Monday 7 July 2014

Guest Blog: Jaz Rabadia – Make energy data your own – just like I did!

Guest Blog: Jaz Rabadia – Make energy data your own – just like I did!

You made it your own – it’s a phrase now parroted by TV talent show judges.

But we can do the same with the masses of information we collect as energy managers.

If I could give one piece of advice on building an energy management strategy it would be that the detail is in the data.

Seven years ago when I started out in the energy management world (that’s where you all gasp whilst thinking I don’t look old enough...) I had very little practical energy management experience. I started out in the role of energy analyst at Sainsbury’s and was asked to focus on data.

As someone young and new to the industry I felt a little intimidated, often I was sitting in meetings with people who had been practising energy management longer than I’d been alive. What I quickly realised was that understanding the data set meant I could have much more meaningful conversations with store colleagues and senior managers alike.

Doing a Phoebe

When data was presented within communications there was greater trust in the messages being conveyed. So a bit like when Phoebe from Friends was asked to be in charge of cups at a party, I took energy data and really made it my own.

Energy data was integral to validating the investments of the past and building the business cases for the future. It was a robust data set showing why we should put more capital towards energy efficiency each year.

It was also at the heart of decision making and included:

- Defining procurement and budgeting energy volumes
- Improved energy tariffs and services based on demand profiles
- Developing engagement tools such as energy profiles, league tables.

And there were other benefits:

- Validating investments in energy efficiency technology
- Selecting the most energy saving technologies for future investments
- Ensuring energy bills reflect actual usage
- Compliance with legislation such as CRC, GHG reporting.

Of course data on its own is just a collection of numbers.

The key to making the most of the vast amount of energy data we all collect is contextualising it and making it relevant to the end user.

With more technology making it possible to gather, communicate and process large data sets, it’s becoming easier to give people actionable feedback. Analytics provides insights about energy patterns and is central to an effective energy management strategy.

There’s a famous saying... “In God we trust – everyone else show me your data!”

Jaz Rabadia is Energy Manager at Debenhams and a STEM Ambassador.

Jaz has put together a "wordle" of the big energy data phrases - what do you think? Are there any words missing, or that should be bigger?

[caption id="attachment_77209" align="alignnone" width="575"]Jaz's Energy data wordle. She says: "Please note this is an LED lamp and it is turned off!" Jaz says: "Please note this is an LED lamp and it is turned off!"[/caption]

Written by

Bruna Pinhoni

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