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Smart meters: essential to sustainable energy consumption

Tuesday, 30 July 2019

 

The advent of smart meters has given warehouses an additional tool to handle energy consumption on the shop floor in an intelligent way. What are smart meters exactly and what kind of impact can they have on a company’s sustainability?

 

More than ever, the business world is casting a critical eye on its own ecological footprint. This also goes for the logistics industry which, spurred on by a host of technological innovations, is doing its best to adopt a more ecological approach. At Goodman this has resulted in the development of the Goodman Energy Tracker, a platform that displays the real-time electricity, gas and water consumption per warehouse, including the cost price and the ecological footprint involved. After all, the benefits of an economical energy policy are undeniable: lower consumption not only benefits the planet, it also yields huge cost savings.

 

The best energy is the energy you’re not using

 

Measuring is knowing and so an energy-efficient policy starts with the detailed mapping of consumption. More and more often this is done using digital meters, which are starting to supplant the classic analogue gas and electricity meters. The next step is a transition to smart meters that will provide a complete and detailed overview of your energy consumption.

 

Smart meters such as the Goodman Energy Tracker can have a huge impact on the energy consumption of warehouses and businesses in general. This is because they give businesses a clear insight in their energy consumption - both in terms of overall consumption by all subsidiaries and per individual site. In addition to consumption, smart meters can also map out the energy generated by, for instance, sun panels on the roof. The parties concerned get detailed consumption data in real time, enabling them to carry out reliable analyses per individual zone.

 

Where, when and how much?

 

Which floor and which specific room uses the most energy? Which devices are responsible and what are the peak times? Where can we eliminate superfluous energy consumption? Smart metering systems such as the Goodman Energy Tracker give a convincing answer to all of these questions today, opening the door to concrete measures in terms of energy management that can save considerable amounts of money. Just think of the replacement of energy-guzzling devices, eliminating unnecessary lighting and additional insulation in places requiring more heating.

 

Smart meters automatically transfer the measured data to the energy supplier, relegating manual readings to the history books. This means suppliers will receive a lot more updates than with the classical meter reading system. As a result, excessive energy use can be flagged a lot faster and, if necessary, advance payments can be reevaluated.

 

Switch to a sustainable mindset

 

However, the results of these meter readings are not just interesting for the energy supplier and the accounting department that pays the bills. The results will benefit everyone who contributes to consumption. The Goodman Energy Tracker enables Goodman customers to share the obtained data with the staff involved in the form of detailed reports. Thus they can generate a long-term mentality change among staff aimed at conserving energy. Staff who are conscious of their ecological footprint on the shop floor will be more likely to adjust their behaviour. Multiple branches of the same company can even compare the evolution of their consumption and possibly even offer an incentive.

 

Already smart meters are creating a great deal of added value for warehouses but it’s clear they will have an even bigger impact in the future. Thanks to Internet of Things applications, even more devices in the same building will communicate, manage and be connected with each other online. In this context, smart meters can lay the groundwork for a more conscious and sustainable energy consumption on a large scale.