Dashboards and Data Viz | Energy & Utility

An energy dashboard takes the guesswork out of power usage. When it comes to running a business, keeping the lights on is a basic priority. But your energy plan shouldn’t stop there. For many businesses, the most important question is, “Are we generating enough revenue to maintain the facility we need?” In reality, a better question might be, “How can my company save time, money, and manpower with an energy-saving strategy?”  The simple answer is an energy dashboard.

An #energy #dashboard takes the guesswork out of power usage. Click To Tweet

energy dashboard

How to Power Data-Fueled Solutions with an Energy Funnel

Even if you know how much energy your company uses, transforming that information into decreased manpower and increased profits is a far stretch – unless you the right tools. On paper, the process looks like an inverted funnel, starting with high-level information and refining it to detailed, practical application.

  1. Determine the overall amount of energy you consume
  2. Establish a baseline for improvement with aggregate and real-time data
  3. Use the information you have and identify unnecessary power expenditures
  4. Take action to strategically reduce power usage and save costs

Focus On Data That Translates to Dollars

While it’s possible to improve your energy usage without the help of software, an energy dashboard–such as this–makes the process a lot easier – and faster. The key is to track data that translates to dollars. Make sure the data you gather is connected to your business’ bottom line; otherwise, you’ll struggle to get buy-in from your boss. In short, focus on data that’s important to upper management.

The key is to track #data that translates to dollars. Click To Tweet

Here are a few energy metrics to track to prevent your energy plan from burning out:

  • Overtime energy consumption
  • Areas that consume the most energy
  • Areas that consume the least energy
  • Building Management System (BMS) overrides
  • Time/cost of unscheduled repairs
  • Retrofits (especially the unnecessary ones)
  • Preventative maintenance (or lack thereof)

Read next: 3 Tips for Taming the Data Beast

Getting Your Boss to Flip the Switch: Buy-In Starts from the Top

power dashboardYour first goal is to find areas with unnecessary consumption and bring them to your boss’ attention. With this information, you can eliminate future expenses. Let’s say you identified one or two retrofits (building components that weren’t there when your business moved into the facility). After a little research, you noticed the retrofit wasn’t actually needed (or became obsolete) later. With this information, you can show upper management the exact dollars and cents used for the modification and create a plan to avoid similar expenditures in the future.

Your second goal is a little trickier, but produces powerful data in favor of your energy plan. At this point, you’ll identify components of your BMS that will produce an ROI (return on investment). If your company is like most, there are many opportunities to do this. Here’s a simple example:

  • Maintenance and repairs for a specific machine cost X dollars last year. Most of this maintenance was reactive, which means you made repairs because something broke. Replacing the machine would create an initial cost (investment), but lower unscheduled repair costs moving forward (return).

If possible, outline exactly how much each improvement project will cost – along with how much money it will save in the long run.

Outline the cost of each project, along with how much money it saves.#DataAnalysis Click To TweetWhat an Effective Energy Dashboard Looks Like

What an Effective Energy Dashboard Looks Like

Your energy dashboard is a business improvement (BI) project. Like any BI strategy, it’s an ongoing effort to streamline your company’s power usage. To get the most out of your energy dashboard, use it for the following:

  • Confirm the accuracy of utility bills
  • Provide scheduled updates and reports
  • Predict peak energy usage periods and plan for them
  • Identify the need and cost for upcoming projects

iDashboards offers data solutions for facilities managers and companies looking to improve energy usage and – more importantly – save money. If you’re interested in learning more about your options with us, read more about our utility and energy dashboards or start your free trial today.


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Megan Permoda Enterprise Account Manager @iDashboards

Megan Permoda is an Enterprise Account Manager at iDashboards who works directly with customers to develop data solutions. When she's not helping clients, she enjoys hiking the Rocky Mountains with her Boston Terrier, Frankie.


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