Manage Your Facility’s Electrical Needs Wisely With Smart Grid Technology

March 26, 2014

Manage Your Facility's Electrical Needs Wisely With Smart Grid Technology

Protecting the reliability of your facility’s electrical systems when emergencies occur has become a huge expectation for healthcare professionals, given recent weather problems that have plagued the U.S.

The real trick to finding solutions to potential weather-related problems is to look at more realistic options to optimize emergency power systems. One answer is to manage energy demands for your facility by tapping into Smart Grid technology.

The Smart Grid refers to the technology professionals use to bring electrical delivery systems into the 21st century, thus managing them more smartly and efficiently.

Smart Grid expertise comes into play when digital technology coupled with two-way communication systems that have been used in other industries for decades bring interconnectivity, plus much-needed measurements and accountability, to electrical networks in real time.

It’s about time these delivery systems received “a tuneup.” The first parts of America’s current electrical infrastructure were built some 125 years ago! The usage of power in buildings has been managed for too long in ways that don’t give sufficient attention to efficiency or performance, said Philip Henderson, senior financial policy specialist for the National Resources Defense Council, to Building Operating Management.

Three interesting numbers to consider if you haven’t given much thought to Smart Grid technology:

  • A study conducted by Johnson Controls in partnership with the Houston-based International Facility Management Association found 44 percent of your FM peers rank smart building technology as one of the top contributors to price-performance improvements over the next decade.
  • 160 billion tons of carbon emissions could vanish and $33 billion could be saved annually if towns, utilities and facilities managers use Smart Grid technology.

Here’s the catch: Your facility will have to migrate from standard metering that monitors the big three utilities — gas, electric and water — separately, and ends at the meter to smarter metering that involves automated meter reading and advanced metering infrastructures.

Making the switch may seem daunting and costly, but performance contracting with an energy service company over a fixed timeframe (10-15 years), bundled with retrofits and upgrades could make all the difference.

For assistance with implementing Smart Grid technology at your facility, contact Vanguard Resources.