Energy Inefficiency in the United States: The Intelligent Solution

The United States is ranked top of the pile in energy-inefficiency amongst first world countries. And with industrial and commercial energy use accounting for approximately 85 percent of all U.S. energy consumption, this means that billions of dollars are wasted in this sector every year.

Information provided by the Department of Energy show that buildings waste approximately 30 percent of energy. A focus on energy efficiency will directly reduce the energy wasted, whilst also leading to profitability and improved business results. Moreover, more efficient industrial and commercial buildings will reduce the nation’s dependence on foreign oil, have a positive impact on the environment, and save billions of dollars that can be invested in other opportunities.

Industrial and Commercial Facilities: A Complex Energy Landscape

With an intricate network of independent systems, including air conditioning and ventilation systems, heating systems, hydraulic pump systems, refrigeration, and chilled water systems, many industrial and commercial facilities have complicated energy profiles that are difficult to manage.

Although most facilities managers strive for maximum efficiency, they face many challenges such as aging equipment, restrictive capital budgets, and seemingly higher priorities than proactively managing energy costs. However, faced with a need to cut costs or meet energy reduction goals, facilities managers are often asked to provide two things: A prioritized list of energy efficiency projects, and the Return on Investment for these projects. Historically, there has been insufficient data and analytics to provide meaningful support for any conclusions.

Energy Intelligence

Until recently effective energy management has been hindered by the inability to accurately identify the problems that waste money. To overcome that obstacle, data and analytics, or Energy Intelligence, are blazing a trail in energy management. Data analytics allow experts to conduct offsite energy audits that identify patterns, or Energy Signatures, that illustrate how and when energy is wasted. An effective data analytics platform can identify inefficiencies that result from faulty and poorly maintained equipment, or operational inefficiency. Insights like these provide facilities managers with the tools and information needed to prioritize their limited resources for immediate results.

Simple operational adjustments can be made from this analysis that save money instantly without any outlay. Cost savings can range from around $100 per month for small facilities, and we’ve experienced more than $5,000 per month for larger industrial facilities. Losses of $100 per month or $1,200 per year, translate to $6,630 over a five year period if these inefficiencies go undetected, taking into account a 5% increase in utility costs. And for the larger facilities, $5,000 per month would equate to $27,627 in lost energy over a five-year period.

Easy fixes can stack up and put that money back into a business’s core activities – where it belongs.

Jonathan Caizley,
CTO and Cofounder