Five reasons the Smart Grid will save business money

Energy savings are possible for most businesses right now, and the technology exists today to make the difference. With the advent of the Smart Grid comes an opportunity for businesses to further drive down energy costs.

01/05/2011


Smart GridToday, most businesses have clear insight into IT spend or capital expenditures, but when asked about energy costs, it’s typically not on their radar. Overall, 30% energy savings are possible for most businesses right now. The technology exists today to make a difference, and with the advent of the Smart Grid comes an opportunity for businesses to further drive down energy costs.

Here are a few benefits businesses can look forward to reaping with the Smart Grid:

  • Tackling rising energy costs – With energy use expected to grow by 22% by 2030, costs for electrical energy will continue to rise. But the Smart Grid can provide a tangible benefit to the smart consumer if they integrate strategies to unlock potential revenue streams associated with their energy consumption. In order to see results, consumers must take an active role in their energy use, dedicating time and resources to manage it effectively. While this may be viewed as an upfront investment, savings will very quickly follow.
  • Active energy management – Every business owner at some point has looked at their utility bill and with a puzzled looked, tried to make sense of it. Often it can be complicated to understand what you’re paying for and why.  As “time of use” rates become more common in the marketplace, energy users are incentivized to change their energy use behavior. As a result, utility bills are based on usage and the prevailing rate at that moment, giving businesses a choice as to when and how much they use and pay – enabling tangible savings for the bottom line.

  • Driving ROI on renewable energy investments – Increasingly businesses are considering renewable energy resources as part of their energy strategy. In more and more markets, these projects are realistic investments as renewables approach grid parity. Many people are already reaping the benefits of power purchase agreements and financial tax incentives for renewable energy investments at their site. What is important is that energy generated is accounted for at the site in order to understand the true ROI of these projects over time.
  • Real-time grid management – With Demand Response (DR) programs available through the Smart Grid, utilities can actively manage peak electrical energy consumption in response to supply conditions.  Customers who have the option of shedding loads in response to a utility request can enroll in DR programs and get paid. In fact, over $2 billion in payments were issued to DR program participants last year alone making these programs a valuable revenue stream for any business. Additionally, customers who integrate their DR actions into a building management system are able to minimize disruptions to service and respond to utility requests sooner, which substantially increases their earning potential.
  • Efficient charging solutions and smarter infrastructure – With the development of the Smart Grid comes the opportunity to make everything from our energy bills and facilities to cars more intelligent. For example, the owner of a commercial fleet service can install charging solutions that offer convenient and secure access to electrical energy for their transportation fleet, driving down their cost of operation. As electrical vehicles and charging options become more common, their energy storage potential can be utilized. For example, cars will be charged only when energy rates are at the lowest for the day.

With the potential of the Smart Grid, as with any new opportunity, also come risks. Education on ongoing changes to legislation and technology developments is key for any business to make the most of the Smart Grid.



No comments
The Top Plant program honors outstanding manufacturing facilities in North America. View the 2015 Top Plant.
The Product of the Year program recognizes products newly released in the manufacturing industries.
The Engineering Leaders Under 40 program identifies and gives recognition to young engineers who...
Your leaks start here: Take a disciplined approach with your hydraulic system; U.S. presence at Hannover Messe a rousing success
Hannover Messe 2016: Taking hold of the future - Partner Country status spotlights U.S. manufacturing; Honoring manufacturing excellence: The 2015 Product of the Year Winners
Inside IIoT: How technology, strategy can improve your operation; Dry media or web scrubber?; Six steps to design a PM program
Getting to the bottom of subsea repairs: Older pipelines need more attention, and operators need a repair strategy; OTC preview; Offshore production difficult - and crucial
Digital oilfields: Integrated HMI/SCADA systems enable smarter data acquisition; Real-world impact of simulation; Electric actuator technology prospers in production fields
Special report: U.S. natural gas; LNG transport technologies evolve to meet market demand; Understanding new methane regulations; Predictive maintenance for gas pipeline compressors
Warehouse winter comfort: The HTHV solution; Cooling with natural gas; Plastics industry booming
Managing automation upgrades, retrofits; Making technical, business sense; Ensuring network cyber security
Designing generator systems; Using online commissioning tools; Selective coordination best practices

Annual Salary Survey

Before the calendar turned, 2016 already had the makings of a pivotal year for manufacturing, and for the world.

There were the big events for the year, including the United States as Partner Country at Hannover Messe in April and the 2016 International Manufacturing Technology Show in Chicago in September. There's also the matter of the U.S. presidential elections in November, which promise to shape policy in manufacturing for years to come.

But the year started with global economic turmoil, as a slowdown in Chinese manufacturing triggered a worldwide stock hiccup that sent values plummeting. The continued plunge in world oil prices has resulted in a slowdown in exploration and, by extension, the manufacture of exploration equipment.

Read more: 2015 Salary Survey

Maintenance and reliability tips and best practices from the maintenance and reliability coaches at Allied Reliability Group.
The One Voice for Manufacturing blog reports on federal public policy issues impacting the manufacturing sector. One Voice is a joint effort by the National Tooling and Machining...
The Society for Maintenance and Reliability Professionals an organization devoted...
Join this ongoing discussion of machine guarding topics, including solutions assessments, regulatory compliance, gap analysis...
IMS Research, recently acquired by IHS Inc., is a leading independent supplier of market research and consultancy to the global electronics industry.
Maintenance is not optional in manufacturing. It’s a profit center, driving productivity and uptime while reducing overall repair costs.
The Lachance on CMMS blog is about current maintenance topics. Blogger Paul Lachance is president and chief technology officer for Smartware Group.
This article collection contains several articles on the vital role that compressed air plays in manufacturing plants.
This article collection contains several articles on the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) and how it is transforming manufacturing.
This article collection contains several articles on strategic maintenance and understanding all the parts of your plant.
click me