What’s the value of information?

Energent has a suite of software that measures, analyzes, and reports on real-time energy consumption for hospitals, commercial buildings, and industrial clients.  During our engagement process, we often are asked “What exactly does your system do?”  It doesn’t close valves, turn off lights, or turn down your air conditioner.  What it does do is give your team the information it needs to make smart energy management decisions and report on the impact that those decisions had on the organization.

When we talk about the value of information to our clients and prospects, we break it down into 3 areas:

1. Concrete evidence

2. Business planning and prediction

3. Less information, better information

Concrete Evidence

Information can give you evidence that something happened, and accurately quantify that event.  In our case, we provide real-time evidence that energy is being over consumed and by how much.  Sometimes this is done using billing data and is usually 6-8 weeks behind.  In real-time monitoring, we can provide this information same day or next day, saving thousands of dollars if energy is being wasted because of a broken valve or leaking tank.  This information is inrefutable as we are collecting this info directly from the meter with no ‘middle man’.

There is significant value is reducing energy waste for all industries.

Business Planning and Prediction

How many times have you heard that before the company invests in a captial project, infrastructure, etc., it must see an ROI within xx months.  Using comprehensive mathematical modeling, we can accurately predict when that ROI will be achieved using real data.  No more guessing.  The information is provided and leadership can make a decision about capital projects and retrofits.

There is significant value in adding a layer of confidence to business planning.

Less Information, Better Information

Facility managers may have to review 20 reports every day or every week to keep track of their numerous systems, controls, and machines.  More often than not, these reports are ignored by the facility manager because it is simply too time consuming to review these reports for the 1 or 2 pieces of information they need to make decisions.

For us, we often see our clients use the reporting tool to consolidate all of the other reports into 3-4 key pieces of information that they can quickly digest and move on.

No longer is more information better.  Better information is more valuable.

What are your thoughts on the value of information?  Do people over-sell the value?

Thanks for reading



Energy Hub Management System

Along with our core Energy Management Information Systems that we offer to industrial, institutional, and commercial clients as a way of managing their energy use, we are working very closely with the University of Waterloo, Ontario Centres of Excellence, Ontario Power Authority, Hydro One, and Milton Hydro to create the Energy Hub Management System (EHMS).

The EHMS is a web-based platform that connects all of your appliances and energy-consuming circuits in your house, and provides visibility into the cost and impact of operating these devices.  On top of the, EHMS has a complex scheduling system in place that aggregates a series of profiles that describe your energy preferences (lowest cost, lowest carbon footprint, etc.) and automatically schedules your appliances to operate only during times that fit your profile.

This portion of the “smart grid”, the consumer side, is vital to the longevity of our electricity infrastructure.  Much of our electricity wires, plants, and towers are 70 years old, and we must begin to replace these power lines soon.  But at the same time, to take the pressure off these line, we must lower consumption.  The EHMS gives insight into which appliances are consuming the most power, and the cost of running these appliances.  Giving consumers real dollar amounts will encourage behaviour change, and encourage conservation.

For more information on the Energy Hub Management System, check out http://energyhub.uwaterloo.ca/.  There is also more information in the 3 min video below.


Why do Compaines care about their Carbon Footprint?

Energent has just released our newest module, EnergentGHG.  Using this product, companies are able to accurately, and in real-time, report all of thier scope 1 and scope 2 carbon and greenhouse gas emissions in a number of ways.  Companies can use tons of C02e (carbon equivalents), actual greenhouse gas emissions (CO2, N2O & CH4), or in energy equivalents which helps people relate consumption and emissions to every day activities.

But more importantly, why do companies care?  Energent is interested in finding out what the driver(s) are for monitoring their carbon footprint.  Is it financial?  Sustainability?  Both?  Neither?  We know there is more and more interest in carbon emissions and the impact they are having on the environment.  We  have also heard about the “triple bottom line” and how companies are thinking about corporate sustainability in the same way they think about profitability.  What about your company?

Fill out the poll attached to this blog post and let us know why your company cares about their carbon footprint.  We will talk about the results in a future post.

Hospitals going green?

Hospitals are on very tight budgets and every dollar not spent on patient care is scruitinized.  How can hospitals in Canada justify spending valuable dollars on “green technology” which is seen as a nice to have?  These “investments” need to have clear, fast, and reliable payback to even be considered for the hospital sector.  Green technology, water reduction programs, and lighting retrofits are still lagging behind in the hospital sector, even though there are years of solid data to back up the fact that investing in energy efficient programs is wise.  How do hospitals know that the investments they have made are making a difference?

Measurement is the key to understanding the value of these investments.  The quicker the feedback on those programs, the faster the hospital is able to see whether the investment is realizing the benefits they were promised.  Real-time monitoring of energy commodities like electricity, water, and gas provide unprecidented insight into how energy is being consumed at the hospital, and analytics to find out if conservation projects are working.  If the hospital has yet to start a project, then using real-time monitoring to understand where the highest benefit will be, and building a business case for that investment will ease the worries from stakeholders that the project will not yield results.

Whatever stage hospitals are in regarding an energy conservation plan, real-time monitoring of energy commodities needs to be a part of that planning process.  It provides more information and analytics to improve the decision making process for any project.

For more information, check out www.energent.com for more information and ways that hospitals can use real-time monitoring to save money.  Case studies are online proving the significant value that comes from an Energent system.


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