Sponsored Content: Q&A with a Leader – Digital Lumens
Jessica Morris will be a panelist at the Environmental Leader Conference on June 21-23 in Denver. Her panel, Building Intelligence as Energy Efficiency Driver, will be at 10:25 on June 23. We were able to catch up with her for a brief Q&A on her thoughts on the state of the industry and what she sees moving forward. To learn more about the EL Conference, visit the conference site.
1. How can I better champion environmental initiatives within my organization? All successful initiatives require and receive buy-in from key stakeholders. And, while tremendous visibility has been brought to environmental initiatives over the past several years, the perception can still exist within some organizations that green or energy-based projects deliver limited value beyond public relations. The most successful environmental managers are able to identify solutions beyond the basic, that result in not only immediate cost savings but a positive, incremental impact across broad swaths of the organization.
2. Our organization is heavily cost and savings focused. How do I communicate the non-traditional value of environmental initiatives? It’s not uncommon for those not involved with environmental or sustainability initiatives on a daily basis to have a limited scope of a project’s potential value. Cost, and the immediate impact to the balance sheet and bottom line, is understandably paramount. However, there are other benefits to consider as you assess opportunity and line up potential vendors for consideration. For example, transitioning your facility or facilities to LED lighting results in immediate, and tangible, energy savings that everyone can appreciate. Transitioning to intelligent LED lighting can introduce additional benefits in terms of productivity, safety, employee engagement, and overall insight into the day-to-day business operations that provide further visibility into opportunities for improvement. Understanding your options, and their potential impact to for other business stakeholders, can go a long way in shifting the conversation from cost savings to far-reaching, organization-wide improvement.
3. So what are the benefits of intelligent energy solutions, beyond savings? For those focused strictly on cost savings, intelligent LED lighting offers an immediate and meaningful benefit over the alternatives: when applied correctly, multi-strategy control through intelligent lighting combines task tuning, occupancy sensors, and daylight sensors (for both coarse and fine zones) to deliver significant, and easily validated, energy savings. The ability to easily and accurately validate the benefits of intelligent energy solutions (and also size the potential economic risk of NOT implementing those improvements) is a particularly beneficial to today’s forward-thinking environmental managers.
These same applications also create a massive amount of data that can, in turn, be used to identify other opportunities to improve or optimize productivity. For example, you may recognize equipment usage trends that guide floorplan or scheduling improvements. Traffic patterns may be revealed that, through programed coordinated control and/or progressive dimming, alleviate potential safety issues.
4. We upgraded our facilities with LEDs a few years ago, so we’re done with lighting upgrades – right? An existing LED system doesn’t preclude an organization from adding intelligence – it can be layered on through standalone sensors to create a retrofitted system that delivers all of the same benefits of a fully integrated intelligent energy solution.
5. How will intelligent lighting and industrial IoT systems continuing to evolve, is there a risk that I might be too early? Through careful consideration, you can select an intelligent energy solution that not only provides a short-term return on your investment, but also future-proofs your business. For example, once installed, many intelligent LED systems will rely primarily on software platforms that can be dynamically updated and/or upgraded, versus requiring new hardware installs (excepting environment-specific equipment).
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