Schneider Electric On How Enterprises Can Be Energy-Smart

by Preeti S    Apr 13, 2015

G B Ravichandra

Today it is estimated that buildings consume approximately 40-50 pc of the world’s energy. And irrespective of the size and age, every building wastes huge amount of energy, because of lack of proper energy efficient measures.

According to a UN report, the current construction boom means that India could experience a 700% increase in CO2 emissions and energy consumption in buildings by 2050 (compared to 2005 levels).  However, on a positive front, enterprises are increasingly realizing that energy consumption is an essential part of their cost-savings, yet there is lots that needs to happen on that front.

Currently, in many offices, even if one person is working, the lights of the entire building are on. As the energy demands continue to rise, the potential demand-supply gap compels one rethink the way buildings are made energy positive.

There is an increasing need for businesses to realize that electricity is a biggest component of their expenditure and how they can optimize consumption.

“The output or energy production is not in line with consumption. Even using a smartphone requires huge energy consumption. We cannot generate enough power to meet the demands hence the effort to see that it is optimized to the full,“ says G B Ravichandra, Director Sales, Network & Connectivity, Lifespace business, Schneider Electric India.

Schneider Electric, one of the top three energy management companies, claims that businesses can save at least 30 pc of their energy bills by adopting energy efficient solutions.

Why low adoption rates

A report by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU), commissioned by the GBPN, finds that India’s commercial building sector can achieve significant energy savings if there is a standard practice in the market and the government enforces policies making energy efficient building an attractive profit-making business opportunity.

That apart, Ravichandra feels lack of awareness is one of the reasons for lower adoption of smart building concepts.He says that enterprises often make the mistake of seeking quick initial benefits.

“They must look at it as a total solution for a sustainable future,” he told in an exclusive interaction with CXOToday.. He underlines the need for a mindset change, but is confident the pace will pick up soon. There is a reason for his optimism.“

It will happen soon because energy is scarce and companies will be compelled to think of ways to save on their energy bills,” he says.Currently for every business, the energy guzzlers include their buildings and data centers.

Taking CIOs along

There is a need for the CIO to first understand his business and the energy consumption pattern. “He should not look at Capex or Opex, but the total cost of total ownership. He needs to consider whether the solution is future ready,” says Ravichandra.“Earlier, people were collecting data. Now, everyone has data. The big thing is analytics. That is the big transformation,” he feels.

Suppose some assets are lying idle, analytics must help the CIO take a decision on how he can do away with them and save cost, so that the enterprise becomes cost-efficient.“At many large companies, energy bills are part of annual statement. So going forward, the CIOs and CTOs’ performance will be measured on the savings they do for the company,” he says.

Smart opportunities

The future is all about being smart and intelligent, and that doesn’t actually exempt buildings.For companies like Schneider Electric, the Internet of Things (IoT) is a huge opportunity.

“The other big opportunity for enterprises would be how they can analyze data and derive reliable information from that data so that the CIO can take informed decision,” he added.

“We manage consumption points, collect data and analyze data.  We offer end-to-end solution. To top it all, we have a platform which can manage all these different solutions, which we call eco structure,” says Ravichandra.The need of the hour is a holistic approach. Traditionally, energy consumption was measured by square foot.

“Now, it is not just in terms of energy, but it also includes manpower. How we blend people and how dynamic an organization can be in optimizing solutions,” he says.