Digital Themes

Energy Management

What is energy management?

Energy management is the process of planning and utilizing methods for limiting energy usage in order to become more energy efficient. Energy management systems will often utilize different tools, such as smart devices and machine learning, in order to optimize their strategies and implementations around energy efficiency. Proper energy management has become more important as the world continues to move towards renewable energy sources and away from energy-hogging technology.

In the United States, regulations are in place around what counts as energy efficient technology. Electronics that have been noted to have high energy savings are marked with an “Energy Star” label. The Energy Star program is run by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the label can be applied across 75 different categories. In recent years, this labeling system has crossed into the European market as well, with EU Energy Star.

Energy management is becoming more and more of a focus for businesses and organizations. Many companies aim to have continuous improvement around their energy consumption. This means that they take incremental steps to improve, while ensuring that each step is met at the appropriate time. Rather than having a specific end goal in mind, continuous improvement aims to decrease energy usage year over year, and to constantly revise their strategies and tools as new technologies and methods emerge. Continuous improvement is a long-term energy management solution that requires iterative measures and goal posts.

Nowadays, there are entire software suites designed around energy management. These can include smart devices such as thermostats and power outlets, as well as machine learning systems to analyze and make recommendations around energy usage. These systems allow for automation as they learn more about usage, so that they can implement changes in real time as energy needs change. Such systems can analyze an entire company’s set up (including water, electric, and gas) and bring all of the information together to highlight waste and produce conclusions that are easy to understand. Such systems also have the added benefit of being able to send alerts around any power quality issues, so that proper steps can be taken in response.

For companies, the decision to build energy efficient infrastructure can be helpful for several reasons, including:

  • Green labeling: These days, a large market of consumers look for companies that are doing their part to reduce carbon footprints. When companies make the effort to investigate green initiatives (initiatives that aim to offset greenhouse gases or reduce energy waste) they are not only helping the environment, but also opening themselves to new marketing strategies.

  • Cost savings: Companies that implement appropriate energy management can see cost savings in the long term. Although there may be a high capital expenditure around energy efficient solutions, they often pay off in the long term. This can be from something as easy as changing the thermostat settings during business or occupancy hours, to something more substantial such as installing solar panels. All of the options add up over time.

  • Remote access: Rather than having to be on-premises to monitor energy settings, smart set ups allow access through any internet capable device. This means that large corporations can have clear insights into each branch, or that small businesses can keep an eye on the company even when they are on vacation.
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