I am sometimes asked the question: What good will Electricity and Water monitoring data do for my school?
It’s a trick question of course…no intelligent person would ask such a question, unless to promote a reaction. :)
Efficiency intervention to reduce consumption is always welcome. However, I like to think that whilst any efficiency intervention must be considered a good thing, obtaining qualified results, by understanding the difference your interventions (and investments) make, becomes strategic.
Data has no value in a desk drawer…!!!
I today visited a school in Johannesburg, where Suntricity has, over more than 2-years, carried out real-time monitoring. I have had the pleasure of working closely with the facility manager, who immediately understood the difference real-time data can make to him and his Maintenance Team.
In the first month of monitoring, we were able to identify the level of water consumption outside of school hours, which proved to be several underground leaks. The monitoring investment was immediately repaid.
With this initial success, a close collaboration developed with the facility manager, which, two years later, has made a tremendous difference to consumption and costs of Electricity and Water at the school.
The facility manager has (with the support of the Principal and SGB) systematically replaced all external security lighting with very low wattage LED’s, with classroom lighting mostly LED. Certainly by the end of 2018, the entire school will have LED lamps.
The result: A more than 30% reduction in Electricity consumption.
And through the continued water saving programme at the school, a 35% reduction has been achieved over the same period of time.
What is however most rewarding (to me) is that the facility manager is very aware that his work is far from done!!! He has already identified priorities for the next 3-years, which the SGB fully supports.
Savings at the school is being reinvested to make further improvements and the cycle is repeated each year.
And throughout the entire two year monitoring period, monitoring data were closely transmitted and with pride the the Facility Manager and his Team knows they are achieving something worthwhile.
Data in itself will not save Electricity or Water. What we do with the data however, can make a massive difference.