Reducing energy costs using remote energy management

by FM Media
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Schneider Electric claims that its new remote energy management online system can help businesses to reduce building energy costs by up to 30 percent.

Schneider Electric, a global specialist in energy management, has released an online energy management system, Remote Energy Management (REM), designed to provide facilities and building managers with a simple, cost-effective, web-based tool to monitor, measure and reduce energy consumption across multiple sites around the world.
REM can be integrated into a building’s existing or new energy meters and is designed to identify where corrective actions might be taken to reduce energy and carbon emissions and decrease costs.
The system uses simple metering technology to achieve savings through the correction of power inefficiencies, as well as identifying the best rates available from energy providers in the region. Real-time data is uploaded to a centrally hosted online portal for building and facilities managers to access any time, from anywhere in the world.

REM does not require any capital investment in software or servers, and is delivered as an operational ‘pay as you use’ system. This means building owners and operators can achieve total visibility of all energy use without any investment up front.
“Energy prices are forecast (1) to increase by 51 percent in 2012 and legislative changes, such as mandatory disclosure, mean that organisations are waking up to the impact of energy on their bottom line,” says David Gardner, vice president, Power Business, Schneider Electric.
“We are able to provide building and facility managers with a clear picture of energy use in the building, and identify energy savings of at least 30 percent in an average building.
“Energy usage in building and industry is responsible for 44 percent of greenhouse gas emissions and 53 percent of carbon dioxide emissions. Our own experience with some of Australia’s biggest organisations shows that even those that meter and monitor energy use often aren’t acting on the data or looking at how to improve performance.
“The power of REM is that it converts energy data from multiple commercial premises into information that can be easily understood by anyone within the organisation. Active energy management processes can then be implemented to drive down costs and carbon emissions.
“Building managers involved in our early trials have uncovered insufficient water pipe insulation, poorly maintained systems and switched off power factor correction systems through REM, all of which have a significant impact on energy costs.”

The service sits on top of any existing building management system and is designed to help building managers make informed decisions based on their actual energy usage to:

  • monitor the consumption of water, gas, electricity and steam
  • report on cost saving opportunities by tracking the best energy rates in the region, to identify where energy can be decreased without adversely affecting operations
  • estimate the actual cost of energy usage and verify the accuracy of energy bills
  • track and report on carbon dioxide emissions and set emission targets
  • create schedules for sending energy usage reports and updates via email, and
  • set up alarm thresholds and receive alarms via email or cell.

“Unless organisations are able to measure energy use, organisations won’t investigate whether the power baseline is right for the size of the building,” explains Gardner.
“This is particularly true for older buildings where problems are likely to be heightened. REM paves the way for organisations to take responsibility for energy management and benefit from both a financial and carbon reduction perspective.
“We’ve already connected REM to 50 of Schneider Electric’s office sites around the world to benchmark our energy use. With our baseline now established, we are setting ambitious targets to drive down our energy bills and reduce our carbon footprint.”

1. Tenants and investors to search for greener pastures, Australian Financial Review, 14 July 2011.

Schneider Electric is a global specialist in energy management with operations in more than 100 countries. It offers integrated solutions across multiple market segments, including leadership positions in energy and infrastructure, industrial processes, building automation, and data centres/networks.

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