Reduce Energy Bills, Outages, and Emissions with Heila iQ’s Data-Driven Roadmap
Commercial and Industrial (C&I) plant managers face monumental tasks to reach urgent energy goals… all while keeping the power on. Achieving these goals — such as maximizing cost savings, strengthening energy resilience, and cutting carbon emissions — will be critical to ensure operations remain competitive in an increasingly electricity-based economy.
Making the most informed energy investments to accomplish these goals will require a deeper understanding of facility power systems and electricity consumption. But to gain this deeper understanding, many plant managers will need access to more precise energy data measurements and analytical breakdowns. And they need all this data aggregated across the entire portfolio and tracked over an extended period.
Typical one-off energy analyses grow stale quickly, and plant managers may need assistance to get board buy-in and follow-ups for these one-off initiatives, leading to institutional discontinuity. Additionally, a mixed assortment of non-standardized data across different site geographies and a lack of expertise and resources inside the company to perform a proper assessment have also hindered a deeper understanding of C&I power consumption.
Below, we explore the complex energy challenges facing C&I plant managers and how Heila iQ empowers them with the data-driven roadmap to improve portfolio economics, minimize operational downtime, and optimize on-site renewables.
Combating Rising Electricity Costs
C&I plant managers are no strangers to volatile energy costs, whether from market-driven increases, changing Time-of-Use (TOU) rate schedules, shifting demand charges, or unplanned emergencies.
Rising electricity costs have only amplified the need to find new ways to unlock energy savings. From Nov. 2021 to Nov. 22, average commercial electricity costs increased from 11.29 to 12.50 cents per kilowatt-hour (kWh). Meanwhile, these price increases come as the industry transitions to electrical machinery and battery-electric vehicles (BEVs), with more than 50% of companies planning to fully decarbonize fleets by 2027, reported McKinsey.
Converting to electrical machinery and transport processes and rising energy costs will mean larger energy loads and ever-growing utility bills. But these variables create operational cost uncertainty, leaving many plant managers needing help correctly predicting future energy and budgetary demands. Further complicating matters, aggregating data across a portfolio to check for fleet-wide errors can often make matters worse due to miscalculations.
Without access to high-precision data readings and the advanced analytics to unlock the actionable insights buried in those metrics, C&I plant managers will find it increasingly challenging to identify avenues for lowering energy costs in the face of rising prices and larger, more complex loads.
Attaining More Operational Uptime
Resilient, reliable electrical power has become more critical than ever to avoid operational downtime and safety risks, especially as C&I facilities electrify processes and fleets. But maintaining system reliability and performance requirements is becoming more challenging and costly than ever before. Bloomberg reported that just one hour of unplanned downtime could cost a large manufacturer more than $5 million.
Many facilities rely on legacy power systems with aging equipment, making available energy sources cumbersome and costly. Worst of all, these outdated systems are vulnerable to damages caused by outages, poor power quality, and electrical surges, which can lead to equipment failure, downtime, safety hazards, loss of revenue, and expensive repairs.
In addition to these internal risk factors, plant managers must also plan against external factors, like the increasing frequency and severity of extreme weather events. Each year, extreme weather events, such as cold weather, high winds, hurricanes/superstorms, and wildfires, wreak more and more havoc on the utility grid. The average power interruptions due to major events increased from less than two hours in 2013 to more than six hours in 2021, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA). In comparison, power outages not caused by major events remained consistent at about two hours.
Cost-Efficiently Deploying DERs
Distributed energy resources (DERs), such as solar arrays or battery storage, offer a promising solution for C&I facilities to find cost savings, strengthen resilience, and reduce carbon emissions. Additionally, new federal tax credits should incentivize companies to consider new technologies that might have been previously cost-prohibitive.
Fleet electrification and DER deployments will create larger energy loads with significantly greater system complexity. Currently, most companies need more resources and expertise to overcome the operational and strategic hurdles to effectively monitor, control, and optimize these energy assets.
To most cost-effectively deploy onsite DERs, C&I facilities require accurate modeling to size and budget the system properly. This accuracy will ensure the system’s actual energy production aligns with the forecasted production and generates a return on investment (ROI) according to the estimated timetable.
Heila iQ Reveals the Route to Energy Cost-Savings
Although companies will prioritize these objectives differently depending on the specific need of their facilities, Heila iQ equips C&I plant managers with a roadmap they need to overcome these energy challenges.
Using high-precision energy readings and sophisticated analytics, the Heila iQ platform provides site or fleet-level capital-efficient investment recommendations and insights based on detailed utility information and DER optimization:
- Aggregated real-time data from every site in the portfolio collected in the cloud
- Monthly Reports – Site-specific and/or fleet-level static reports with recommendations based on monthly utility bills
- Regular Summarized Reports – Site-specific and/or fleet-level static reporting with comparisons over time and indicative performance estimates of operational savings based on the potential deployment of different DER types and sizes.
Heila iQ’s clear, concise, and comprehensive reports identify opportunities for plant managers to reduce electricity-based operational costs across an entire portfolio based on specific situations through:
- Clearly identified low-capital behavioral changes that can immediately impact electricity-based operational costs
- Clearly identified potential energy infrastructure investments that can reduce operational costs.
Contact Heila Technologies today to learn more about how Heila iQ simplifies the journey into the energy transition by providing a roadmap with actionable insights for reducing energy costs and optimizing DER suitability, selection, and implementation.