Navigating the Energy Landscape: Strategies for Sustainable Energy Management

4 mins read
Energy management Sustainability Renewable energy Data-driven decision-making Load balancing

Historically, businesses overlooked energy usage, but rising costs have spurred a shift towards prioritizing energy management in boardrooms. However, inadequate data and conflicting priorities hinder project justification. Businesses increasingly aim to be perceived as sustainable, with many committing to net-zero goals and renewable energy agreements. We advocate a three-step approach to efficient energy management: minimizing total burden, optimizing load balance, and leveraging data for informed decision-making. Technology advancements, including artificial intelligence and machine learning, empower suppliers to offer insights and incentives for load shifting. Collaboration between the energy sector and businesses is crucial to aligning priorities and implementing cost-effective energy management initiatives in the face of rising energy costs and operational challenges.

In the past, energy use in businesses was mostly unregulated and assumed for granted. Despite having such a high overhead, the majority of organizations did n’t give much thought to how, when, or where they actually used energy. There has, nevertheless, changed in perspective.
The need for better energy management is becoming more and more discussed in boardrooms across the country as energy costs have continued to rise.
But, domestic advocates frequently struggle to justify the effectiveness of such projects because the data is insufficient or inaccurate. In fact, Gartner suggests that ROI and conflicting priorities rank among the top two issues that over 40 % of cases encounter.

Driving Forces Behind Sustainable Energy Transition in Businesses

One of the main drivers for better energy management is the desire for businesses to be perceived as natural, in addition to wanting to reduce costs.
Owing to this, one-third of the world’s largest publicly traded companies have already pledged to achieve net zero goals. Nevertheless, more than two-thirds of business leaders are now in favor of climate accountability. Nearly 80 % of respondents (79 % ) claim to have or intend to enter a renewable energy power purchase agreement within the next two years. It makes great sense. It can help retain staff and draw in more eco-conscious clients.
I fully anticipate that businesses will increasingly switch to using energy at lower prices as well as wanting to be seen as being on natural tariffs as much as possible. We are now seeing experienced manufacturers time of day when prices are lower and there are many renewables in the mix.

A three-step approach to efficient energy management

The issue of energy availability and cost wo n’t go away. Nearly half ( 46 % ) of businesses acknowledge that moderate to significant disruption to their business activities was caused by the availability and energy costs over the previous year. A longer-term perspective is desirable, despite the fact that three quarters of people acknowledge that they have mostly focused on short-term energy demand reduction optimisation strategies.
There should be a three-step plan to ensure an optimal outcome for those looking to change to better energy management. First, the company should make an effort to minimize its total burden as much as possible. Therefore, they should examine their fixed and variable loads before considering how to move the load to less expensive times of the day.

The Role of Data in Driving Effective Energy Management Strategies

Whatever the potential catalyst for better energy management may be, there is no denying that data can serve as the starting point for a project like this. Data visibility and reliability are in the best three for one-third of business leaders, despite the fact that modern technology is not a major obstacle. Even though modern technology contains more data than previously, it is important to produce the relevant data to support ROI calculations and gain boardroom support.
But how much of a burden should the energy supplier bear, and how much should the business be placed on developing the effective modeling techniques needed to generate the necessary data to demonstrate ROI and climate benefits? According to me, the industry must do everything in its power to provide reliable energy consumption data and information management strategies to help a company meet its cost-reduction initiatives and economic management objectives.

Harnessing Technology for Efficient Energy Load Balancing

Suppliers can, thankfully, help thanks to the most recent technology. They now have more intelligence than ever thanks to the advancement of artificial intelligence and machine learning, which can tell them when and where a business uses energy and how much energy can be saved by shifting this load to a unique time of day. Because the suppliers ‘ energy costs fluctuate at other times, this savings can be passed on. Creating goodwill and loyalty is in the supplier’s best interests.
The energy industry places a lot of emphasis on the act of better balancing load. Energy behemoth Octopus is conducting real-time trials at the time of writing to find out how balancing the energy demand during times of peak can help to balance the power grid and reduce costs. The National Grid Electricity System Operator ( ESO ) will be made aware of its plans to run a zero-carbon grid for specific periods by 2025 and a fully decarbonized grid by 2035 as a result of the scheme. Additionally, it will provide insight into how customers can play a role in balancing supply and demand, lowering their electricity bills, and eventually saving themselves money.

Navigating Economic Challenges: Business Perspectives on Energy Management

Despite starting to drop, energy costs are still considerably higher than they were in 2022. Businesses are still facing significant economic and operational challenges as a result of this. They are treating energy as a programmable resource because of this.
Businesses have experienced a major shift in attitude as a result of a number of long-term investments and initiatives to manage energy consumption. Three quarters of people claim they have already begun reducing their energy consumption through optimisation activities, and another 19 % intend to do so within the next two years.
Sadly, businesses that want to change face significant domestic challenges. So, it is crucial that the energy sector is aware of them and does everything in its power to align itself with organizational priorities so that it can support their execution at a lower cost and unlock new opportunities.

Verónica Castro-Allende

With a rich background in urban technology and IoT, Veronica brings a unique blend of expertise and innovation to our platform. Her work focuses on integrating advanced engineering solutions into smart city infrastructures, emphasizing sustainable and efficient urban development. Her insightful contributions shed light on the future of urban living, blending technical prowess with practical urban applications

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