How do you know how fast you are going in your car? Your dashboard—of course—tells you! We see dashboards everywhere: in our cars, virtually every software program and throughout the internet. The magic of dashboards is simplifying large amounts of complex data into something you can understand in a glance. You don’t need to know the exact reading of every sensor in your car to know if it’s going to break down or not. You need a few gauges like speed, oil pressure and engine temperature, and you can get by.
That might be why dashboards are showing up in the world of energy. Most of us walk in and out of buildings every day without even thinking about the financial cost or environmental impact of those buildings, yet occupants can directly impact as much as 60% of the energy use in a typical commercial building. Buildings are complex ecostructures where each occupant interacts with technology and fixtures to impact energy use. It is no wonder why we don’t bother with trying to understand each building we encounter. However, with energy dashboards, we can start to simplify this complexity into something simple that only takes that glance to understand if we are going to speed limit or if we are creeping past it.
Schneider Electric recently unveiled its newest releases of energy dashboards and energy management information systems (EMIS). This new lineup known as StruxureWare Energy includes three options: Energy Online, Energy Advanced and Energy Expert (ION EEM). Each system provides dashboarding capabilities, along with alarming and other management features. Energy Advanced and Expert include analytics tools for power users to dig into their energy use.
Our customers have already started using several of these systems to create easy-to-understand dashboards that challenge the way their occupants, employees and managers view the energy consumption in their facilities. They are using them for increasing awareness, competitions, tracking internal business metrics and, yes, reducing energy costs.