Advancing Government: Increasing sustainability through automated energy monitoring

By Michael House, Vice President of Infrastructure and Energy Solutions, Siemens Government Technologies

climate change and increase energy resilience

In an era where environmental sustainability and energy efficiency are paramount, the United States government must take significant steps to reduce its carbon footprint and promote responsible energy management. With more than 350,000 energy-utilizing buildings and 600,000 vehicles, the federal government must pursue energy security and energy resilience to ensure the readiness of all missions.

Smart infrastructure changes are crucial for the federal government to achieve energy savings in its buildings and facilities. In my previous article in our Advancing Government series, I examined the ways in which agencies can improve energy resilience and sustainability through different applications of smart infrastructure technologies. However, one technology—automated energy monitoring—could unlock greater transparency into energy consumption, enabling optimal energy use and substantial cost savings.

Optimizing efficiency with automated energy monitoring

Automated energy monitoring refers to the use of advanced technologies and systems to continuously track, analyze, and manage energy consumption in buildings, facilities, or industrial processes. This approach involves the deployment of sensors, meters, and automated systems to collect real-time data on energy usage, allowing for more efficient and informed decision-making.

renewable energy integration

Five ways automated energy monitoring contributes to sustainability and efficiency at federal buildings:

Real-time visibility - Automated energy monitoring provides federal agencies with real-time visibility into energy consumption patterns at buildings and facilities. This allows for immediate identification of inefficiencies, irregularities, or potential areas for improvement. Monitoring systems can track electricity, water, and gas usage, offering a comprehensive view of resource utilization.

Identifying energy waste - Continuous monitoring enables the detection of energy waste by identifying equipment malfunctions, inefficient practices, or unnecessary energy consumption during non-operational hours. Pinpointing these issues allows for quick corrective actions to minimize waste and improve overall efficiency.

Renewable energy integration - Automated energy monitoring can optimize the integration of renewable energy sources, such as solar panels and wind turbines. These systems balance energy generation with consumption and help military bases transition to cleaner and more sustainable energy options.

Remote monitoring and management - Automated systems enable remote monitoring and management of energy consumption, making it possible to oversee multiple installations from a centralized location. This is particularly valuable for military bases with diverse geographic locations.

Energy benchmarking and compliance - Automated energy monitoring facilitates benchmarking and compliance by comparing energy performance against predefined standards or industry benchmarks. For example, the Department of Defense can use automated energy monitoring to generate audits for regulatory reporting.

renewable energy integration

Leading by example: How Siemens is improving sustainability at 230 locations worldwide

In 2015, Siemens became one of the world’s first global industrial companies to announce its intention to become carbon neutral in its operating business by 2030. Through the development and implementation of innovative solutions and initiatives, the company is on a mission to accelerate the transition of all facilities and buildings worldwide to operate with a net zero-carbon footprint in the next six years. Already, Siemens has reduced global operational CO2 emissions by 50% (without offsetting) since 2019; and reduced global energy consumption by 9% since fiscal year 2021; and 96% of global locations have implemented a water reduction strategy.

Integral to this large-scale clean energy transition is Siemens Corporate Global Monitoring Program, a two-year program designed to digitalize and connect all the metering infrastructure for electricity, water, heat, and gas utilities at Siemens’ main locations around the globe. Through the application of Siemens’ energy monitoring and management solutions, Siemens Corporate Global Monitoring Program generates high-quality structured data for improved transparency, reporting, analytics, cost savings, and benchmarking.

To date, the program has digitalized and connected metering infrastructure at 230 locations worldwide. Spanning more than 64.5 million square feet with over 4,000 individual energy meters, the program has installed or converted existing utility meters in 45 countries around the world. Thirty-nine of the 230 sites were in the United States.

The result is a fully automated energy monitoring system capable of tracking the uptime of installed or converted energy meters that now measure at over 90% availability. The program generates real-time data across 230 locations that enables Siemens to achieve carbon foot-print reductions, the highest return for future energy efficiency projects, and provides annual energy consumption reports for shareholders, employees, auditors and regulators.

Energy and performance

Energy and performance services for government

Siemens Government Technologies (SGT), the U.S. federal subsidiary of Siemens Corporation, collaborates with government agencies to implement advanced technologies and innovative strategies to enhance sustainability and operational efficiency. Our comprehensive portfolio of energy and performance services enable our government customers to accelerate their energy transition and create more resource- and energy-efficient manufacturing facilities, office complexes and military bases.

How SGT can help federal agencies achieve energy reduction, sustainability, and reliability goals

Comprehensive energy audits - SGT conducts thorough energy audits and assessments at federal installations and military bases. These audits help identify areas for improvement, assess energy consumption patterns, and recommend tailored solutions to optimize energy efficiency.

Advanced building technologies - Siemens provides and implements advanced building technologies, including smart building systems and controls. These technologies enable federal agencies to optimize HVAC systems, lighting, and other building functions based on real-time data, occupancy patterns, and environmental conditions.

Data-driven and automation services – Siemens provides advanced data analytics and monitoring tools for federal agencies. These tools allow agencies to analyze energy consumption data, track performance, and identify opportunities for further efficiency improvements. Siemens also offers data-driven services and digital twin technologies that enable agencies to gain new insights and schedule predictive maintenance for maximum uptime, increase asset utilization, and reduce energy consumption. This applies to production and building assets as well as on-site energy generation systems.

clean energy transition

Advance your clean energy transition

The Department of Defense and federal agencies must improve sustainability and energy efficiency across their operations. At SGT, as the federally-compliant U.S. organization that can integrate Siemens’ globally trusted products and services, we provide scalable solutions to reduce emissions while increasing resilience and security. From building automation and utility monitoring and control systems, to green technologies and efficiency-enhancing HVAC and utility upgrades, we help federal customers ensure their facilities are smarter and more responsive by intelligently connecting energy systems, buildings, and the people who occupy them.

Learn more about SGT smart infrastructure solutions here.

Michael House, Vice President of Infrastructure and Energy Solutions, Siemens Government Technologies 

Michael House is the Vice President of Infrastructure & Energy Solutions of Siemens Government Technologies (SGT), Inc., the separate but affiliated U.S. government arm of technology powerhouse Siemens. With over 30 years of experience in technical, program, and business development, House is a veteran government contract leader. Prior to joining SGT, House worked with AECOM, leading the organization’s Energy Consulting Services Business in the Americas. Before AECOM, House served as the Department Manager of Infrastructure Security and Resiliency at URS and a Program Manager at Northrop Grumman, where he and his team were responsible for the delivery of space-qualified hardware for NASA and other government agencies. Now, at SGT, House leads all business capture planning, development and proposal operations, tailoring solutions for inherently complex government customer missions.

Read his full bio here

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Michael House