Drive energy efficiency through data

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Drive energy efficiency through data

Drive energy efficiency through data

If you don't know precisely how, when and where energy is being used across your business, how can you understand where your energy costs really lie, or the best opportunities to improve energy and operational performance? Working together with Centrica Business Solutions, Total Utilities is the exclusive partner delivering the Energy Insight product solution to the New Zealand market. Using Centrica’s wireless sensor technology, you can monitor energy usage in real-time – right down to device and equipment level. When this information is relayed to our PowerRadarTM analysis platform, you can access the intelligence you need to develop a data-driven energy strategy. The Power of IoT Our Internet of Things (IoT) technology is providing the deep energy insights that uncover flexibility and value in your operations and generation assets. This is a 'game changer' in raising energy performance across all types of organisations ­– from manufacturing and leisure ­­­­­­­­­­­­– to healthcare and education. Energy Insight technology provides full visibility of energy usage across your site, or multiple sites – right down to individual device level. We attach self-powered, wireless sensors to equipment and processes, such as conveyor belts, lighting circuits, chillers, or any other energy consuming assets. This instantly transmits real-time data to our cloud-based PowerRadar analytics and reporting platform. You can then access this intelligence to inform your decision making and improve efficiencies. Deep energy insights Hundreds of sensors, which can measure both heat and power consumption, can be installed within a few hours and won't cause disruption to operations. Data provided by our IoT technology enables organisations to quickly identify and resolve energy waste. It can also pinpoint opportunities to reduce high peak-time energy costs by moderating consumption in these periods. The biggest gains of IoT energy insights are often seen in improved operational efficiency and business resilience. By ensuring that critical equipment is operating optimally and preventing costly disruption, or even breakdown, large operational cost savings can be achieved. Continuity of operations is also assured, which is particularly beneficial in manufacturing environments. The results of IoT energy optimisation We're seeing the positive results of our IoT enabled energy optimisation across all business sectors, including Progressive Enterprises New Zealand. Read the full case study below. Case-Study-Mt-Eden-CountdownDownload

IoT and Energy Management

IoT and Energy Management

Join us on Monday as we discuss how the Internet of Things is changing Energy Management and how insights can support sustainable business. Register here.

Get your head in the cloud

Why cloud is crucial for a sustainable business, and how to choose the best option. The Covid-19 outbreak has reinforced two lessons for businesses – the importance of cloud-based services and the need to ensure their model is sustainable. Cloud platforms have really come into their own, providing accessibility for remote workers and customers, while providing the ultimate scalability for businesses facing an uncertain future. But in a world where both the economy and environment are facing unprecedented challenges, it is more vital than ever for business owners and CFOs to make informed business decisions. Choosing the right cloud option can be daunting, and a truly sustainable business needs a clear understanding of the financial and business case drivers to help make the right decisions. Review the business model Changes are happening at a rapid pace in today’s business environment, with many companies looking at downsizing and improving their remote working capabilities. Even beyond the extremes of a pandemic, acquisitions, new ventures, upturns and downturns all provide daily challenges for senior managers. Over the last few years, the focus of major decision-makers has moved away from in-house tech infrastructure and experts and towards more flexible and agile cloud models and platforms like Microsoft Azure that best fit their way of working. Before making any investment in IT infrastructure or platforms, ask whether they can adapt if your business needs change in the future. Nothing illustrates how quickly the business environment can change as the infographic below. The infographic shows the vast drop in consumption of electricity since Covid-19 hit New Zealand. Many businesses were unable to operate from their normal offices and stores. While most have adapted to working from home, the shutdown had a huge impact on commercial electricity consumption. While major industry consumes a third of all our energy, the wider commercial sectors consume a further quarter of New Zealand’s electricity demand. It is this quarter that we can reasonably assume to have almost completely evaporated when the lights went off. Although the future is opening up and consumption is starting to rebound, businesses are now focused on new ways of consuming energy or delivering services. Many CFOs and CIOs are trying to figure out this new way of working and how it affects their own businesses. The days of the road warrior salesperson may be coming to an end. How we engage with, incentivise and add value to our clients will look very different, as some may prefer a call from the office or a virtual meeting to a corporate lunch. Customers too will be feeling the impact, with online engagement becoming the predominant form of communication, and Microsoft Teams, Zoom, and Hangouts becoming an integrated part of working culture. In addition, Covid-19 has caused a large shift in the global economy and supply chain. Secure production and supply are increasingly of greater importance than the cheapest or most efficient options, which has led to a greater focus on in-house production, multiple suppliers or regional stockpiling. The result of all this is we can no longer trust the stability of the surrounding environment. While we may see some return to the old ways of working, some business processes will never be the same again. Business managers therefore need to be prepared to constantly review business models and consider whether their technology needs are still being met by their current system. This will help ensure their business remains sustainable in a world that can change drastically in what seems like a second. Plan for the rebound Businesses are now furiously planning ahead for the future. Many will need to start scaling up or down to stay on track with fluctuating demand. Working through the challenges including staffing, supply chain logistics, stock management and managing demand will impact most businesses, not to mention the increasing expectation they will reduce their environmental footprint. Kiwifruit producer Zespri is a classic example of how to approach this kind of situation. In 2010, it was dealing with the PSA Virus, which caused entire crops of kiwifruit to fail. The popular gold kiwifruit was the most affected variety, spurring Zespri scientists to research a resistant strain. They knew the situation could have gone either way – with the opportunity to double production if the new strain was successful or ultimately halve if the research failed. Zespri was concerned about having enough computing power to cover existing demand while preparing for both the best- and worst-case scenarios. With support from Total Utilities to assess its existing IT costs and consumption, Zespri was given a list of options that projected the business outcomes and costs for each. It could either continue managing and maintaining its own data centre, outsource its data to another local vendor, or switch to the public cloud so it could replicate the same platforms around the world. Zespri chose the latter, moving its infrastructure and associated platforms onto the Microsoft Azure Cloud. This decision helped Zespri cover a multitude of potential problems by removing the financial risk of investing in its own tech infrastructure, allowing rapid expansion of a global supply chain and delivering detailed cost control mechanisms. Providing Zespri with financial operations toolsets allowed it to efficiently manage costs and consumption, which was repaid as Zespri’s research gamble paid off and the business grew in scale. Measures such as “cost per tray of kiwifruit shipped” have become an important way of tracking success. Zespri has used subscription cloud services as an effective way to manage, analyse and contain its costs ever since. Not only does that mean Zespri is able to adapt its model to any scenario, not having a data centre on site reduces both energy consumption and space. The business is therefore more sustainable in every sense of the word – something consumers around the world increasingly expect. Microsoft itself has committed to removing all carbon it has ever emitted directly or by energy consumption from the environment by 2050, reinforced by its pledge to support New Zealand’s sustainability goals through its new datacentre investment. As every organisation on the planet is challenged to review its impact on the environment, choosing greener IT options is a great way to minimise your footprint. As the adage goes, the only certainty in life is change. While an upfront investment during downturns can be daunting, the best way for any business to safeguard its sustainability long-term is to invest in an IT system that doesn’t become obsolete, that meets modern expectations around environmental impacts and which allows workers the greatest accessibility in an era when many of us are now working remotely. And that means embracing the cloud. Ensure resilience A resilient network and good technical support are essential to every modern business. There is an expectation for email, purchasing or sales automation to be working around the clock. Software updates, testing or hardware failures are no longer an excuse for disrupted services, which can instantly see customers go elsewhere. Just five years ago, businesses were put off moving their platforms and operations to the cloud because they weren’t sure about achieving the level of compliance and technical competence they needed to operate the systems. Every business we consulted felt the skills to manage cloud migration were a barrier to digitising their operations, and that only in-house experts could provide the support needed. That figure is now just 40 per cent. Trust in the cloud and cloud providers to manage their businesses and tailor their services to their needs has skyrocketed. Likewise, secure and reliable connections are more available than ever. While some thought the demand put on the internet during this period of working from home wouldn’t hold up, the Covid-19 lockdown has proven how resilient the internet can be. It is a credit to our network providers, whether fibre, copper or mobile data-based, that these services have remained largely in place as millions of people have suddenly put tremendous demand on capacity. This shows that network availability is no longer a constraint holding back businesses from placing their operations and services in the cloud. Those organisations using public cloud services are also better placed to combat the predatory players who sought to take advantage of the situation via scams and cyber-attacks, with regular security upgrades not available to those using an outdated server in the back office. No longer can you place your trust in simply ‘doing it yourself’. Instead, managed cloud-based services can prove more secure and reliable. Security and connectivity is complex to establish and even more challenging to maintain, especially when scarce, skilled resources are in high demand. Establish good financial governance Whichever cloud service you use, make sure to choose a partner or platform that can provide real-time analysis and reporting so you can see exactly how it’s working for your business and change your plan if you need to. Governance, cost control and resource efficiency have always been top priorities for businesses. Now more than ever, businesses are focused on getting the best value for money from their technological solutions while growing a sustainable business. One thing cloud-based platforms do very well, thanks to their sheer accessibility and ease of use, is enable workers to use a huge range of resources and implement their own changes and updates. However, if unconstrained, this can result in wastage and bill-shock. While governance and budget setting have provided the framework for cost control and planning for decades, moving to the cloud requires a new level of collaboration between Finance and IT. Ensuring these two teams remain communicative through the cloud integration process is vital to ensuring it runs smoothly and efficiently, that the right functionality is baked in from the beginning and there are no budget surprises.  As well as close co-operation, the key to ensuring total visibility and that cloud services are providing the best value, is using a monitoring service to provide real-time data on how cloud is being consumed across the business. The best services can illustrate exactly how resources are being used – either energy or data – and enable CFOs and other decision-makers to rapidly change to new plans that are better for the environment and the bottom line. Clear and regular reporting is essential and takes a great deal of time and effort out of maintaining good governance. Cloud is the future of many businesses and in a time of so much change and uncertainty, it is important to know your business has a model it can rely on to save costs and make governance far less onerous. To know that your business is making most of out your cloud service, make sure you have reporting in place so you can accurately reflect usage in real time, limit your expenses and energy consumption and create a business model that’s truly sustainable for many years to come.

Inform your energy strategy with an end-to-end view of your assets

Create a sustainable energy strategy, and build a competitive advantage with powerful energy insights that provide complete visibility of your energy footprint. Now more than ever businesses globally are looking for wastage and holding utility costs to account by requiring detailed operational reports. As the owner of your energy strategy, it is imperative that you have end-to-end visibility of your energy footprint. Obtaining this level of visibility will provide you with energy intelligence around consumption and performance of on-site assets. These energy insights will give your business the ability to: Understand how energy is being used across your entire footprintIdentify processes and specific devices where energy is being wastedManage risks and opportunities in real-time to ensure performance of assets Manage all your data in a single energy management system Having a centralised view of your entire energy footprint and device-level data eliminates the time and complexity involved with managing energy data in multiple platforms. A single platform that integrates with other systems creates a holistic view of your energy infrastructure that can be used to inform a single, full report. In addition, using a single platform to manage your energy data means you always know that you’re looking at real-time, accurate intelligence. This can help you make data-driven decisions about your energy strategy that are based on the most up-to-date energy data displayed in the energy management platform. The granular level of intelligence provided by device-level data will provide you with a deeper understanding of your energy use and help to accurately form your energy strategy. This information can be used to identify ways to future-proof your strategy to: Improve operational efficiencyUncover growth opportunitiesUnlock new revenue streamsIdentify new energy technologies Use Energy Insights data to improve operational efficiency Data can help your business analyse capital equipment to identify inefficiencies and determine when equipment should be replaced or requires maintenance. By keeping equipment working efficiently and performing at its optimum level, you can avoid costly downtime and reduce business risk. Use data to uncover growth opportunities Better energy insights can free up resources to support growth initiatives, turning energy from a commodity cost to a value-adding resource. Growth opportunities can also be achieved when your strategy successfully lowers the costs associated with energy. Use data to unlock new revenue streams The information gathered through end-to-end visibility can help your business leverage its energy use, flexibility and existing assets. This opportunity unlocks new revenue streams for your business by allowing you to curtail energy use or sell surplus energy back to the grid through Demand Response (DR), demand management and asset optimisation. Use data to identify new energy technologies End-to-end visibility of your energy footprint can help to inform decisions on using new technologies such as solar and battery storage, back-up power generation, or cogeneration (also known as Combined Heat and Power or CHP) to help drive energy optimisation and improve resilience. The visibility of your energy footprint will grow as you adopt new technologies, but by using a centralised system to holistically monitor and manage your data, this should not add any extra complexity. In fact, your energy management system can provide you with the data you need to justify your investments in on-site energy generation. Why businesses need to choose the right platform and provider It is imperative that businesses partner with a provider that has the right energy insight tools and a platform that collects and centralises granular, device-level data. Working with Total Utilities, businesses can be sure that they’ll benefit from experience and expertise. We are the New Zealand providers of Centrica's Energy Insight solution and integrated energy management platform, PowerRadar®. These tools are generating new opportunities across all types of industry, giving organisations the ability to manage real-time, device-level energy intelligence in a single, holistic view. Contact our experts to find out how we can help you obtain real-time visibility of your energy performance and develop a strategy that turns your energy into a competitive asset.

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