It's invisible and we take it for granted, but the moment that it's unavailable all the things we rely on to keep us connected, informed, and comfortable disappear. It's power and electricity, and we need it for light, heat, Internet access, and more.
Like everything else, it comes with its costs, monetary and otherwise. Can analytics help?
Is it possible to use analytics to identify ways to cut power use and costs?
Recently my household's power company has been sending me emails and letters showing me how I compare to my neighbors in terms of energy consumption, and the news is not good. In spite of the many LED lightbulbs we've installed in our home to replace incandescent bulbs, our home still consumes more power than our energy-efficient neighbors and most of our other neighbors, too.
In spite of their offer to conduct an energy audit to help me discover why my energy use is higher than that of my neighbors, I confess that I have not followed up with the power company to investigate. Part of me wishes that I could just have the answers right there in the email itself, because a power audit would take up time, and I'm busy and impatient.
But I have my own theories about why our power use is higher. Perhaps it is because I am a telecommuter who uses a computer at home during the day. Perhaps it is because I have two sons who play video games. Maybe it's because I'm one of those people who sometimes leaves the computer on rather than shut it down at night.
Chances are I'll spend time thinking about these things, apply slap-dash fixes to them, see no results, and end up wasting more money and energy than I would have if I'd just had the power company come in to do their audit in the first place.
That's what happens when you rely on your gut without the analytics to back it up. By applying analytics to the problem, you are more likely to identify the efficiencies and apply solutions in a timelier fashion. Analytics can truly save time and money.
Now multiply the energy savings in my home by hundreds or thousands of homes. That could really make a difference. Now consider how much businesses could save through greater energy efficiency. Energy savings means less money burned and going up the chimney and more money going to the bottom line.
To help you learn how to apply analytics to power usage and improve your company's bottom line, we welcome Robert K. Kaufmann to All Analytics radio on Feb. 14 at 1 pm ET/10 am PT. Kaufmann is a professor of Geography and the Environment at Boston University, and separately has founded a company to help businesses use analytics to find energy cost savings. Join us (register here) to find out how to make energy analytics work for you and your organization or company and bring more of that revenue down to the bottom line.