In life and in energy management, change starts with a baseline.

If you want to lose weight, you first need to know what you weigh, how often you exercise, and how many calories you consume, on average, each day. If you’re a homeowner who wants to reduce your energy consumption and engage in more cost-effective energy management, you’ll keep a close eye on your water, gas, and electric energy usage and perhaps, your habits, and then take action to reduce your energy usage, such as turning off lights when you leave rooms and installing a programmable thermostat.

Businesses committed to being ‘green’ by reducing their energy consumption and impact on the environment need to start by gaining an accurate glimpse into their actual energy consumption. Building energy monitoring gives companies that critical insight into their energy usage, which is so foundational to change and to better energy management.

As a business, you can’t be green if you don’t know what’s going on with your energy consumption,” says Tim Wilson of Predictive Technology, one of the companies Miller Electric partners with on energy reduction efforts for businesses. “Building energy monitoring is about creating a baseline. Once you have that baseline, you can monitor your data and show your percentage gains in energy usage.”

Building Energy Monitoring Through Smart Metering

“For business owners and corporate leaders who are serious about working green, smart metering is the best place to start,” says Electrical Risk Consultant for Miller Electric, Jeremy Overman. “Smart meters are an easy entry point into green energy management. They capture your energy usage and push that out to a cloud-based software program that can be accessed from any computer with an internet connection.”

The days of dialed meters and needle watching are over. Once smart meters are installed, it’s just a matter of working with a capable partner to track usage and devise actions to reduce it.

“We can tell you, based on your energy usage, what your carbon footprint is and can equate your energy usage to the impact you are having on the environment,” says Wilson. “Years of research and a proprietary software model go into our ability to give building owners and corporate leaders that information.”

Miller Electric’s Intersection with Building Energy Monitoring

As a commercial electrical contractor, Miller Electric partners with building energy monitoring software providers to help companies in the Omaha metro area reduce their energy consumption and implement a cost-effective energy management strategy.

We install smart metering systems, including any necessary cabling and wiring to make them run properly, which is a good first step in helping companies understand their impact on the environment and potential cost savings through reduced energy consumption levels.

Why Energy Management Matters

We all like the fact that we can just flip a switch and have power that illumines rooms, enables work, and makes life easier. But, the energy we use has to be created by someone from a natural resource. That energy creation impacts our environment in various ways.

Doing what we can to reduce our energy consumption results in less energy that needs to be created and lowers the impact on the environment.

Besides reducing your carbon footprint, why would a building owner want to invest in building energy monitoring?

The answer comes down to money. Wasted energy is wasted money. Smarter energy management involves lower energy consumption. In addition to gaining goodwill and even loyalty from customers who make purchasing decisions based on a company’s environmental impact, reducing energy usage saves money.

Here in the Midwest we tend to lag behind the coasts when it comes to energy monitoring and reduction, mostly because our energy is so cheap. “Companies here pay 4 or 6 cents per Kwh, whereas on the west coast they’re paying three or four times that,” says Overman. “Because the cost of energy is so inexpensive here, it might take three years instead of eight months to recoup your initial investment cost, but you will get it back.”

Remember to Have Realistic Expectations When it Comes to Energy Management

All of that money saving starts with a baseline. With that in place, you can start taking action to cut your energy costs and reach your energy management goals.

Remember to set realistic goals when it comes to curbing energy costs. “Anyone who promises to cut your energy costs by 40% if you use their approach is probably trying to sell you snake oil,” Wilson says. “You should absolutely expect a payback, and should know how long it will take to achieve payback, but anywhere from a 5 – 20 % reduction in energy costs is typical.”

The starting line for any company wanting to be green is building energy monitoring through smart metering systems.

The bottom line is that the bigger your investment, the larger return you can expect. And, the finish line is having a company that doesn’t just say it cares about being green, but actually lives its energy management principles for everyone to see.