How to Put Energy Usage Data to Work for Your Business
Energy usage data plays an important role in understanding your business’ energy management strategy. It can give you greater visibility into trends and help you improve efficiency, reduce consumption, and cut costs. Going into 2021, as companies balance greater investor demand for ESG reporting with budget cuts from the pandemic, they need to find the most cost-effective ways to continue driving energy savings. Keep reading to see what organizations can achieve with their energy usage data.
A better understanding of energy performance
Each month you receive your energy bill, it’s common to pay attention to just two areas: the due date and the amount due. But energy and facility managers need to go beyond the data that the AP department cares about; they need to see when and where the company is consuming the most energy, and how much they can save by implementing energy efficiency initiatives.
Less than 1% of your annual electricity usage accounts for up to 30% of your electricity costs.
However, monthly energy bills can only provide limited insight into your usage. For a more granular analysis of your energy usage, you can turn to interval data. When it comes to your electricity costs, less than one percent of your annual usage accounts for up to 30 percent of your electricity costs. With an incremental breakdown of usage by the day, hour, and minute, interval data can provide greater visibility into equipment performance, peak demand costs, and tariffs. By staying up-to-date with utility interval data, you can pinpoint the small changes that will generate a big impact on your energy costs.
Better benchmarking and reporting
Despite the changes brought on by the pandemic, energy management remains a top priority. Businesses are still feeling the pressure from investors to improve their sustainability efforts, and accurately reporting energy performance plays an important role in meeting these expectations. Normalizing and reporting energy usage data in a suitable format for investors will hopefully become easier over time, as standards like SASB and IIRC begin to merge.
Additionally, energy usage data supports your company’s facilities management benchmarking. Over time, collecting energy usage data enables energy and facility managers to establish an accurate baseline and demonstrate improvement year over year. With accurate energy usage data automatically delivered into benchmarking systems like ENERGY STAR Portfolio ManagerⓇ, companies can easily stay on top of city and state benchmarking requirements.
Identify cost-saving opportunities
Companies are continually looking for ways to save money, but it’s even more of a priority in the wake of the pandemic. Amid economic uncertainty, companies’ budgets have been cut, putting areas like utility usage under a microscope. As the pandemic forced building closures, commercial and industrial energy consumption declined by 11 and 9 percent, respectively, from April 2019 to April 2020. With this change in energy usage also came a change in utility expenses and budgets.
As the pandemic forced building closures, commercial and industrial energy consumption declined by 9 – 11% from April 2019 to April 2020.
Now, as operations return to some sense of normalcy, utility usage and charges are expected to go back up. Heading into the new year, companies will need to rely on pre-COVID energy usage data to determine their energy spend and budgets. Understanding energy usage data plays an important role in identifying opportunities to reduce consumption and cut energy costs – ultimately improving your bottom line.
However, all of this starts with having easy access to the data you need. If energy analysts are tied up manually collecting and organizing data from utility websites and spreadsheets, they won’t have the resources to run innovative and effective energy efficiency initiatives. Efficiently allocating your team’s resources will enable you to maximize energy savings and demonstrate the value of an energy management program.
See your energy usage data in action with Urjanet
Whether your goal is to cut costs or meet investor expectations, energy usage data is instrumental in achieving these goals. Urjanet’s Utility Data for Energy Management can help you streamline utility invoice and interval data collection – enabling you to spend more time tracking, reporting, and analyzing your data to support energy efficiency efforts.
Speak with one of our utility data experts today to get the ball rolling with automated energy usage data collection.
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About Ma-Keba Frye
Ma-Keba Frye is a Content Marketing Associate at Urjanet, assisting with content development and execution. When she's not writing, she enjoys reading, listening to music, and volunteering.