Energy savings begin with being aware of consumption, which can only be achieved by means of a proper ‘metering culture’. Communicate, meter, manage: these are the ROLD ingredients for effective Energy Intelligence, where focus is aimed on MANAGEMENT, not just consumption but rather the devices that consume energy. Beware, that difference is significant!
by Nicoletta Boldrini, Marketing & Communication Manager, Gruppo ROLD SpA
We must first understand what is meant by Energy Intelligence.
According to the Energy Efficiency Report 2014 (published by the Energy & Strategy Group of the School of Management at the Politecnico di Milano), the ‘concept’ expresses the “… creation of KNOW-HOW thanks to information on the power and thermal consumption of an energy utility being reprocessed. This knowledge can then be used to determine a competitive advantage for the utility itself thanks to the reduction in the electricity bill…”.
In our opinion, the most important assumption that emerges is the one concerning the ‘competitive advantage’, which can only be achieved if an effective mechanism of ‘knowledge creation’ is triggered.
How is this possible?
By creating an appropriate ‘metering culture’, based on ‘communication’, which consists of monitoring and controlling consumption.
Today, metering is easily enabled by technological solutions that combine hardware (such as plug-in devices or sensors that can read the energy consumption data) with software (solutions for analysing data and data transformation into useful information for the decision making process carried out by the energy/maintenance manager).
Metering efficiency does not stop at making data available; clearly, though, there is no knowledge with no metering. But are metering & control sufficient?
We don’t think so! Because another ingredient – management – is required for ‘intelligence’ to be considered part of the energy resources. This has a significant meaning for ROLD: we do not focus on managing consumption. We focus on the intelligent management of every device that actually consumes energy. The difference is significant:
- management of consumption, which in general terms means ‘cost control’, aims at improving cost efficiency, which can only be achieved by means of effective metering but depends heavily on external factors such as the cost of the raw materials on one hand, and the ability to negotiate with suppliers, on the other hand;
- managing the devices that consume energy (whatever they may be, from lamps to industrial production machines, household appliances to air conditioning/heating systems, etc.) refers to improved measurement and control efficiency via internal factors, which consist of processes and actions that a company can adopt regardless of the external markets. Needless to say, this has a domino effect starting from device management, which leads to more effective cost control.
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