Tom Harris

Tom Harris, Energy Data Analyst

With the proliferation of Automated Meter Reading (AMR) and the increasing availability of half-hourly data, it has never been easier for organisations to monitor and manage their energy consumption. With all of this data available and little time to spend running reports across multiple sites, the question becomes how to analyse and report on this data effectively so that actions can be taken to reduce energy consumption.

Exception reporting can be a cost and time effective solution, meaning you are only alerted when energy consumption or demand deviates from set criteria. AMR and energy management software such as Stark’s SavenergyOnline make this process much easier and open up a range of possibilities in how exception based monitoring is implemented. There are a number of steps you can take to make the most of exception reporting and ensure that it is an effective part of any energy management programme.

1. Automate reporting

If you haven’t done already, automating exception reporting using energy management software means you can get alerts sent straight to your inbox, saving you time and ensuring atypical energy use isn’t missed. If setup correctly, automated exception reporting means that attention can be focused on those sites that deviate from their normal energy consumption. Reliable automated exception reporting relies on calculating and setting intelligent exception criteria that trigger reports only when issues occur at site.

2. Calculate exception criteria

Corporate energy targets are an important feature of any energy management strategy but how do you translate these into continuous monitoring and improvement at site? Effective exception reporting relies on well thought out criteria, applied across the portfolio but bespoke to each site’s varying energy requirements. Overly stringent targets can result in report overload and may mean genuine issues that require attention are missed. Conversely if the criteria are too lenient then reports might not be triggered when you’d want them to be.

There are a range of methods for calculating exception criteria depending on the objectives for the reporting and the energy consumption patterns of the sites being monitored. These could include fixed targets calculated from historical consumption that trigger based on; total consumption, unoccupied consumption, demand at specific times of the day or cost targets based on an organisation’s financial budgets.

Targets can also be dynamic, responding to a site’s historical consumption or factors driving energy consumption at that site. This can be as simple as targets based on percentage changes compared to previous months or years, or regression analysis can be used to calculate criteria that vary depending on the expected consumption based on driving factors such as external temperature or production levels.

3. Alert the right people

For energy savings to be realised from exception reporting, the reporting needs to be delivered to someone who can rectify atypical consumption. This depends on how energy is managed in your organisation, in particular who has the responsibility for taking energy reducing measures at site. In some cases, exception reports can be sent directly to a contact at site who can take localised action. Regional managers could also be included so as to provide them with a view as to how sites are responding to monitoring.

Alternatively, there may be a centralised person or team responsible for managing properties or energy across the organisation. Exception reporting enables contacts to engage with site staff when required, review any centralised control systems or delegate investigative or remedial action to building management contractors. In the case of a single contact, exception reporting may be better delivered as a single summary report rather than multiple site-level reports.

4. Make it clear

The reports that are generated should clearly show the target and actual consumption or demand that triggered the exception report. If these are being sent to a contact at site then a profile showing the period of atypical energy consumption can help the recipient identify the cause. Multi-site exception summaries can show all of this information in a single report and can be used to quickly and easily identify problem sites.

How Stark can help you improve your Monitoring and Targeting Programmes

If you would like to know more sign up for our exception reporting webinar to find out how you can make the most of SavenergyOnline to alert you to waste.

Or if you’d prefer, Stark can take care of everything for you. From dynamic targets calculated from data on driving factors to multi-site portfolio exception summaries, we work with you to design an effective solution that meets your needs. Call our team of expert Energy Analysts today.