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Energy Efficiency: Where to Begin?

The good thing about starting to work with energy efficiency is that you will save money and energy from the start. The challenge, however, is knowing where to begin.

Gurusoft EMS in use

We asked Jan Erik Gran at Gurusoft that question. His answer is quick and clear:

– You need to start by gaining an overview of your own energy consumption. You need to begin with an energy management system, or an EMS, as it is often abbreviated to.

Gain insight with an EMS

Without insight in your own consumption, it’s hard to know what to do and where to focus.

Bilde av Jan Erik Gran

– Establishing an EMS is probably one of the most important things to reduce energy consumption. It requires small investments and can be implemented by all types of businesses – regardless of whether they are building owners or tenants, whether they are large or small. Knowledge about your own energy consumption makes you better equipped to gain overview and control, Jan Erik explains.

With the development in energy prices and level of taxes, there is an enormous saving potential for many businesses. A modest estimate from Norwegian Enova says that just by establishing an EMS, you will save three to five percent of your electricity costs.

Gurusoft's experience is that companies often save more.

– This is a lot of money for a lot of people. And it's about gaining insight and control, so you know where to start, emphasizes Jan Erik Gran.


The benefits of good energy data

– It is the same with data as with everything else. If you have shit going in, you will get shit out. You need to focus on data quality and question how the data is quality assured. Also, make sure you can easily keep track yourself, advises Gran.

To Jan Erik Gran, the most important thing is that the user understands their data.

– You need to get the numbers in a context that makes sense.

In his opinion, there is far too much sloppiness with energy data. 

He highlights one example

If you monitor and see that your consumption decreases slightly every year, it's easy to think that you're doing well. The boss is happy, and you save a few percent on electricity consumption. But what if you still use much more than you should? You could have saved even more, without knowing it at all. Is that good enough?


Do you have time to save money?

To save money with an EMS, you need to actively use it. It doesn't help to have a new car if it's just going to stay in the garage. Gran is surprised by how many people do not take advantage of the opportunities and saving potential that lie in actually using the data they receive.

– Do you have time to save money? Gran asks rhetorically.

– You need to invest time, resources, and commitment. It's much more fun to work with this if you care, he says with enthusiasm.

He also reminds us that an EMS is an important tool for documenting the effect of various measures you take, for instance when reporting on sustainability and climate impact.


Reduced consumption by 17 percent

Gurusoft has had customers who have achieved significant savings by engaging a little more.

– We have a customer who reduced their electricity consumption by 17 percent, just by gaining control of their consumption and implementing measures - without any major investments.

It can be as simple as reducing consumption on weekends and nights when no one is at work; do a check on the building, and engage everyone internally, explains Gran, who believes it pays off to make a sport out of saving on electricity.

– If you bother to do anything, you will save on it!


What's an EMS?

Energy Management Systems are used to monitor, visualize, and analyze energy consumption, for example in a building, a facility, or an industrial process. The purpose is to provide detailed information on how energy is used, identify areas of high energy consumption or inefficiency, and provide a basis for implementing measures to reduce energy consumption and costs.

An EMS can include sensors and measuring instruments that monitor electricity consumption, heating, cooling, water consumption, and other energy-related data. The collected information is processed and visualized through software interfaces, or dashboards, so that you can analyze energy consumption patterns and identify areas for improvement.

EMS systems are especially useful for those who want to optimize energy efficiency, reduce environmental impact, and reduce energy costs.

Advantages of having an EMS

The benefits of having an EMS are many. Gran lists the following as the most important:

  • Energy expenses are reduced
  • The staff becomes more energy conscious
  • Faults in systems and equipment are detected earlier
  • Better overview of energy flow and energy consumption
  • Better basis for evaluating operational routines
  • Positive profiling towards tenants and society
  • Comparable figures for multiple buildings
  • Better prepared for price changes

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