What about smart? The requirements of modern buildings

The requirements for modern “smart” energy management in industrial and commercial real estate.

Here we are deliberately not addressing the specifications of regulations such as EN ISO 50001, or in future EN ISO 50006. Rather, the focus should be on concrete practical benefits for companies and their energy managers.

In numerous energy management projects supported by hardware and software, the economic benefit is often not discernible. In successful energy management systems, this is achieved by focusing on a continuous reduction in consumption and costs.

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Practical relevance as a factor for success

A good energy management project is characterized by a quick overview of the main consumption points and a permanent optimization of costs and consumption. When he selects this solution, the energy receives a tool that doesn’t require him to spend valuable hours on time-consuming data acquisition and evaluation tasks, but that allows him to concentrate on analyses and optimization measures. It is precisely this practical experience that should be incorporated at an early stage into the metering and data collection concept as well as into the creation of the specifications. Less is often more.

Too much data without great relevance can quickly overload an energy management system, especially in the initial phase of the project. The energy manager then receives exactly the data he needs, only processed faster and better. In addition, the specification of key figures helps him to ensure a continuous improvement process.

Visualization simplifies communication

Another major advantage of an energy management solution lies in the graphic preparation of often complex facts. Visualization displays facts, anomalies, but also efficiency potentials faster and better than a page full of numbers. Energy managers can also better demonstrate the potential of efficiency measures to colleagues and partners outside their field of expertise. Savings potentials can be identified more easily in advance and can be better monitored in controlling following implementation. Particularly in the case of energy-saving contracting measures, a simple performance verification can thus be carried out for both contracting parties.

The energy management system itself cannot achieve savings, even if some product descriptions or marketing activities suggest this. The good visualization of a demand-oriented energy management system, however, facilitates transparency, communication and proof of actual savings. This alone often justifies the introduction of the energy management system.

Proof of savings as a key function of energy management

Even if the energy management system is not responsible for the actual savings, it is of great importance in the verification process. From the outset, a target/actual function is essential. The savings target is then set on the basis of the corresponding reference values.

After the realization of various efficiency measures, the proof can be provided with little effort and made easily understandable with the help of a visualization. Simple and fast verification is especially important for smaller savings projects. Otherwise, the effort required to prove the savings effects is quickly greater than the monetary effect of the savings. Thus, at least in the case of smaller measures, the energy management system can then again be attributed a responsible role in efficiency measures.

Energy management as the basis for utility bill settlement

In industrial, commercial and residential real estate, it is often difficult and time-consuming to allocate operating costs to their specific origins.

A good energy management system therefore not only deals with energy producers and energy consumption points, but also visualizes the energy consumption for the respective users and areas. The energy management data can thus be prepared and used as is for subsequent service charge settlement. This consistency of a holistic energy management approach is an additional cost advantage of a demand-oriented energy management solution.

Basic measuring and counting concept

A prerequisite for the success of a demand-oriented and cost-efficient energy management concept is a preliminary investigation including the preparation of a measuring and counting concept. This anchors the use of essential energy meters while at the same time avoiding an investment in an unnecessarily large number of individual meters.

In the measuring and counting concept, a different approach is required for all aspects of energy supply, energy processing and energy distribution. Energy processing is more about efficiency and transformation into other forms of energy. In the distribution process, the focus is more on the user concept and the subsequent billing.

Additional advantages through interdisciplinary approaches

Energy data and the course of energy consumption can also provide information of use to other specialist areas. For example, the energy data can be used to plan the maintenance of technical systems more economically or to better predict repair events. Energy data provides information on production capacity utilization, customer behavior and tenant habits. This information provides other economic benefits in addition to energy efficiency.

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