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Take it to the Next Level: Why Energy Management Matters

4 Oct, 2013

In today’s competitive imaging industry, managing the energy usage of traditional office environments presents major growth opportunities for industry professionals. Energy management is not just a fad, it’s an innovative new green solution that can provide your customers substantial savings. 

imageSource recently spoke with ESP/SurgeX’s president and CEO, Stephen F. Galloway, about the energy needs he is hearing about from his firm’s many imaging clients. ESP/SurgeX has been a leading energy intelligence company in the imaging industry for over 25 years, providing industrial-grade power protection solutions and plug level energy management platforms.

Why should dealers consider energy management?

The realities of the tightening print marketplace have led many dealers to seek out new revenue streams and other ways to add margin to each of their transactions. To achieve this goal, some are looking beyond commoditized products and more towards alternative options, including adding IT or audio visual services to their suite of offerings. Plug level energy management provides a new opportunity to sell additional services to your clients. It’s an easy platform to add into imaging deals, will help your clients reduce their operational costs, and can add more profitability to each deal.

What are the current priorities of businesses regarding energy management?

An October 2012 study by Deloitte found that an overwhelming majority of financial executives (85 percent) “view reducing electricity costs as essential to staying competitive from both a financial perspective and an image perspective.” That same study revealed that 83 percent of those business leaders believe it is somewhat to extremely difficult to achieve their company’s current goals with respect to electricity and energy management practices.

This means the potential exists for you to present energy management solutions to a large number of companies in an effort to help them meet their sustainability goals.

Why are plug loads so important among the three key areas of energy management?

Energy use in a typical office environment can be divided into three main buckets: HVAC, lighting, and plug loads. While many businesses have successfully reduced energy consumption by installing more efficient HVAC systems and upgrading lighting to some of the new LED technologies, business plug loads have increased astronomically – up 940 percent since 1990 with a forecast of continued growth.

Plug loads are often overlooked as primary sources for electrical expenses, particularly for office devices that draw power while they are not in use. Currently approximately 26 percent of commercial energy use comes from MFPs, monitors, TVs, vending machines, water coolers, space heaters, and more that waste electricity when not operational. The situation has generated an estimated $10 billion in annual energy costs. If these devices could be turned off on nights and weekends, companies could reduce energy waste by about 30 percent.

What plug load management products are available to businesses? Are there any that provide comprehensive solutions?

There are more simplified products that exist to reduce energy use at the plug load level, some even during off hours. However, these alternative options are limited and cannot show the amount of energy used in every device throughout the office 24/7, nor the ability to manage it in a centralized location. One that does address these concerns and many more is ESP/SurgeX’s eCommandCenter.

We engineered the eCommandCenter to make it easy to sell and service within the imaging industry. The eCommandCenter uses a wireless mesh network designed to measure, monitor and control energy use at the plug level. While it aggregates the energy data from each plugged-in device, because of its wireless mesh networks, products like the eCommandCenter do not burden a company’s IT department – no additional IP addresses, bandwidth or software is required. The energy data is simply uploaded to the cloud and allows users to manage their energy use schedule and download reports as desired. It is easy to use and understand.

How does a product like ESP/SurgeX’s eCommandCenter help a company?

With the eCommandCenter, you have many advantages in addressing plug load energy management. One is scalability – the product can serve anything from a single department to an office running on multiple floors or locations. Another is that by releasing real-time data, the device allows employees to see what practices and behaviors need to be adjusted to lower energy usage and meet sustainability initiatives. Industrial-grade power protection to improve the reliability of connected equipment and ESP’s Next Gen PCS power protection software to monitor and diagnose power disruptions are provided.

In addition, there are plenty of financial incentives to using this device. The Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency at http://dsireusa.org indicates what government energy efficiency programs can apply to the eCommandCenter and produce considerable returns. You will be showing your customers the dramatic worth in utilizing plug load energy management.

Energy management, particularly at the plug load level on and off work hours, is a powerful tool you can and should promote to your customers. It provides them with the sustainability solutions and reductions in expenses they want, while giving you an easy way to make small changes to increase revenue and additional discussion opportunities with enterprise accounts for follow-ups. We recommend energy management to our customers to remain competitive, expand their suite of services, and grow their business.

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