The Impact of Artificial Intelligence on Energy Management

by | Jan 9, 2018

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The global market for intelligent buildings, or smart buildings as they’re also called, is projected to reach $31.74 billion by 2022, at a compound annual growth rate of 33.7%, according to Research and Markets.

Artificial intelligence, which is enabling this market, has the potential to revolutionize energy management and the commercial building sector. According to a new whitepaper by Navigant, the management of commercial locations has been transformed by the accessibility of new data streams and the tools to analyze and operationalize associated information.

In this new paradigm, business insights and actionable priorities are automatically delivered to corporate and site-level energy managers. In addition, customers can ask technical questions 24/7 in their own terms and get understandable answers without laborious software training or data science skills.

An example of the use of artificial intelligence in the smart building space is Sam, a comprehensive utility bill management and payment services virtual assistant. The Navigant whitepaper states that Sam evaluates and alerts customers of the many external elements that could impact cost and usage for operating any or all locations based on utility bills weather, conditions of installed technology, regulatory changes, incentives and competitive alternatives to existing energy supply.

Customers can interact with Sam on-demand via text inquiries to improve how they manage utility bills, and compare energy usage between sites and enterprise-wide. Customers also receive notifications that alert them to out-of-the-norm energy use and events that should be reviewed to possibly adjust operations to save on energy costs. Sam affords customers the opportunity to experience what it means to have a virtual employee working 24/7 on their behalf. Sam aims to be more efficient and less expensive than a full-time employee with push notification and information sharing to stakeholders and supervisors while retaining the bandwidth for inbound requests.

AI Throughout Other Industries

At the 2017 Environmental Leader Conference and Energy Management Summit, Lang Lawrence, energy manager for Raytheon Missile Systems (RMS), described how the global defense company is using artificial intelligence and integrating peak shaving techniques to meet energy efficiency goals.

In Britain, the UK’s National Grid is in talks with Google’s DeepMind, a leading artificial intelligence group, in hopes to use AI to help balance energy supply and demand in Britain. National Grid’s role in balancing power on the grid has become more challenging in recent years, as intermittent renewable sources of electricity — including wind and solar power — have become a bigger part of Britain’s energy mix.

Vendors mentioned in this article:

  • Navigant
  • Raytheon Missile Systems
  • UK’s National Grid
  • Google DeepMind

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