C&I Facility Energy Data: The Next Frontier for EPC Firms
Clean energy innovations and advancements continue evolving rapidly, with many Commercial & Industrial (C&I) facilities looking to leverage new technology to cut energy costs and emissions. As a result, Engineering, Procurement, and Construction (EPC) firms will be increasingly asked to deploy onsite Distributed Energy Resources (DERs) systems for C&I facilities or entire portfolios.
However, most C&I facilities have access to limited energy data, making it challenging, if not impossible, for EPCs to conduct the detailed analyses necessary to help facility and energy management teams achieve their goals.
Mid-size C&I projects often lack the economies of scale that benefit larger off-site installations. These systems have also traditionally been very customized, hindering attempts at standardization. Meanwhile, project timelines can last for an extended period, with the potential for obstacles that can delay completion if not accounted for during the scoping stage. Many of these jobs may also need to incorporate various levels of local- and state-specific policies, regulations, and permitting that impact the C&I market.
Heila iQ empowers EPCs with the robust critical energy data, insights, and reporting they’ll need to meet the growing demand for C&I facilities trying to reduce energy costs and emissions.
C&I Facilities Embark on Electrification
C&I energy management teams are no longer content to match consumption with carbon credits or offsets. Rising electricity costs, grid outages, and larger electrical loads are driving more companies to find a cost-effective route to mitigate these risks. Onsite DERs, like solar, storage, and generators, offer a promising solution for C&I facilities to lower electricity costs, support regular operations, and directly contribute to decarbonization and resilience.
Additionally, more companies are converting transportation fleets from combustion engines to battery electric vehicles (BEVs) or electric vehicles (EVs) and mechanical equipment to electrical machinery. This electrical transformation will require larger energy loads that will increase power system complexity, particularly for those facilities that install EV charging bays.
All of these corporate energy decisions have shaken up the EPC sector. A Dec. 2021 survey of EPC firms conducted by POWER Magazine revealed nearly all respondents said the changing profile of new construction projects was one of the key trends disrupting their sector, forcing many to shift from “building larger, baseload power plants toward smaller energy projects.”
As EPCs recalibrate their offerings and services to accommodate changing customer demand, they’ll need access to more granular and robust energy data and analytics than most C&I facilities can provide.
Why EPCs Need Better C&I Energy Data
Whether carrying out activities related to the design, procurement, and construction of new facilities, to the maintenance and renovation of existing ones, or to successfully deploying onsite DERs, EPC firms must have access to accurate, current, and historical energy information for the facility or fleet.
This energy data can be broken down into two main categories:
- Energy consumption data — to identify potential areas where DER deployment can reduce energy costs and/or improve energy resiliency.
- Energy generation data — to ensure that any deployed DERs generate the forecasted amount of energy.
For energy consumption data, EPC firms need access to facility energy usage data over an extended period to correctly identify energy savings opportunities, and traditional utility bills lack the detailed information needed. Even if a facility catalogs its historical usage, this data is often contained in non-standardized file formats that make it inaccessible or unusable.
Then, EPC firms must also be able to obtain reliable energy generation data on solar, wind, and other assets to size and design any DERs they deploy properly. Accurately forecasting renewable energy generation yield and potential cost savings — which must also incorporate past and real-time consumption data — requires a sophisticated modeling algorithm for project success.
Additionally, EPC firms need access to real-time energy consumption and generation data to properly monitor and optimize the performance of the DERs they deploy. This data will play an essential role in demand response programs, such as peak shaving, which helps facilities cut energy costs while maintaining operational uptime and alleviating stress on the utility grid.
As we can see, this critical energy data will be crucial for EPCs to correctly identify energy savings opportunities or ensure that the DERs they deploy generate the expected energy yield to reach the ROI target on schedule.
Standardizing and Simplifying Onsite DER Deployments
The rapid advancement of technological innovation will only continue altering how EPC firms approach operations, design, construction, and client engagement. Without a clear roadmap containing standardized and simplified guidance on how to most cost-effectively deploy and maintain onsite DERs, these technological advancements can create a long-term mismatch between an EPC firm’s current employees and the specific skillsets needed for project success.
Fortunately, Heila iQ delivers the energy monitoring, analytics, and actionable insights needed to overcome these challenges for a single facility or an entire fleet. Heila iQ lets EPCs quickly establish standardization across multiple stakeholders and sites with varying requirements and resources.
Heila iQ makes building, optimizing, and scaling DER systems simpler for EPCs and eases and simplifies more complex energy management activities like direct load control, behavioral load shaping, and energy efficiency to further reduce energy costs and emissions.
Regardless if it’s a full-wrap or a partial-wrap contract, Heila iQ provides the critical energy data, reporting, and recommendations to help EPCs standardize and simplify onsite DER deployments for C&I facilities.
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