Save 25% on your office energy bill

Tyron Cosway
26th August 2022 in Know How
You want to use less energy in the office to halt that soaring energy bill, but where do you start? How can energy management in an office make a big difference in your monthly energy cost? Intelligent control of your building’s heating and cooling is a good start… In this blog, we’ll take a look at how to save 25% on your office energy bill using our own example.

The Problem

We moved into an office building where the heating and cooling were provided by two large outdoor aircon units (each serving one floor). However, the zoning of the aircon had been done based on an office layout that had been changed multiple times since the installation. This meant there were several wall-mounted thermostats for one open plan area; all susceptible to manual staff interaction… So while some were turned off, others may have been on running harder to compensate – and vice versa.

When using a system like this, there is also the problem of the cooling down and warming up periods. This is even more of a variable as the seasons change – making the traditional schedule setting on a thermostat unreliable to always have the right temperature as people arrive in the morning, for example.

As humans, we like visual feedback. Especially when it comes to pressing buttons; it satisfies our need for affirmation. So when it comes to having a thermostat with a temperature display, we usually put the temperature up when we want it to heat up quicker – but that isn’t how thermostats work…

What happens is that it eventually heats up beyond that point which inevitably means someone else in the offices then presses more buttons, perhaps even on one of the other thermostats in the same open-plan office area, drastically reducing the set temperature to cool it down ‘quicker’… You can clearly see the problem this creates. It wastes energy which ends up increasing our energy bills. It puts strain on the aircon units. It negatively impacts efforts to maintain a comfortable office environment. So, what did we do to solve it?

The Solution to save 25% on your office energy bill.

Quite simply, we decided to install Loxone to reduce our energy bills.

Using only a few pieces of hardware from the Loxone range, we immediately had a reduction in energy usage – giving us an average saving of 25% on our energy bill.

Our aircon system is made up of 22x indoor units being served by 2x outdoor units. The hardware that we connected to control these more effectively is:

CoolMaster allowed us to connect to the outdoor unit, and therefore have individual control of each indoor unit through the AC system’s in-built data network. (Get more information and application notes about the Loxone and CoolMasterNet integration in this blog.)

The CoolMasterNet is Modbus IP, so we can communicate between the Miniserver Go and the CoolMasterNet simply over our office network.

We added Room Comfort Sensor Airs – which are wireless temperature sensors – in key locations around the building, mounted on the wall at a height of about 1.5m off the ground, and placed halfway along the open plan area. As it turns out, the ideal locations were, funnily enough, not where the existing thermostats were installed. (If yours are, you could however remove the thermostats and permanently power the Room Comfort Sensors when coupling them with our Flush-mounted Power Supply.)

The Outcome

The average saving per month

 

4700 kWh
Average Units
before Loxone
3500 kWh
Average Units
after Loxone
25.53%
Average Units
Saved

Approximate return on Investment period

 

£740
Average £
saving p/m
£2750
Approx. cost of
the solution
4 months
Approx. time
until ROI

Result! This simple yet effective use of Loxone reduced our energy usage by 25%! We used at least 1645 fewer units of electricity each month – which at a rate of 45.05p per unit, cut £740 off our monthly energy bill!

So what kind of return on investment does that give us? Well, the approximate hardware, and estimated labour cost of two days. for this solution is £2750.

With a saving of £740, that gives us a return on investment after only 4 months! We’re confident that you could also use Loxone to save 25% on your office energy bill.

 

The Config

We used Loxone’s pre-built function for climate control because it has really really nice in-built learning algorithms for learning the heat up and cool down times of a room to ensure that we were never overheating or over-cooling a space. For instance, having a schedule come on far too early. In addition to that, we also implemented a bit of extra logic that would override the air conditioning system’s thermostatic logic, because we were finding that this was causing the building to not be running as optimally as it could be. This logic is visible in the config file that we have shared in this blog. Since implementing both of these, we have never been at a position during work hours where the temperature in a room has been more than 0.8 degrees off our desired target – while simultaneously reducing our energy builds. Happy staff and a happy bank balance.

Hugh Ewen

Sales and Technical Manager, Loxone UK

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