The Half hourly meter was introduced to help operators manage demand on the grid. Providing a reading every half hour gives your supplier clear visibility of how much energy your business uses. However, you too can benefit from the data supplied by your meter.
Understanding your energy usage patterns can help you manage your consumption, and ultimately cut cost. Here we explain how.
The first step in taking control of your consumption is to view your usage data. There are several ways in which you can do this:
Ask your supplier for your half hourly readings
Your supplier will be able to provide you with detailed usage data, broken down by half-hourly intervals. If you have the time to crunch the numbers, this can be a useful tool. The downside, however, is that the information will be provided in a lengthy spreadsheet, comprised of a series of numbers which can be arduous to interpret.
Check if your supplier provides a usage dashboard
Some suppliers provide basic usage dashboards which show your half hourly data in the form of graphs. These can be easier to digest than the raw usage data.
Use a third party application
If you source your energy through a broker, they may have additional software to help you understand your consumption. At Tritility, for example, we provide all clients on Half Hourly Metering with access to our Energy Management System. This gives a full breakdown of cost, consumption and carbon output, accompanied by advice to help you reduce your bills.
Once you have a firm understanding of your usage, you can begin to pinpoint exactly where you can make the biggest difference.
A good place to start is to check how much energy you’re using outside of site operating hours. If you notice you’re using more energy than expected, check what devices are being left on, as they could be needlessly consuming power.
If you notice spikes in your energy use, note when these are happening. This will help establish whether the spikes correlate with certain processes or activities. If you can attribute the spikes to a particular device, it may be time to replace it.
One way to be certain whether a particular device is devouring energy is to carry out a simple test. For example, if you suspect your air conditioning is the problem, turn it off for an hour, then cross reference your usage for that hour with the same time frame the previous couple of weeks. If there’s a significant dip in usage, it may be time to get your air conditioning tested.
Dual-rate Half Hourly Metering provides customers with a cheaper night rate, as a means of managing demand. If you have a dual-rate Half Hourly Meter, you may be able to save money by making the most of your night rate. Even businesses that only operate during the day could carry out automated processes over night, such as electric car and forklift charging.
Half Hourly Metering comes with the benefit of more frequent readings, but if you want to delve even further into your usage data, you could consider installing additional monitoring hardware.
Devices can be added to half hourly meters to detect exactly where most of your energy is being used. Such devices enable you to see usage data for particular sites, divisions and even individual devices, helping you to make an informed decision on where to focus your energy-saving efforts.
If you’re considering installing energy monitoring hardware and would like some advice, we can help. Give us a call, or, if you’re already a Tritility client, speak to your account manager about your options.