With increasing costs on energy bills and tariffs, as well as an increased emphasis on a businesses carbon footprint, making the most out of the energy you consume is vital to success. In this article we will run through what you need to understand about your business’s energy bills, what their costs mean for your business and how you can reduce unnecessary energy consumption with the help of a building energy management system (BEMS).
When you receive any kind of energy bill, the information on them can be quite overwhelming. The level of detail is of course necessary as the energy bill is the only form of contact your energy supplier has with you when informing you about your energy consumption and related charges.
This data can seem especially complex when it comes to the energy bills for businesses as there much to cover. However, there are a few essential pieces of information on your energy bill which should be analysed thoroughly if you want to monitor your business’s energy consumption and seek to reduce it. These are:
This is perhaps the simplest part of the bill, however still an important element which you should have a clear understanding of. This section of the bill details how long your contract lasts, who it is with and whether it is a fixed term contract or not. If you want to guarantee a constant charge without any sudden hikes in energy prices, sign up for a fixed term contract which will maintain the price of the energy your business consumes for the period of the contract.
Type of Charge:
Your type of charge is based on how often you supply your energy supplier with information about your energy consumption. As energy suppliers only ‘transport’ the energy to your business, they do not necessarily have an accurate picture of how much energy your business is actually using. This in turn affects whether the type of billing charge is accurate or estimated. To make sure you are paying only for the energy your use, make sure to provide your supplier with regular meter readings to produce an accurate charge.
The standing charge is the rate you pay each day for the energy supplied to your business, irrespective of the amount of energy you actually use. This is why it is important to make sure you have an accurate charge for your energy consumption.
This is the amount you pay per kilowatt hour (kWh) of gas or electricity you use. Different suppliers will usually have different unit rates so it’s a good idea to shop around.
There are plenty of ways to save energy and optimise the energy your business’s energy consumption. We have gone through a few ways you can maximise the energy saving potential in your energy bills, however there are other, more permanent and physical ways you can reduce the amount of energy your business uses and increase its efficiency.
To begin with, simple measures such as high-grade insulation, upgraded electrical system/boilers and plumbing can all go along way to cutting excess energy use and waste. Whilst innovations like these may be costly, the amount of money you will save on your business’s energy bills can over time cover the initial costs for their installation.
It is essential to keep systems well maintained and regularly by industry approved experts. This way your business’s systems will run smoothly, reducing any wastage of energy and prevent any expensive replacements in the future.
More complex ways of saving energy can include zoning, whereby you optimise energy consumption in certain areas of your business that need it (such as heating and lighting for regular occupied offices) whilst reducing it in others (like stair cases and unoccupied sectors of your business). Coupled with a climate check at certain times of the day and year, the energy your business uses will only ever be used if needed, cutting down on the amount of energy you use to match what you actually need to run the business and, hence, reduce costs.
Whilst changes can be made to how your business is run and the energy it uses optimised to for those areas that need it, keeping track of these changes and maintaining zone times, appliance use, etc., can be incredibly complex and time consuming. This is where business energy management systems (BEMSs) can help.
A BEMS is essentially a system designed to help run, maintain and monitor your business’s energy use and consumption. Our highly advanced BEMS software, E-MAGINE, is specifically programmed to help you keep an eye on the energy consumption of your business as well as allowing your to programme set zones, times and energy usage throughout your business with the click of a button.
Not only does E-MAGINE help you keep on top of your energy consumption and increase efficiency throughout your business, the software also monitors the business’s energy consumption as a whole and suggests changes that can be made to improve the energy efficiency of your business further. By allowing you access to historical and real-time data, E-MAGINE also allows provides you with a clear picture of the amount of energy your business uses at different times of the day and year, giving you the information you need to optimise energy consumption where and when necessary.
Typically, no matter what type of sector or industry your business occupies, a BEMS will provide you with savings on your energy bills simply by highlighting where energy is being inefficiently used. Our clients make objectively verifiable savings on their energy costs of up to 50%, and significantly reduce their carbon emissions.
Below are a few examples of businesses who installed E-MAGINE and the savings they made:
A producer and distributer of electrical appliances for the food industry, this business had an extensive array of warehouse and offices within their business which all contained different appliances, systems and environmental needs. The E-MAGINE BEMS not only allowed Mettler-Toledo Safleine to manage all these different components of their business, but also provided the business with savings of 38% on their energy bills by controlling the heating systems and interfacing with goods-in doors and de-stratification fans to maintain temperatures in warehouses.
With a large number of offices, it was vital for Red Rose Forest to keep a comfortable and habitable environment throughout their business for their employees to work in. With a BEMS installed, the business’s gas consumption was almost halved as the system took into account the necessary energy needed to maintain a comfortable temperature in the offices as well as maintaining three heating zones which were controlled according to their occupancy levels and the existing temperature of the zone.
Ford Europe is a supplier of parts for Ford cars. This means the business has extensive warehouses (approximately covering 140,000 m2) to keep their supplies within, allowing them to distribute a vast number of parts across the country. The maintenance of warehouse energy consumption can be notoriously difficult, however, with Essential Control BEMS, Ford Europe found they had made energy savings of over 33% after installation as the software helped control and monitor the warm air heaters and air handling plants in the warehouses. Furthermore, the control given to the business by the BEMS significantly cut their carbon emissions, reducing their CO2 output by 1,709 tonnes.
The first thing to do is to look at your energy bills and see if you can make the changes suggested above in your business. If you want to know how to calculate the amount of energy your business consumes and how a BEMS can help reduce this, look at our cost calculator to find out how much you could save.
To find out more about our BEMS technology and how it can help your business optimise its energy use, contacts us here.