Smart tech: it’s the business

We've all of us felt the pinch of rising energy costs, and it seems safest to assume that those prices are here to stay. But for businesses, which typically consume a lot more power than domestic users, those costs have hit particularly hard.

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We’ve all of us felt the pinch of rising energy costs, and it seems safest to assume that those prices are here to stay. But for businesses, which typically consume a lot more power than domestic users, those costs have hit particularly hard.

 

In some cases, they can be unaffordable. There are numerous organisations, some long-established, that have gone under or are teetering on the brink, hit by a perfect storm: labour shortages, rising material costs, falling demand … and the fact that they can’t pay the electricity bill. Hospitality has been particularly hard-hit, but the pain is being felt across the board.

 

 

Smart Solutions


There is some good news for businesses! Smart technology could help your company to minimise your electricity usage and use power more efficiently, which could make all the difference between a red number or a black one on your bottom line.

 

This is not entirely a matter of choice. The government has ruled that as of 1st April this year, the majority of commercial real estate (CRE) has to meet new minimum energy efficiency standards (MEES). Almost all commercial buildings must have an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) of E or better (ratings run from A to G). If you rent your business premises, it is your landlord’s responsibility to ensure your building complies with the new regulations.

 

Whether you own or rent, the energy your company uses on a day-to-day basis is down to you, the end user. The key thing is to keep yourself informed. In a typical company there will be a wide variety of devices and machines, drawing down power in different amounts and at different times, but there are systems available that will enable you to monitor everything: from the amount of electricity used in a production run, to which lights are on and where, and how often the staff room kettle gets boiled.

 

 

Smart switching


Armed with this information, you can begin to make changes. Perhaps there’s an outdated machine that’s drawing too much power. You’ll be able to spot it, and replace it or shut it off. Maybe there’s an office that stubbornly refuses to warm up – do you need to fix the insulation, or is it just an open window? Meanwhile, smart thermostats will keep offices and meeting rooms at a constant, ambient temperature. Smart timer switches will allow you to schedule energy-intensive processes to take advantage of times when energy might be cheaper. Smart motion-sensors will turn the lights and heating (or air-con) on when a room is occupied, and off when it isn’t. Smart plugs, sockets and lightbulbs will add further efficiencies. And you can monitor and control the whole system from a companion app on your phone or tablet, or from a smart speaker or display, whether you’re in the office or not.

 

 

Smart storage


Whether or not your organisation draws its energy from the grid, from renewables (well worth considering) or from a combination of sources, battery energy storage systems (BESS) could enable you to make further savings. Battery storage is a fast-evolving technology – the latest incarnation of which is the smart battery. Smart battery storage works by using intelligent software to coordinate the use and distribution of energy. Power can be released from the storage system when demand is at its highest, which limits total costs and removes the superfluous flow of electricity. Among other benefits, this helps with ‘peak-shaving’ – reducing power usage (‘load shedding’) quickly and for a short period of time to avoid a spike in consumption.

 

 

Smart security


With all this, there is one note of caution. Because these smart products are connected to your business’s computer network, hackers can use them to infiltrate your network and steal sensitive company information. If you want to go the smart route (and there are plenty of reasons why you should), make sure your internet security is kept up to date.

 

 

Smart move


The key takeaway from all this is:
when in doubt – AUTOMATE. Buying into smart technology (not all of which is expensive) will enable your organisation to optimise its electricity consumption, as well as staying on the right side of what are likely to be ever-more stringent rules and regulations concerning corporate energy usage. Excel Electrical can advise you on what’s available (the products featured here, and others), carry out your installations, and instruct you in how to get the best from your new gadgetry.

 

To find out more, call us today on 01508 488007 or email enquiries@excelelectrical.co.uk.

 

Excel Electrical – the power is in your hands.

 

 

 

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