Commercial buildings wired for energy efficiency are no longer a “what if.” Advances in energy analytics are helping businesses everywhere capture real-time data on their energy usage and act on them faster than ever.

Companies that capture and analyze data on their energy usage can use that information to identify ways to modify their operations and save money on energy costs. Take a look at these three ways to analyze data and use the findings to inform intelligent energy decisions.

Utility invoices

Invoices from utility companies provide a wealth of data that can be analyzed to find potential billing discrepancies and to learn, in detail, where and how a company is consuming energy. It can be difficult to standardize and compare data over multiple invoices for multiple sites, but it’s not unusual to find billing discrepancies that lead to savings of 1 to 3 percent.

Depending on how large a company’s energy spend is, this can amount to a lot of money. In addition, a business can use invoice data to calculate energy cost per square foot across several sites and see where to focus cost- and energy-saving efforts.

Is your business making these three costly energy mistakes? Check out a recent blog post to see how businesses are saving money by optimizing their energy purchasing.

Smart Meters

Smart meters are digital meters that provide data about power consumption in real time or at specified intervals and offer a direct view into a business’s energy usage. That information can be used to identify significant operating efficiencies, especially for businesses with high consumption.

A manufacturer, for example, might use real-time metering to understand exactly how much power contributes to the cost of producing its products. Managers can also use minute-by-minute production line data to assess efficiency (or inefficiencies), and pinpoint operational issues, then test new approaches in real time.

These kinds of opportunities can help a company improve energy efficiency, reduce its carbon footprint, and increase profitability. Once a business has a smart meter installed to collect the needed data, sophisticated software can compile real-time pricing figures, detailed demand information, business-specific operating details, and add information about weather forecasts and other factors influencing usage. By integrating and analyzing multiple streams of energy-related data, a business can gain extensive control over its costs and usage.

Smart Thermostats

The right smart thermostat will allow for quick and easy response to environmental changes and facility temperature fluctuations. Studies show that employee productivity is substantially disrupted when heat or cold makes work environments uncomfortable. As weather changes outside, the ability to react quickly and remotely to changes in comfort avoids unnecessary lost productivity from overheating and cooling.

Smart thermostats also help to reduce maintenance and repair costs by limiting the amount of time the HVAC system is working to heat or cool a business’s building. One of the biggest issues with uncontrolled business thermostats is employees frequently changing them and causing unnecessary stress on the HVAC system. When HVAC systems run less often, they tend to last longer, which helps to decrease the amount of money spent on improving the energy consumption of a business.

Smart energy relies on smart data and people to analyze it and act on it. For more information on how to optimize your business’s energy and take control of your energy costs, visit the Commercial Energy Tips section of our website, or give us a call at 1-800-427-8545.