Energy Saving

Why reducing carbon and costs starts with accurate data

Posted on 12 February 2020
By Paul Healy
Paul Healy
Head of Data Services

Paul Healy is Head of Data Services at npower Business Solutions, responsible for overseeing monitoring and targeting solutions for both supply and off-supply customers. With more than 11 years experience in the energy industry, Paul has built up detailed knowledge of both commercial metering and energy management services, and has worked with some of the UK’s largest businesses.

When we talk to businesses about reducing their carbon emissions or improving energy efficiency, they often want to focus on major projects like installing renewable technologies or upgrading operational assets.

These are, after all, impressive activities. They also show your employees and your customers that are you taking action in a very visible way.

But the reality is to maximise energy efficiency and reduce carbon emissions effectively, you need to start with good data. Otherwise, how can you understand the energy you currently use so you can pinpoint where savings can be made?

This requires effective measurement. Which is where metering comes in. And more specifically, how the consumption recorded by your meters is converted into data.

Historic doesn’t always mean best

Despite being a mandated service, choosing a metering and data collection partner isn’t something many companies give much thought to.

They may go with their energy supplier (if they are accredited to offer metering services) or the provider that’s historically always done it.

Or if they are new to metering – for example, as a result of becoming Half-Hourly settled due to regulation P272 – then the cheapest provider.

But cheap doesn’t always translate to accurate. And unless you have an all-inclusive contract, extras can mount up over the lifetime of your contract.

Industry-leading performance

At npower Business Solutions, we have worked hard to establish an industry-leading position on data, with the latest stats (December 19) showing more than 98% for accurate Day + 1 Half Hourly data.

And for industry-standard meter settlement data, our 99% average performance puts us ahead of the competition.

As an accredited Data Collector (DC) and Meter Operator (MOP), we also offer an all-inclusive rate for all our contracts. So any necessary upgrades, new meters or fault fixes are included in the contract price.

When you consider that 50% of meters require a maintenance visit each year, it’s easy to see how cheaper-sounding MOP agreements that instead charge by the service can soon add up to be very expensive.

Access to latest technologies

We also have a strong industry track record of utilising the latest metering technologies to maximise accurate remote communication (which negates the need for manual meter reads).

Less than 1% of the sites we manage are awaiting remote communication upgrades, compared to 4% among the external metering agents our customers use.

We’re also upgrading many of the meters we serve to use GPRS communication technology, rather than the older-style CSD (which is unlikely to be supported by most major communications providers (post 2021).

Currently, we have completed upgrades to around 80% of our metering customers, compared to only 24% of customer sites managed by external agents.

Turning data into intelligence

As standard with our Data Collection proposition, we include Intelligent Analytics energy management software, which provides visual access to Day + 1 consumption information.

Intelligent Analytics has been designed by Energy Managers to provide all the tools for truly effective energy management and analysis.

So you can carefully track energy use by site, forecast costs and carbon emissions, compare site performance and set alarms, plus various other functions.

For enhanced granularity to help companies better understand exactly how and where they are using energy for individual assets or site areas, we also offer our innovative data analytics technology in:site. This allows you to convert real-time data into actionable insights.

A comprehensive service from a UK-wide team

All our metering services are delivered by our experienced Advanced Metering Team in Leeds.

Working together with a highly-skilled field team based throughout Great Britain, they are able to address faults, push through upgrades and resolve any issues between meter communications and data delivery.

This ensures our customers receive a seamless and comprehensive service. And these customers don’t have to be on supply with npower Business Solutions either – we can provide a Meter Operator or Data Collection/Data Aggregation contract for any Half-Hourly settled business.

The best place to start

With delivering Net Zero by 2050 now firmly on the UK’s agenda, the need to reduce energy consumption and carbon emissions is likely to become mandatory for many businesses before long.

So having the latest metering technology and access to accurate consumption data is the best place to start.

To find out more, you can get in touch with our Energy Solutions Team on 0800 316 0712 or via energyservicessales@npower.com.

You can also see more online here.

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