Building Automation to Tackle Energy Waste Now
New methods of building automation are being put in place to combat the increasingly vast amounts of energy wasted throughout buildings every single year. Studies estimate that over $200 billion worth of energy is wasted by buildings due to inefficiencies in their construction, layout and overall design. Two huge corporations making use of new technological methods to tackle energy waste are the Kohl’s Corporation, famous for their department store locations throughout the US, and the General Services Administration, involved in the management of various federal agencies.
The Kohl’s Corporation is making use of various automation systems throughout their department stores across the nation in order to save as much energy as possible. There are over a thousand Kohl’s sites currently taking advantage of this technology and saving the company a veritable fortune in wasted energy costs.
A huge amount of wasted energy comes from lights being left on unnecessarily or air conditioning units being used when they are not needed. Kohl’s system therefore involves regulatory software to monitor the light levels and temperatures throughout the store, and thereby determine when to turn the lights and air conditioning on or off.
This system is able to save the corporation anywhere between 8% and 18% of the energy per store, a savings which will certainly make its mark on the company’s earnings reports by the end of the year. By only using lights and air conditioning units when necessary, rather than leaving them on without any regulation, the corporation is also helping to protect the environment and reduce its carbon footprint, making a small but noticeable contribution to the well-being of the planet and setting an example for others to follow.
Meanwhile, the General Services Administration (GSA) has also made use of automation and new technologies to save millions of dollars each year thanks to a huge reduction in wasted energy. FirstFuel, an energy analytics company, has worked with the GSA to develop an algorithm that is now in use in 180 buildings around the US. FirstFuel’s algorithm works with various forms of data, including the weather and geographical location of each site, in order to determine the most effective measures of energy usage in each building.
The system is capable of identifying the optimum levels of resource usage of an individual building, allowing a site to reduce its use of an air conditioning system for example in order to save thousands of dollars. Overall, the FirstFuel algorithm is responsible for approximately $13 million of savings across the various GSA buildings involved in this initiative.
With new forms of technology come new ways to maximize the efficiency levels of our resources, and these are just two examples of companies making use of automation systems to tackle the problem of wasted energy facing many corporations globally. These systems not only help to cut down on waste and thereby save the company money, but also help to protect the environment by reducing each individual building’s impact on the finite resources of the world.