This article is sponsored by GridPoint.
The energy management market is currently being driven by several significant trends, from growing energy demand and rising prices to the rapid growth of cost-effective devices as well as increased emphasis on corporate sustainability programs and government regulations. “As a result of these drivers, businesses are now transforming into energy-conscious enterprises, meaning they are investing in systems to become aware of how their sites use energy and how they can take proactive steps toward optimizing the energy footprint across their fleet of sites,” says Todd M. Raba, president and CEO at GridPoint.
GridPoint’s energy management suite, winner of a 2015 Environmental Leader Top Product of the Year Award, is designed to help businesses take those proactive steps to optimize their energy footprint by giving them detailed visibility into a site’s energy profile and offering intelligent building control. GridPoint uses submetering and monitoring sensors to collect real-time, granular energy data from assets such as HVAC, lighting, refrigeration, and renewable sources of energy as well as data about environmental conditions including temperature, CO2 and humidity. The data is then aggregated in GridPoint Energy Manager, a cloud-based software platform that leverages big data analytics to enable tools such as smart alarms, exception reporting, intelligent control, facility diagnostics, continuous demand management, and project and event tracking. When a Wendy’s franchise owner in Florida realized he needed to bring energy use and operational expense under control, he installed the GridPoint EMS in a single test store. The system allowed him to:
- Prevent employees from manipulating the thermostat – now set to 75 degrees vs. 70 degrees;
- Turn interior and exterior lights on/off automatically, ensuring the lights are not left on overnight;
- Control refrigeration units to ensure the coolers maintain the correct temperature for food;
- Segment temperature zones allowing front-of- house zones to be turned off before and after hours while the kitchen is kept cool for employees.
The results were immediate and significant: the store realized an initial energy cost reduction of 12% monthly in the test store, and the store owner decided to install the system in an additional 11 locations in his network.
In addition to immediate savings, the restaurant owner was able to use information from the GridPoint EMS to discover the many ways more energy savings could be achieved. For example, while reviewing data in GridPoint Energy Manager he noticed one store was showing a significant rise in cooler temperature late at night that lasted for an hour. The only thing it could be, he thought, was that someone was propping open the cooler door. Checking delivery records, he noticed that the spike in temperature coincided with his produce vendor’s delivery schedule. Dominguez contacted the vendor to request that the door not be propped open anymore. The vendor stopped the practice, saving operational costs.