Smart energy systems to cut BT’s energy bills by £13m a year
BT is set to shave £13 million a year off its energy bills, and reduce its carbon footprint by five per cent, by introducing an innovative smart energy management and control system across thousands of its offices, telephone exchanges and data centres.
The company is currently installing more than 22,000 smart energy meters and over 1500 building energy management systems – as well as an advanced control network over broadband – to monitor and control energy consumption and ensure that systems like heating, ventilation and air conditioning are optimally configured and functioning efficiently.
The programme brings together a unique combination of smart meters, machine to machine communications, forecasting and reporting functions overlaid by a software tool for driving accurate billing and driving out waste energy consumption. The programme, which is already underway, is being rolled out to more than 110 buildings a month.
The meters wirelessly monitor energy consumption and environmental conditions across BT’s key buildings and telephone exchange sites, providing real-time reporting data to an integrated energy management system. The central software-based system will record energy usage information from a variety of sources, including smart meters, invoices and building energy management and control systems, enabling multiple stages of data analysis to ensure energy efficiency across BT’s sites. Ultimately, the system allows BT to identify further opportunities where it can reduce its energy consumption and reduce carbon footprint and energy costs.
The programme is expected to reduce BT’s carbon footprint by 60,000 tonnes per year and reduce energy costs by £13m per year. This reduction in carbon is equivalent to the annual emissions from electricity supplied to 23,000 houses.
The integrated energy management system – which will cover more than 90 per cent of BT’s UK energy consumption – will also allow the company to identify anomalies in energy usage across its buildings and spot issues, such as ineffective use of cooling and heating. It also allows BT to remotely manage power and infrastructure devices supporting BT’s telecom and IT services. By benchmarking for example, the Power Usage Effectiveness (PUE), across BT buildings the company’s Energy and Carbon Unit can identify BT’s best and worst performing locations and implement actions to remedy energy wastage and inefficiencies.
Richard Tarboton, Director of Energy and Carbon, BT, said: “Having real-time energy usage information for thousands of buildings at our finger tips will really help us drive down BT’s carbon footprint and energy bills.
“Thousands of smart meters placed at BT offices, telephone exchanges and data centres will help us monitor energy usage levels and identify areas where we can deliver savings and make buildings more efficient.”
BT – which serves customers in more than 170 countries – also plans to start rolling out similar smart energy management systems globally in 2012.
During the 2010/11 financial year, BT consumed 2,342GWh of energy running its UK networks, data centres and offices, equivalent to 0.7 per cent of all the electricity used in the UK. To lower its energy consumption BT is committed to a number of major initiatives, like integrated energy management, to reduce its carbon intensity by 80 per cent by 2020, compared to 1997 levels.
As one of the UK’s top 10 largest energy consumers BT is already one of the UK’s largest consumers of low carbon energy. It is also planned to build wind turbines with the aim to generate 25% of its UK energy needs from renewable energy sources by 2016.