Consumer Solutions

A simple tool for energy efficiency

10 November 2021, 16:03

Man with laptop

Visualization of the energy consumption can lead to great benefits for cost control and a lower climate footprint. With the digital tool Fortum Online, companies can see exactly what kind of energy that could be reduced.

In a world filled with major challenges, it is increasingly clear that visualization and data-driven insights can inspire to make sustainable improvements. However small iterations, they may eventually grow to large positive outcomes over time.

For companies and real estate owners, energy consumption is a major cost – and a considerable climate footprint – that historically has been difficult to analyze and address properly.

Getting to know the electricity bill

The digital tool Fortum Online was born from this realization in Norway 2004, in collaboration with customers and energy experts. Since then, the solution has been refined and is now available as an add-on service for Fortum’s clients in other markets as well.

Patrik Hamberg is responsible for Fortum Online in Sweden.

– It’s a very convenient way of getting to know your energy consumption. A school may for example discover that they have unnecessarily high electricity bills because the building uses heat and light during the weekends. It used to be quite difficult to spot these kinds of costly anomalies – but that is not the case anymore.

Patrik Hamberg says that many of the clients have managed to lower their energy consumption with 5-10 per cent without any new investments – only with a stronger control function and the help of visualization.

– Some owners of stores and shopping malls realize that the lights are switched on way too early, which means that they are paying for energy at hours when there are no customers. One real estate owner discovered that the reason their electricity bill was so high was that they had been paying for the street level fast food restaurant without knowing it. In the past, you had to analyze these numbers on a quarterly or annual basis. Now it’s possible to follow the energy consumption at every hour, any day of the week.

Smarter energy use in the data center

The company Six Nines runs a specialized data center focusing on accelerated computing and cloud services for machine learning and artificial intelligence. Their servers represent 90 percent of the energy use, says CIO George Plepis.

– We used to have a fixed price deal, but with some help from Fortum we implemented portfolio pricing and Fortum Online. Now we have been using the tool for a year.

George Plepis claims the transition to a digital tool has led to vast improvements.

– The portal allows us to track the energy consumption in real time and compare with our previous estimates. There used to be no way of measuring this properly. Now we have a strategy for buying electricity at the exact right moment, which have led to a lower electricity bill by 30 to 50 percent. It makes a big difference for us.

Free tool for Fortum’s clients

As a Fortum customer it’s easy to implement the platform and get started. Bigger real estate clients can produce different reports for each building, and cluster the stats on blocks, cities, or regions.

The basic version of Fortum Online is free of charge for all pre-existing Fortum customers, while the premium version includes more analytics tools as well as two hours of consultation with an energy advisor.

– Many companies usually analyze their energy consumption only when they write their annual sustainability report, but we see clearly that almost every client can reduce both energy, costs, and climate footprint by taking small steps in the right direction. The system notifies you immediately of any anomalies, and the increased knowledge makes it significantly easier to budget your energy costs, Patrik Hamberg concludes.

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