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Fresh news on smart grid, IoT and green technologies

Preparing for the Future of Building Management Systems

Building Management Systems (BMS), or alternatively, Building Automation Systems (BAS), may refer to computer-based systems that monitor, manage and control various electrical and electromechanical functions within a specific facility. Typically, BMS are implemented in large-scale structures, operated by a wide array of critical functions, including:

Heating, Ventilation & Air-Conditioning (HVAC)
Power Distribution & Consumption
Fire Safety/Extinguishing
Elevator Control
Security, Observation & Surveillance
Illumination Control
Plumbing
Building Access Control
Renewable Energy

However, as these centralized systems can potentially bring greater efficiency, they are also susceptible to hacking and cyber-attacks due to the interface of the operational technology (OT) landscape with IT/wireless networks and the internet. Since any connected device is vulnerable and controls critical functions within the building, hackers who manage to penetrate the BMS can inflict serious damage to key operations.

Hackers are becoming much more interested in operational technology, the physical connected devices that support industrial processes. They can gain access to email communications and confidential financial information, and worse, they could have the ability to eliminate an organization’s electricity. The nature of the problem depends on the way the BMS is modelled, installed and operated. Until recently, BMS professionals/companies put greater weight on operational efficiency, yet with relatively low consideration of impending security threats. Consequently, many BMS do not employ adequate cyber-security controls and risk mitigation measures.

According to a study by Navigant Research, total global revenue from commercial building automation will increase from approximately $70 billion and reach $101 billion in 2021. The largest market for BMS spending is North America, which is forecast to remain so for approximately two years. The second largest market is Europe, where interest in BMS is gradually rising. However, these markets will lose ground to the APAC market in the coming five years, due to the swift growth of Asian markets, and the construction sector in particular. A study by Pike Research predicts that these three regions will experience double-digit compound annual growth rates in the BMS industry until 2021.

More here.

 

How Energy-Data-as-a-Service is Enabling Innovation

Energy management is of increasing importance to business leaders across many corporate functions, driven by increased energy supply options (including renewables and storage); opportunities to reduce energy use and cost; increased focus on corporate responsibility and sustainability; and significant product innovation across the industry. Energy is no longer considered a line item cost, but a resource that can be optimized and reduced with benefit to the enterprise.

Data are the foundational enabler to all of these activities. Two key sources, utility bill and smart meter data, can be used to enable better decision making, which makes it easier to baseline current energy usage and model potential scenarios to reduce it. In many cases, the difference between successful and unsuccessful facility and energy management initiatives is accurate, timely and complete data.

Unfortunately, there are significant barriers to many building and energy management professionals who are seeking energy data to propose and implement new initiatives. First, the energy market is fragmented, with a few hundred major investor-owned utilities serving most of the major metropolitan areas, and over 3,000 total electricity utilities across the U.S. (including natural gas utilities, the total number of energy suppliers is over 4,500).

Across these utilities, there is a varying range of data made available to customers: in some utility territories, 15-minute interval data is widely available, but in others, only a small set of aggregated monthly totals is provided.

More here.

How First Utility keeps ahead of the energy analytics curve

Gas and electricity retailer First Utility began life in 2008 with the proposition of billing people on a monthly basis rather than quarterly and using analytics to help customers lower their bills. It is now the UK’s seventh largest energy supplier.

For CIO/CTO Bill Wilkins digital is all about interactions with the customer.

“Digital transformation is basically allowing customers to interact with us online. We put those digital interactions at the centre of every business strategy and tactic that we deploy,” he said.

“Nine years ago we saw an opportunity to disrupt the consumer energy market by billing people monthly based on real data, making people aware of how much energy they were using and using that data to optimise the pricing model. So we started as a digital company, we acquire almost all our customers through digital channels, and we serve them digitally in the majority of cases in everything they do,” he went on.

“For us digital means something different than what you’ll find in a traditional supplier or in other companies didn’t start off trying to be digital. I use the word ‘trying’ very deliberately because it’s very hard to do. We’ve worked at it day in day out, doing everything we can for our customers to transact online. We’re not perfect, and there are still gaps as to what we can and can’t do.”

Initially First Utility’s digital business model was based around smart meters. Six years ago these were a still a rarity in peoples’ homes, but seeing the opportunity they represented First Utility partnered with US SaaS energy analytics firm OPower to provide new free analytics services called My Energy that used smart meter data. This allowed customers to monitor and adjust their energy usage more easily. Other players have since arrived and the government is pushing smart meters as part of its wider digitisation programme meaning the firm has had to keep innovating to be noticed.

“Our differentiation has been eroded by other people entering the market, and more importantly the government programme making smart metering a de facto commodity for all energy customers by 2020,” Wilkins said. “But we haven’t sat on our laurels and let them catch up.”

Perhaps fortunately for First Utility, the government’s smart meter rollout has run into a series of problems, as covered extensively by V3, giving the firm a bit of breathing space. Wilkins is careful not to criticise the programme, though, pointing out that the government has a lot of different stakeholders to satisfy and any such rollout is inevitably going to be complex.

More here.

What Drives Investment in Building Energy Performance

Energy-efficient buildings have lower operating costs, but also tend to command higher rents and enjoy higher occupancy and tenant retention levels than traditional buildings. A recent Energy Efficiency Survey, developed by the Institute of Real Estate Management (IREM) in collaboration with the Institute for Market Transformation, looked at what motivates office building owners to improve energy performance. The survey focused on how financial methods used to evaluate capital expenditures impact decisions to invest in improving energy efficiency.

IREM and the Building Owners and Managers Association (BOMA) distributed the survey to their members and received 307 responses, which represented 1.7 percent of the total survey distribution. The survey found that most respondents use simple payback calculations to evaluate energy efficiency projects, usually basing decisions on recovering the investment in one to two years. The study revealed that this simple payback does not capture the full benefits of energy efficiency, like Net Present Value (NPV) analysis, which incorporates potential revenue increases from higher rental income.

The survey also found that building owners are more inclined to invest in energy-efficiency improvements if they can charge higher rents, particularly in split-incentive situations, where energy-cost savings accrue solely to tenants. Split incentives had posed a barrier to investing in improving energy efficiency, but this was overcome with the “green lease,” which requires tenants to participate in energy and water conservation programs.

More here.

TU-Automotive Webinar launches new webinar titled “UBI Data: The Enabler for a New Era of Connected Motor Insurance”

TU-Automotive are thrilled to announce that they will be hosting a webinar on Thursday the 26th of January 2017 at 12:00 CET. The discussion featuring Generali, Inter Mutuelle Assistance, insurethebox and Ptolemus will tackle “UBI Data: The Enabler for a New Era of Connected Motor Insurance”.

The panel of experts will discuss how the impact of rising vehicle sales in fleets is reducing the pool for personal lines (Source: BBC, http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-38516247, 05/01/2017). As the automotive industry approaches vehicle autonomy this phenomenon will continue to snowball. The panellists will tackle how motor insurers need to go beyond UBI as a standalone product. Therefore, insurers need leverage UBI tech. and data sets to create a new suite of insurance products to respond to the new demands of shared mobility.

Thomas Wilson, Project Director at TU-Automotive: “It’s an exciting time to be involved in the motor insurance industry. The webinar discussion will tackle how people transportation and personal mobility habits are changing at an alarming pace. Intermodal and on-demand mobility services have become the new norm. Our panel of experts will tackle these market trends in detail and discuss how insurers need to adapt their business model to match the evolving needs of the connected consumer.”

Experts Speakers Featuring in the Webinar:
• Luigi Barcarolo, Group Head of Connected Insurance Products Roll Out, Generali
• Antoine Trarieux, Director of Connected Services, Inter Mutelles Assistance
• Charlotte Halkett, General Manager Communications, insurethebox
• Thomas Hallauer, Research and Marketing Director, Ptolemus (Moderator)

Registration for the webinar is opened here: http://www.tu-auto.com/connectedcar-insurance-eu/webinar-signup.php

NB: TU-Automotive will provide a recording of the webinar for everyone who has signed up whether they are able to listen live or not.

About TU-Automotive:
TU-Automotive is a world leader in providing events and business intelligence to the automotive technology community, covering telematics, mobility, autonomous vehicles and legal & insurance. You can sign up to receive free weekly updates, including exclusive industry analysis, interviews and insights at: www.tu-auto.com
Contact:
Thomas Wilson
Project Director | TU-Automotive
Office: +44 (0)207 55 19842
Email:thomas@tu-auto.com

Honorable Secretary, Department of Telecommunications (DoT) to Inaugurate the Exhibition on Machine-to-Machine (M2M) and Internet of Things (IoT) Startup’s at India m2m + iot Forum 2017

India m2m + iot Forum 2017 announced, Mr. J. S. Deepak, Secretary, Department of Telecommunications (DoT), Ministry of Communications, Government of India, confirms to inaugurate the most anticipated and awaited m2m and iot forum of the year on 6 March 2017 at the India Habitat Center, New Delhi, India.

The 4th edition of India m2m + iot Forum 2017 will host a dedicated exhibition for Machine-to-Machine (M2M) and Internet of Things (IoT) Startup’s which will be inaugurated by Mr. J. S. Deepak, Secretary, DoT. The forum has also announced a ‘TEN Square Business Pitch Competition’ where the startups in the field of ICT (m2m + iot) will have an opportunity to present their business pitch to the live audience.

In his message to participants, Mr. J. S. Deepak mentioned, ‘I am delighted to know that Telecom Centres of Excellence, India (TCOE, India) with m2m2iotpaper.com is hosting the 4th India m2m + iot Forum with the theme ‘capitalizing connected world’ bringing together the entire machine-to-machine (m2m) and internet of things (iot) stakeholder community on a single platform’.

‘I am happy to note that TCOE India has scheduled a special session on TEN Square Investor Panel and Business Pitch Competition to encourage start-ups within the country. This, TCOE India initiative on incubation of start-ups is a laudable effort. TCOE India needs to work with entrepreneurs on different platforms and handhold them to promote start-ups’, he further added.

India m2m + iot Forum will also be graced by Mr. G.K. Upadhyay, Member (T), Mr. N. Sivasailam, Additional Secretary (T) from Department of Telecommunications (DoT), Ministry of Communications, Government of India and the Honourable Ambassador of The Delegation of European Union to India, H.E. Mr. Tomasz Kozlowski.

Now in its 4th edition, India m2m + iot Forum has become the signature forum in marketing ‘Brand Of India’ to the entire Information Communications Technology (ICT) stakeholders across the world. With an objective to promote India’s brand image and provide a preeminent platform to the m2m + iot companies from large, medium to small enterprises to showcase their business ideas innovations and capabilities in emerging markets, and has been at the forefront of this cause since 2014.

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Bidgely on Track to Serve Over Two Million Homes by Mid-Year 2017

Bidgely, the world leader in disaggregation-powered utility solutions, today announced that it is on track to cross over two million homes served by its HomeBeat platform by mid-year 2017. The company completed a strong year of business growth in 2016 with several multi-million dollar contracts, including sales of an alerts system to one of the largest utilities in the U.S., the HomeBeat mobile app to a large mid-Western IOU, and a disaggregation-powered consumer audit to another large IOU. Over the last year, the company exceeded its sales goals, launched new product features such as alerts and a home assessment tool, and expanded its global presence to Europe and Asia Pacific. For deployments already in place, Bidgely’s platform showed consistently proven results, with Energy Efficiency savings of over 2% at London Hydro and Demand Response results of 30% peak shift at United Energy.

“This was a breakout year for disaggregation, which has generated significant attention from utilities who are increasingly prioritizing customer engagement and looking for innovative solutions,” said Abhay Gupta, Bidgely CEO and Co-Founder. “For the first time, several multimillion-home IOUs published RFPs specifying data-based disaggregation as a mandatory requirement.”

Expanding from initial pilot and proof of concept rollouts, Bidgely closed several multi-million dollar full-scale contracts to be delivered in 2017.

More here.

marcus evans to Host the Utility Cyber Incident Response & Restoration Planning

Atlanta, GA – January 19, 2017 marcus evans will host the Utility Cyber Incident Response & Restoration Planning on April 26-27, 2017 in Atlanta, GA, featuring speakers from ComEd, Eversource Energy, National Renewable Energy Laboratory and Southern California Edison.

More than ever cyber security is a top concern for the electric power industry. As the grid is growing more complex and digitized given the introduction of new infrastructure and technologies, it is also becoming more vulnerable to cyber threats. Given recent and damaging cyber attacks across all industries, including Utilities, it has become apparent that a cyber defense strategy is not enough. NERC CIP standards have been established to ensure that protocols are in place to enable a response and rapid recovery.

The Utility Cyber Incident Response & Restoration Planning will provide a high-level discourse focusing on Incident Response Plans for cyber attacks on the grid that cause or initiate potential widespread outages. Attendees will uncover how to meet the needs of customers and regulators and streamline their response protocols in the event of a cyber security breach.

Attending this premier conference will enable you to:

  • Develop an effective incident management structure for cyber incident response
  • Master your response through ICS and executive leadership’s approach to management
  • Apply critical thinking when activating your cyber incident response
  • Implement a successful training, drills, and exercise program for your cyber incident response
  • Achieve continuous improvement for cyber incident response programs

Testimonials:
“Very relevant information that can be utilized at various utilities.” – El Paso Electric
“Nice collection of entities, vendors and other engaged parties for excellent networking.” – Black Hills Corp.

For more information, please check out the conference website, http://bit.ly/2jMMkYb, or email Amanda Pink, Digital Marketing Coordinator, at amandap@marcusevansch.com

marcus evans annually produces 2,000 high quality conferences designed to provide strategic business information and networking opportunities for industry leaders

Utility Analytics and Energy Analytics Market Globally Expected to Drive Growth through 2020

To take an advantage of new opportunities, utility and energy companies are transforming their systems into smarter energy systems which will feature a two way flow of information and energy. But there is increasing pressure on the companies to deliver consistent and cost effective sources of energy at the same time keeping environmental concerns in mind.

The market for utility analytics and energy analytics can by segmented by different solutions and technologies available, by various applications which includes meter operation, load forecasting, demand response, revenue protection and distribution planning. The market can also be categorized based on type of deployment which includes cloud, hybrid and on premises.

Request for sample report: http://www.futuremarketinsights.com/reports/sample/rep-gb-232

The market is growing on the back of the factors such as rising demand for energy, need for the greener environment and rising demand from the consumer to know their energy consumption pattern. The market is estimated to grow at a double digit growth rate in the years to come. North America is expected to be the biggest market in terms of revenue generation, followed by Europe.

Companies to take an advantage in the market must insights into performance and usage across the network to take extra effective decisions. Some of the major participants of the market are Oracle, Siemens, IBM, ABB and Schneider, with their strong portfolios in energy analytics. Apart from these many others players are entering the market offering energy analytics solution which shows the huge potential of the market at present as well as in future also.

More here.

DNV GL Survey: Majority of facility managers view energy efficiency as proven operating and investment strategy

DNV GL today released findings from a comprehensive survey of nearly 500 commercial facility managers across the United States to analyze the current patterns of energy management and efficiency investments in large- and mid-sized commercial facilities. The potential for cost-effective savings for commercial customers is a 20-30% reduction of current use levels, but utility energy efficiency programs are finding it difficult to achieve their stated energy savings goals. DNV GL undertook the Commercial Facility Pulse Survey to characterize the attitudes of commercial facility managers toward energy efficiency and to use these insights to identify strategies to increase program participation in that segment.

The survey probed the facility owners’ and managers’ attitudes about energy efficiency and the activities they participate in to increase energy efficiency in their facility and characterized three areas of business operations related to energy use: policies and resources, practices and investment, and the perception of the benefits of energy efficiency. DNV GL’s findings on customer practices highlight the importance of three strategies to motivate commercial customers to implement energy efficient technologies and behaviors:

  1. An activated trade ally network that works closely with utility energy efficiency programs.
  2. Targeted outreach to commercial facilities that promotes the general business benefits of energy efficiency.
  3. Individual facilities can capture more energy savings through improved operations and maintenance practices and investments in lighting and HVAC technologies.

DNV GL’s Commercial Pulse survey was conducted in Q4 2015 with facility managers of 497 commercial and industrial (C&I) facilities nationwide. The sample for this online survey was restricted to facilities with 50 or more employees, which represents 60 percent of all C&I employment. The results were weighted to reflect the population of C&I facilities by size, region, building type, and participation in utility energy efficiency programs.

More here.

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