It sounds counter intuitive, but businesses can actually save money on energy costs by using more energy, but doing it intelligently. Researchers at Aarhus University in Denmark found that by using 10% more energy at a particular time of day, companies can save about 10% on their heating bill.
Green-Friendly Energy Use
Using building simulations and advanced calculation models, the Danish researchers concluded that intelligent energy management can be both an economic and an environmental advantage, while also being inexpensive and green-friendly.
Aarhus University Associate Professor Steffen Petersen said the experiments involved intelligent management of energy consumption with the aim of minimizing the cost of heating without compromising user comfort.
“The result is that you can use large amounts of energy at night to heat up the thermal mass of the building, after which you can turn off the heating altogether in the morning peak and during the daytime, when the total power consumption and energy price are at their highest,” he said in a Science Daily article. “You thus use more energy than you would without intelligent management, but you actually save money and take the pressure of the energy supply at the same time.”
The energy assessment also concluded that there are major ‘green’ profits to be made with intelligent management of the energy consumption of buildings, both commercial and residential.
“If you choose to focus in the management plan on reducing carbon dioxide emissions slightly, you’ll achieve a significant environmental gain for a very small price,” said Petersen.
Smart Office Buildings
Among many businesses today, heating systems are often turned down at night to save energy as the building’s services are not being used. Instead of turning down the heat, a smart building would actually increase the temperature at night as there is plenty of electricity available at that time from sustainable energy sources.
Petersen believes that as intelligently managed buildings evolve, it will be taken for granted that the building itself will work out heating and lighting solutions for the following day based on when it is cheapest and advantageous from a financial and environmental point of view.
In Canada, intelligent management systems and energy assessment services such as those provided by Ontario’s Active Business Services are currently assisting Ontario businesses to realize these benefits. Businesses can start by conducting a comprehensive energy assessments that will include a thorough look at a company’s historical energy use, as well as its load profile, which, in the end, provides a detailed look at the company’s energy portfolio. Active Business Services offers a complimentary energy assessment service for businesses interested in natural gas and electricity supply and risk management solutions.