SMART Energy Management Software has transformed the role of energy-users by placing them at the forefront of their own energy-use and keeping them informed about the performance of their electrical devices—as a result, SMART Energy Management Software has revolutionised the way energy is consumed in businesses. It engages occupants and employees and actively drives crucial energy efficiency behaviour change. Most impressively, SMART Energy Management Software achieves these aims through the use of easy to understand and easy to manage technology that is accessible from anywhere in the world.

In fact, it has become increasingly difficult to imagine businesses without SMART Energy Management Software—it is somewhat comparable to imagining cars without any of the important gauges on the dashboard. Admittedly, the outcomes of gauge-less dashboard are likely to be more dire, but the rationale behind the use of these technologies is much the same.

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Figure 1: Easy to understand, real-time Terra Firma Solutions’ energy efficiency software solution

Monitoring energy-use allows a business to meet a number of essential cost saving objectives and reduce critical energy-related risks, including; achieving tariff optimisation, reconciling bills, monitoring of demand and power factor, measuring and verifying savings, setting targets and reporting, increasing life-span of electronics, energy visibility and identifying wastage.

Energy Visibility allows energy-users to promptly detect and swiftly respond to critical issues without even stepping on-site.

The Pyramid of Energy Savings discusses the essential steps needed to achieve maximum cost-savings from SMART Energy Management Software. They include; energy visibility, meaningful actions and people engagement.

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Figure 2: ElsterICT’s Pyramid of Energy Savings

Energy Visibility and Meaningful Actions

The software system empowers energy-users through providing energy visibility. Energy visibility ensures that energy usage is not only monitored, but that it can easily be managed and reduced. The Energy Management Software shows wastage in a number of ways based on complex optimal energy efficiency algorithms. This wastage can be quickly identified both on-site and remotely from a various devices such as smart phones and tablets. The software displays the energy usage in an easily interpretable format that enables the user to make important decisions and take the relevant actions that lead to significant operational and cost savings.

In addition, the information displayed in the Energy Management Software represents real-time energy usage (with as little as a 5 minute time delay). This is essential because reliable and up-to-date energy data further allows businesses to promptly detect issues and take the necessary actions to bring energy usage and production back to its optimal state. It may also help indicate larger mechanical malfunctions at an earlier stage and help identify asset performance, thus preventing significant mechanical damage and non-optimal production or performance levels.

People Engagement

People Engagement is the final, yet vital factor that drives sustainable energy efficiency behaviour change. A key component of the Energy Management Software offered by Terra Firma Solutions is the Foyer View. Foyer View is a large screen display that makes energy consumption visible to all employees and helps embed energy efficiency in the company’s core values. Engaging employees is the most effective means of achieving meaningful energy efficiency behaviour change since employees are able, and encouraged, to take an active role in the common goal of achieving energy efficiency. The European Environment Agency published a 2013 report entitled Achieving Energy Efficiency Through Behaviour Change: What Does It Take? The report presents Elizabeth Shove’s (2003) research that argues that “routine consumption is controlled to a large extent by social norms and is profoundly shaped by cultural and economic factors”. Shove goes on to explain that current energy consumption patterns reveal that energy-users are generally not aware of their routines and habits. Building on this, it is clear that enhancing the awareness of energy-use actively engages employees and supports the development of a new social norm in which energy efficiency is valued. The key finding from Shove’s research is that in order to successfully achieve behaviour change, the focus should be on transforming collective conventions (social norms) as they are the most powerful tool to ensuring sustainable consumption patterns. The Foyer View component is therefore a key factor for achieving optimal cost-savings.

The SMART Energy Management software is an unrivalled cost saving tool for any business

SMART Energy Management Software therefore drives continuous savings through sustainable energy efficiency behaviour change and provides the essential energy visibility needed to transform the role of energy-users by making them actively involved with, and in control of, vital energy usage information. It is difficult to believe that before Energy Management Software was available, valuable energy usage information, which is now so easily accessible and interpreted, once wasn’t monitored, measured or actively controlled and businesses repeatedly and extensively felt the losses of unexpected and unnecessarily high energy bills.