipment with the aim of reducing utilities costs and consumption. 

This facility in identifying and managing inefficiencies such as out of hours consumption, high base loads or peaks in consumption due to poor maintenance or dirty filters in air conditioning systems for example is fast becoming the norm as UK businesses become more aware of the ability to map and interpret utilities metering data against building and equipment performance to identify inefficiencies in consumption and therefore waste, in costs.

The modern day energy bureau provides all this and much more as not only are insights around inefficiencies in equipment and building performance identified and delivered as actionable insights to the maintenance teams, the modern day energy bureau brings into the mix, utilities market intelligence as well as experience around procurement contracts. This additional service, enables businesses to reap additional savings not only from the improved performance of their buildings but from their utilities bill.

At Utilitywise we embrace the opportunities for our clients in delivering this modern day energy bureau.  We believe bureaus that bring together maintenance efficiencies, consumption monitoring, utilities market intelligence and procurement contract expertise deliver more savings and benefits for business owners now and for the future.

  • We bring in our extended knowledge of the energy markets and trends as well as procurement contracts to work with our customers to reap greater savings from their utilities bills.
  • We look at utilities data to improve building and equipment performance, feed maintenance teams information to aid in proactive preventative maintenance programmes and provide the case for BeMS/controls.
  • We can identify inefficiencies in consumption, quantify their effect on the utilities bill and validate the improvements achieved through controls and changes in equipment operations.
  • We also consider the make up of the procurement contracts to allow our customers to benefit from time of day tariffs. This is done by shifting and shedding load when utilities consumption per kWh is greatest (known as DUoS and TRiAD avoidance).

The modern day bureau should offer building owners and occupiers the ability to reduce inefficiencies in performance, manage out of hours’ consumption but also shift or shed consumption when prices at that time of the day are greatest.  Forward thinking and intelligent energy bureaus like ours, can also control consumption and cost while looking forward to market changes. With our ability to undertake long term forecasting, we can also predict future utilities bills for our customers and when we factor in their controls around time of day tariffs and against TRiAD alerts and the forthcoming changes to capacity markets there is more opportunity for business owners in their efforts to reduce costs. Last year, we saved our customers over 25% of their TRiAD bills thanks to our alerts and automation into our controls devices.

There are a number of drivers for these forward thinking, intelligent modern day bureaus but the most recent and current would be the forthcoming P272 legislation, which comes into force in 2017.  This year businesses with meters in class 05-08 will have their usage settled on a half-hourly basis thereby paying more or less depending on the time of day in which they use energy.

Knowledge of the key components of an energy bill (commodity and non-commodity costs) coupled with knowledge of building and equipment performance and controls is imperative if businesses are going to optimise when they use energy to reduce a growing energy bill. 

Intelligent bureau teams, like Utilitywise, work with businesses to move energy consumption when non-commodity costs are higher (DUoS/ TRiAD) and take advantage of lower tariff periods thereby reducing not only kWh consumption each day but valuable £s/pence. 

The Climate Change Levy (CCL) further enhances the need for this type of intelligent bureau offering, this tax on energy consumption will be increased from 2019, making the currently higher tariff periods even more costly to businesses.  

Incorporating information on procurement, energy markets, legislation and tariff rates, the Intelligent energy bureau team can use its expertise and knowledge to help clients not only use less energy but use less at key times of the day making an average 15-20% reduction in consumption which results in greater savings from the bill.

Intelligent bureaus benefit business three-fold, from cost savings to energy consumption reduction and legislation compliance. The days of energy bureaus not being relevant are over – make way for the intelligent bureaus of the future.


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