How to reduce energy cost: Office Edition
The energy crisis hurts families just as much as it does restaurants, office buildings, manufacturers, apartment buildings, hotels and resorts. Huge annual energy consumption means business operation that is 10 times more expensive, especially at current energy prices. This bears the question: In what areas can companies save energy on a daily basis? Besides cutting down their energy cost, intelligent automation also brings a number of benefits and additional relief.
Managers are fully aware of the giant effects the energy crisis has on their businesses – no matter the industry. When calculating the current numbers, it becomes clear that companies need to implement strategies to cut down their energy consumption fast, but also long-term.
However, some might find it hard to avoid wasting energy when it comes to the operation of a businesses. While the human factor plays an important role in this, larger buildings also make it more difficult to run heating, ventillation, lighting, speaker and audio systems, and other systems that require energy sustainably.
Intelligent automation is a complex measure to reduce costs. When it comes to Loxone, one Miniserver, or the brain of every installation, is enough to control most technologies and functions. Installing a Miniserver for an existing business does not fundamentally restrict operation, as it can be finished in a matter of days – and you start saving practically immediately.
But let’s get into more detail on ways and possibilities to save energy, one area at a time.
Heating – up to 30% lower consumption
Your heating system can be controled according to a set calendar of operating times, including holidays or other off-days. If the building is closed, the heating is lowered.
Thanks to the integrated presence sensors, the heating period can be extended if, for example, you schedule a meeting with colleagues at your workplace after working hours.
Air circulation is smartly controlled according to the presence in offices, apartments, facilities and restrooms. When half of the rooms in the building are empty, there is no need to generate as much energy for circulation. Intelligent automation takes care of it all!
The Touch Pure Flex allows for adjustable control depending on the type of user. For example, employees can only regulate the temperature within a set range of degrees so that they can’t go over a maximum temperature. However, facility managers or administration have complete control over the building’s heating in the mobile App.
Intelligent automation make the heating system in any bulding – small or large – predictable and balanced, therefore effective.
Heating times can also be based on open windows in your bulding. If it windows are open for an extended amount of time, the heating will automatically turn off.
Lighting – save up to 60% of energy
The manager or administrator has central access to control all lighting via one application.
The brightness of LED lights is automatically regulated according to how much natural light there is in each room. This can save up to 60% of energy consumption for lighting.
Building automation makes it possible to automate each room separately based on the users’ needs: The lighting in warehouses can be dimmed to a lower brightness, but fully light up spaces where someone is working.
Audio – up to 79 % lower consumption with a smart Multiroom audio system
Even audio can be triggered based on presence. Why play music non-stop in spaced with less traffic, for instance in restrooms?
Even with an existing audio system, 40% of the energy spent on the audio system can be saved by implementing smart control. Ultimately, it is enough to play audio only if someone is present – for example 60% of the working time.
The Loxone Audioserver has a class D amplifier. This means: 90% efficiency and significantly lower energy consumption compared to commonly used audio systems with higher power consumption. Simply by using the Audioserver, your business can save up to 79% of energy cost.
Powerful audio systems are not needed everywhere. Installing panels takes up a lot of space in offices and other commercial buildings. It also requires active cooling, which consumes additional energy – the Audioserver doesn’t need any of that.
Just as well as lighting, heating and other functions, audio can be cleverly connected to a set working time schedule.
Intelligent energy management & PV
Building automation also eliminates energy overflows.
With systems for excess energy storage, energy can also be used outside of working hours. If more energy is available, the system knows this and will heat the system in advance.
Measurement and control is adjusted according to the requirements of the rooms or apartments. The system knows when it is necessary or not to heat the main tank, and to how many degrees. If there is no need to heat the system up to 70 degrees, it is only heated to 50 degrees, which means saving roughly 30% of energy.
The heat pump itself does not know the prediction and real consumption. Integrated into a smart system, it turns itself off when not needed. It will also wait for a better heating factor (COP) for more efficient operation.
For example, the system will wait until 9:30 am for heating. At that time, it will be able to use energy generated by the PV plant instead of taking energy at 7:00 from the grid.
Company electric cars are charged when there are surpluses. Alternatively, when there is enough energy, employees can charge their cars as a bonus. You can also monitor the consumption of chargers and bill it to specific people if needed.
More branches or subsidiaries? All of them can be connected and their energy consumption monitored centerally to provide global as well as individual statistics and evaluations.
Notification of operating conditions
For instance, if a freezer is left open in a restaurant, not only do ingredients spoil, but electricity consumption increases significantly. The smart system can be set to alert the manager via App notifications whenever the frigge or freezer doors are open for an extended amount of time.
Through secondary measurements, the system detects energy leaks in the building. That way, they can be dealt with immediately, not after your company has already received a hefty energy bill.
With an intelligent electrical installation, there is no need to switch the building off and on directly with a circuit breaker. This damages devices and is easy to forget to turn off.
A huge bonus: Smart access
Pro Tip – integrate the access system into your building automation. It can solve or prevent problems, and make work easier.
One code keypad at the door is enough. By entering a specific code, lighting, heating, audio and other technologies switch to absence mode. Some people might forget to turn it off, but if it requires a code.
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