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Smart energy management: Benefitting utilities, users alike

Smart energy management: Benefitting utilities, users alike
Today, a rise in energy cost has become a global phenomenon. Against this backdrop, more and more people are turning to smart energy management solutions, which can benefit utility companies and end users alike.
Today, a rise in energy cost has become a global phenomenon. Against this backdrop, more and more people are turning to smart energy management solutions, which can benefit utility companies and end users alike.

The availability of smart energy management has widened, thanks mainly to the advent of IoT and data. “Before the age of IoT, most meters were usually localized and required manpower to physically inspect the meters. But now with IoT, these meter readings can be viewed remotely via an app on mobile devices or laptops,” said John Tan, Key Account Manager at ABB. “Such remote management reduces man hours in facilities management while allowing the end user to be more conscious of their usage and avoid wastage.”
According to Tan, smart energy management solutions are more in demand in developed regions, such as Singapore and the Middle East, where limited and scarce resources tend to make the price of electricity and water more expensive. “The trend of using IoT and big data is picking up exponentially as the Singapore Government is aggressively implementing campaigns and new policies, such as the newer and more stringent Green Mark Marking Scheme for new and existing buildings. On top of that, with the rise in water and electricity bills, it encourages home or business owners to adopt technologies that are more efficient to help monitor and manage the usage of water and electricity,” he said.
In Tan’s words, smart energy management can benefit different players in the supply chain. These include utility companies which aim to improve efficiency and performance. “Our enterprise software and asset management solutions for water and wastewater can help utilities manage the lifecycle of their infrastructure and facilities, optimize workforce operations, improve the performance of assets, plan budgets, provide data for equipment replace-versus-repair decisions and build long-term asset maintenance strategies,” he said.
But it’s the end users who stand to benefit most from smart energy management which monitors the user’s consumption behavior and sends related data to their various devices. In terms of monitoring, ABB has a smart meter sensor, known as the current monitoring system (CMS), which allows monitoring of electrical usage and can be integrated into an existing circuit breaker without having to rewire the outgoing circuits. “The energy usage can be monitored remotely via a mobile device,” Tan said “Our i-bus KNX system coupled with Busch Control Touch allows the building owners/end users to manage and monitor their energy usage remotely via a mobile device as well as allow the control of lighting, blinds, HVAC and audio systems. Coupled with the ABB smart presence sensors, energy management can be automatically adjusted to the optimum lux and temperature level to avoid wastage.”
Smart energy management also enables demand response, which matches energy consumption to the supply in the system. “For example, customers will be able to configure their building automation systems so that the heating is lowered during periods of peak demand, or they may authorize a third-party or their utility to take such action on their behalf. This would help customers lower their electricity bills as well as enhancing the overall efficiency of the system,” he said.
Tan concluded that smart energy management is here to stay. “The future of using IoT and big data to manage water and energy usage will become the norm as technology becomes more affordable and more countries are dealing with large aging population and lower birth rates, manpower may become scarce, encouraging businesses/ societies to adopt new technologies,” he said.

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