Systematically optimising costs: tracking energy wastage

The cheapest energy energy is that which does not have to be used. To discover the savings potential hidden in every company, the team, led by Jörg Fahrenhorst from the Energy division and Christian Lux from the Energy Management division of AGRAVIS Raiffeisen AG, works with an Energy Information System Energy Information System, or EIS for short.

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Tracking down sources of energy wastage: (from left) Christian Lux, Franz-Josef Grever, and Jörg Fahrenhorst.Systematically optimising costs: tracking energy wastage 
Tracking down sources of energy wastage: (from left) Christian Lux, Franz-Josef Grever, and Jörg Fahrenhorst.

The system measures power consumption, load curves, and provides comparisons that allow users to quickly gain a clear view of the energy profile of their businesses. This allows for concrete energy reduction measures to be deduced and then sustainably monitored.

"Is the specific energy consumption of the building representative of the current state of the art?" "Are there signs of hidden and unnecessary consumption?" "How efficient is my building compared to other units?" "These are all questions that can be more readily clarified with an energy information system", explains Jörg Fahrenhorst. Approximately 50 AGRAVIS locations are monitored with EIS now – the intention is to connect all properties across the board.

Targeted optimisation of energy consumption

The Melle site of AGRAVIS Technik Saltenbrock GmbH AGRAVIS Technik Saltenbrock GmbH has EIS installed in order to measure energy consumption and to be able to carry out targeted improvements as part of introducing energy management systems in line with DIN ISO 50001. To do so, an energy meter was installed that transmits all data to a central server every 15 minutes using GSM mobile radio. Intermediate meters of individual areas such as the office, workshop, and spare parts warehouse are connected, as well as a meter for natural gas consumption: "This means that an accurate energy profile can be drawn up for each area."

Making employees aware of the need to save energy

Workshop foreman Franz-Josef Grever, who has focused on finding savings for quite some time, is supported by this system. Based on reports regarding energy consumption, load curves, and comparison figures he is able to see which areas are the worst for energy wastage. It is also possible to monitor consumption outside business hours. This means, for example, that air compressors and heating systems that are continuously running can be identified quickly. Employees should also be made aware of the issue of saving energy. "Switching off the light on leaving the office and switching off monitors overnight are small measures that contribute to saving energy", said Jörg Fahrenhorst.

Energy report with a recommendation for action

Based on the findings from EIS and a detailed site inspection, the Energy Service division compiles an energy report with a recommendation for action so that cost-effective optimisation is achieved. This contains the investigation and assessment of important aspects such as lighting, heating, air-conditioning and ventilation technology, compressed air systems, and building technology. "In practice energy savings of up to 15 per cent are readily achievable with little effort. Investments in energy-saving lighting technology and optimising heating systems mean far greater savings", stated Fahrenhorst. For the Melle site of AGRAVIS Technik Saltenbrock, the energy report recommended a package of measures to achieve savings in electricity consumption of almost 50 per cent, and savings in the heating sector of up to 20 per cent.

Energy management system as standard

The greatest potential can be found in updating lighting technology and optimising the heating system. Measures will be implemented as part of introducing the DIN ISO 50001 energy management system, which should become the standard for all AGRAVIS locations by 2016. "This package of measures assures that we optimise energy costs in a sustainable manner", stated Christian Lux from AGRAVIS Energy Management with confidence. "Even other AGRAVIS customers are already using this service, as saving energy pays for itself", confirmed Jörg Fahrenhorst.

More information on this topic can be obtained from the Energy Service Energy Service of AGRAVIS Raiffeisen AG, Tel. +49 (0) 251 682-2344.