What to look for from a bureau

Appointing a forward-thinking energy bureau can be the important first step in identifying and implementing energy- and cost-saving opportunities. Lisa Gingell of Utilitywise explains how to get the best from BeMS controls with smart bureau services.

Traditionally energy bureaux were seen as purely for bill validation and reporting on energy consumption, which was all they were required to do. However, today’s energy user has moved on and is more engaged in savings. Businesses are keen to gain insights into where their building is using energy, at what time of day and why — so energy bureaux need to do so much more to keep up.

Today’s energy bureau is much more interactive, forward thinking and intelligent — using cutting-edge technology to provide previously unattainable levels of intelligence and insights. Gone are the days of merely reporting on data; the modern intelligent bureau will help businesses actively reduce energy consumption and cost as well as meet legislative requirements and even manipulate the shape of the energy bill for the future. By monitoring and reporting on consumption patterns and overlaying this information with control strategies, the intelligent bureau can actively manage energy consumption for the end user.

Through clever analytics our team identifies best-practice BeMS controls and implements cost-saving activities by shifting and shedding load against time-of-day tariffs. We take clients on a full energy-reduction journey; it starts with the metering, engagement and controls which are maintained and managed through a modern-day energy bureau.

Forward thinking intelligent energy bureaux must incorporate the traditional roles but also control consumption and cost and look forward to market changes and how to make these changes work for the building owner — now and for the future.

The modern intelligent energy bureau can offer the following services.

• Work with the changing shape of the energy markets.

• Consider time-of-day tariffs such as DUoS and TRiADS to shift load and cut costs from the bills.

• Run control strategies and report on the impact on reduced consumption.

• Engage with the client by sending reports to showcase energy savings and strategies through interactive apps and dashboards.

• Educate the team working with the energy bureau by demonstrating how to save more energy.

The Utilitywise Energy Services bureau team, through cloud-based software, can identify energy-efficiency opportunities in equipment controls and produce interactive graphical displays. These displays engage building occupiers and encourage behavioural change to allow the customer to reduce energy consumption and energy costs of up to 30% through technology and their own people.

The forthcoming P272 legislation relating to energy meters, which is due to come into force in 2017, is also spurring the need for smarter energy bureaux. In 2017, businesses with meters in class 05-08 will have their usage settled on a half-hourly basis, thereby paying more or less depending on the time of day in which they use energy.

Knowledge of the key components of an energy bill (commodity and non-commodity costs) coupled with knowledge of building and equipment performance and controls is imperative if businesses are going to optimise when they use energy to reduce a growing energy bill.

Intelligent bureau teams, work with businesses to move energy consumption when non-commodity costs are higher (DUoS/ TRiAD) and take advantage of lower-tariff periods, thereby reducing not only actual energy consumption each day but also cost.

The Climate Change Levy (CCL) further enhances the need for this type of intelligent bureau offering. This tax on energy consumption will be increased from 2019, making the higher-tariff periods even more costly to businesses.

By incorporating information on procurement, energy markets, legislation and tariff rates, the energy bureau team can use its expertise and knowledge to help clients not only to use less energy but use less at key times of the day to achieve an average 15 to 20% reduction in consumption, which results in greater savings from the bill.

Intelligent bureaux benefit business three-fold, from cost savings to energy consumption reduction and legislation compliance. The days of energy bureaux not being relevant are over. Make way for the intelligent bureaus of the future.

Lisa Gingell is director of PR and marketing for the energy services division of Utilitywise PLC.

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