In many ways, energy is like air: you can’t see it, you never really think about it and you don’t fully appreciate it until it isn’t there. In business, if there’s ever an unexpected energy outage, things quickly grind to a halt and everyone is reminded that energy isn’t just a grudged cost, it’s a precious asset.
In recent years, across the whole SSE group we’ve been closely monitoring attitudes to energy and it’s very clear that they’re changing fast. From governments to ordinary consumers, we’re witnessing a definite shift towards a sustainable approach to our planet’s finite resources.
How are businesses responding to these new expectations? Well, those that are leading the way are taking positive steps by employing innovative energy management strategies that
deliver a lot more for a lot less.
Energy is an asset
Until now, energy has largely been seen as a cost. Most finance directors probably view it as ‘a necessary evil’ on the wrong side of their profit and loss accounts. Increasingly, though, that’s too simplistic a viewpoint. Energy is the lifeblood of industry. It’s an essential part of a complex ecosystem. Undervaluing it would be a big mistake.
Easy access to electricity and gas drives your business. It allows your employees to work efficiently. It ensures the comfort of staff and customers. It’s fundamental to your profitability.
Fuelling the fourth industrial revolution
Access to energy is also key to our collective future. The advent of the digital era and the ‘fourth industrial revolution’ has radically increased demand for energy. The proliferation of a staggering array of ‘always on’ devices and the emerging technologies that will define our times (artificial intelligence, robotics, the Internet of Things, nanotechnology, energy storage, quantum computing, and much more) all share a heavy reliance on easy access to energy.
Less is more
Faced with the inescapable reality of rising demand, we’ve made it our mission to help our customers take control of their energy consumption with active solutions that radically reduce the amount of energy they use.
Intuitively, you’d think it’s impossible to cut consumption when you’re faced with an increase in demand. It’s perhaps ironic though that the answer to meeting the power demands of the emerging technologies can be found through the clever application of those technologies themselves.
As pioneers in this field, we’re leading the shift away from the mechanical, hardware-driven solutions of old-fashioned Building Energy Management to a new world where analytical software is king. The SSE Enterprise Energy Solutions team has combined its deep knowledge of how buildings work with the latest data capture and analysis technologies.
The result is a compelling proposition that combines state-of-the-art science with human expertise and intuition to develop a detailed and accurate understanding of how energy is consumed within even the most complex built environment.
Knowledge, of course, is power. By installing a wide range of measurement systems, performance data can be collected and analysed. From constantly measuring things like ambient temperature to gathering data on mechanical performance, a detailed picture can be built up that accurately describes how energy is being consumed in any building. Once you have the data, it can be interrogated using both artificial and natural intelligence to make adjustments that ensure you use less energy.
Perhaps the biggest breakthrough in the world of energy management is the ability to remotely monitor equipment – and make subtle changes and adjustments.
It’s a fundamental shift. Experts in SSE’s Energy Management Centre work with
data from more than 2,500 different sites and HVAC systems across the UK every
day. Many thousands of data points are fed into auditing and reporting
systems and complex interventions and adjustments are made remotely based
on a unique combination of automation and human intervention.
Our Remote Optimal system isn’t just capable of identifying and fixing faults remotely (usually before anyone actually realises there’s a fault). It also allows us to constantly fine-tune essential systems like heating and ventilation so that comfort is constant while energy use is optimised.
These advanced and continuously evolving technologies are being applied in all kinds of places from single buildings to the most complex estates. They’re present in retail parks, manufacturing units, offices, schools, universities, courts, hospitals and many more walks of life. Every building has the potential to be set up to ensure it never uses energy excessively, never falls below critical levels and is always maintained at the optimum output to make the built environment perfectly comfortable.
More than just energy-saving
Although energy efficiency is our aim, Remote Optimal has other distinct advantages. Perhaps most importantly, it establishes and maintains standards within a building. For example, if you want the temperature set at 19ºC, it can be maintained at all times. That could mean heating it when it’s cold outside and cooling it during warm periods. Whatever’s required it can be managed automatically. The benefits of this approach to the building’s users are obvious. To a business, whether you’re creating happy staff or contented customers, delivering an efficiently comfortable environment pays dividends.
Imperceptibly SSE Enterprise Energy Solutions measures infinitesimal environmental changes and makes equally subtle adjustments that, counted over hours, days and weeks, can add up to considerable financial savings. At the same time, this level of scrutiny leads to less machine downtime, longer machine lifecycles and the ability to identify (and prevent) potential catastrophic failure.
All of that makes your whole business more efficient while potentially making a significant contribution to your bottom line.
Perception is everything
As well as mechanical efficiency, user satisfaction and cost savings,
there’s another direct benefit that can be leveraged by businesses that employ our Remote Optimal solutions. Taking an actively sustainable approach to energy is a public demonstration of your commitment to the environment. People are increasingly critical of businesses that needlessly waste energy and a strong responsible approach helps to build
brand image and ensure compliance with increasing government regulation.
Generating stakeholder value
By changing attitudes to energy, we’re turning it into an asset that generates real value for all the stakeholders in a business. By doing everything we can to reduce energy consumption, we can cut our customers’ bills. By optimising their built environments, we improve the experience of the people who use their buildings. By monitoring machinery and identifying faults, we improve efficiency and increase life expectancy. All of these energy-related activities create tangible value for every stakeholder associated with
the business – as well as improving our planet’s ecosystem for us all.
For SSE Enterprise Energy Solutions and our Remote Optimal platform, it’s just the beginning. Our energy optimisation expertise and the scalability of our service-led proposition is rapidly developing to meet both customer demand and the possibilities that new technologies bring.
We can already call upon an array of energy experts around the country, who can meet the needs of any firm no matter how large or small, compact or disparate. From the power of Remote Optimal to up-to-the-minute reporting, we’re making new technologies ever more accessible to UK business and we’re placing the most sophisticated and versatile energy intelligence tools on the market today at your disposal.
We’re changing the way people think about energy while giving them access to business efficiencies that go way beyond simply reducing their energy bills. To us, an exciting future lies ahead. The converging technologies that have redefined what’s possible are no longer
the preserve of the chosen few. They’re business essentials that every business
can access and, going forward, no business can afford to be without.
Optimised environments benefit staff, customers and the bottom line. Start your journey towards the new world of Remote Optimal today.
Tel: 0345 072 9529