In order to better manage our energy we first need the data to establish our base load; I need to know where the energy is being used. As a site that uses a substantial amount of energy we pay for our data to be collected every half hour (HHD). Have I been able to get hold of our data? Yes, but it took me tens of emails, lots of ‘phone calls and three months. As it stands I am only receiving it monthly, rather than weekly, but it is a starting point.
So, now what? The data is provided in Excel format and I have been provided with some simple graphing software via the Carbon Trust to illustrate the changes in consumption on an hourly or half hourly basis. However, I am sure that this is something that I could have done for myself given the data, probably using Excel.
We operate continually with only the occasional shutdown, so finding the base load wasn’t as easy as one would think. However, I have now estimated that when the site is unoccupied it is still consuming in the region of 860kWh per day. This is approximately 30% of our total consumption – at a notional cost of 10p per kWh this would equate to more than £30,000 per year. Whilst we are only closed for a few days a year, and so not all of this is necessarily wastage, at the moment I have only discovered where 72kWh is used.
My next mission is to discover what is eating the rest of the electricity, whether it is necessary, and to try to pinpoint the costs in the various operations on site.