Like most sustainability and ESG initiatives, net zero emissions is a goal that is not going away anytime soon. As of December 2021, 622 of the 2,000 largest public companies in the world had net zero strategies, and over 450 financial firms pledged $130 trillion in private capital to help reach net zero by 2050. These numbers are only likely to rise as consumer, investor, and government pressure to achieve net zero increases. So, how can you work towards net zero emissions at your company, organization, or facility? One way is to utilize real-time data monitoring. In this article, we will explore the various areas in which you can utilize real-time data monitoring to lower your emissions and energy use.
Real-Time Monitoring Helps Sustainability Measures Succeed
Real-time data monitoring provides a more detailed understanding of operational patterns, which in turn allows you to set more specific and meaningful sustainability goals and accurately track your efforts toward attaining those goals. The process of quantifying the energy and cost savings resulting from sustainability and energy conservation measures and is called measurement and verification. Savings cannot be directly measured since they represent the absence of energy use. Instead, they are determined by comparing interval/real-time data before and after implementation of a project, making appropriate adjustments for changes in conditions. Often when constructing an energy management plan and setting sustainability goals, energy managers will primarily gather insights from utility bill data. However, basing your sustainability goals off utility bill data alone could leave you blind to many opportunities. To make up for this blind spot, real-time data offers granular insight into your energy consumption, allowing you to drastically improve your sustainability plan.
It Allows You to Accurately Track Renewable Energy Production
To keep up with ambitious net zero goals, many organizations are turning towards on-site renewable energy production. Generating your own renewable energy brings the challenges of data spread across multiple vendors, portals, technologies, and varying contract structures. With real-time data monitoring, tracking your renewable production performance is simple. Having consolidated renewable production interval data allows you to track and report actual production vs. what was guaranteed/warrantied in your contracts as well as analyze contract-for-differences settlement values against various market hubs and your own energy load. Add this generation data alongside your utility invoice data, and you can quantify avoided costs and emissions, track portfolio carbon offset and/or net zero goals, and prioritize additional renewable investments/deployments.
Prepare for Peak Load Days With Real-Time Monitoring
Preparing for peak load days allows you to reduce your company’s greenhouse gas emissions by shifting load overnight (e.g., to baseload nuclear and wind power) and avoiding the dispatch of the dirtiest generation during peak hours (e.g., oil peakers). Using real-time data, you can effectively identify peak times to manage your demand and reduce emissions. Real-time data also allows you to determine your energy usage patterns. From there, you can examine which systems are running at the time of highest usage and focus on key peak load strategies to make them more efficient. For example, if your company is a realty trust, your HVAC and lighting systems are likely using the most energy during peak load/usage times.
Next Step: Get Assistance With Real-Time Data Monitoring
To fully leverage your real-time data and achieve your net zero goals, your data should be analyzed alongside your actual utility bills and costs, not just estimated averages. Knowing exactly when and how your power is being used in your building is essential to limiting demand, decreasing consumption, and ultimately reducing your emissions and costs. WatchWire provides a single source for all interval data and utility bill data, offering multiple visuals for analysis and actionable insight via a cloud-based, centralized platform. Click here to discover more about WatchWire’s real-time data monitoring capabilities.
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