Home Energy Efficient

7 Cool Ways to Make your Home Energy Efficient

Energy conservation has been reiterated for years, but it was only taken seriously in 2008 when utility companies added fuel surcharges on customers’ bills. With the shortage of water in some regions, homeowners have one more reason to save money on their utility bills. Here are 7 ways to make your home energy efficient and cut your bills in the years to come.

  1. Paint your roof white. Recent studies found that white roofs require up to 40 percent less energy for cooling than their black counterpart. Given the current utility rates, you can save about a hundred dollars per year.
  2. Install a separate meter for outdoor uses. A separate meter for your irrigation and swimming pools will be read by the utility company every month and deducted from your sewage bill. The meter could cost several hundred dollars upfront but would pay off within a few years since you will no longer pay for the sewage capacity you are not using. This is especially helpful if you use significant amount of water in your yard.
  3. Perform a nightly sweep in your home. Make sure all electric devices are turned off before you sleep. Leaving your fans, lights and appliances on can be expensive.  
  4. Set your water heater at 120 degrees. Heating your water too hot does not only increase the risk of scalding but also losing your money. Studies show that a heater set at 140 degrees or higher can cost you between 36 to 61 dollars annually.
  5. Upgrade your appliances. Upgrade your appliances to newer, more energy efficient models. Some governments even offer incentives when you do so.
  6. Track your energy usage. Do your meter and match it up with the reading of your utility workers. Keep in mind that they are also human and may make mistakes, which can be costly. Make sure you are getting charged for the electricity you actually used with a mobile energy technology.
  7. Buy energy certified products. Energy Star labels help you save money on your big and expensive appliances. Lightbulbs, televisions, refrigerators, washing machines and fans yield more savings when they add up.

Reducing your energy bills is the easiest way to save money. The above saving tips will show you how to cut down your energy use without compromising comfort. Other cool ways to make your home energy efficient include buying a programmable thermostat and sealing cracks where cold and warm air escapes. On the other hand, here are five surefire tips to reduce your corporate energy consumption.     

Corporate Energy Data

Corporate Energy Data: The Key to Smart Buildings

Having access to your corporate energy data has a number of benefits that you shouldn’t ignore. There’s no need to wait at the end of the month to get your bill. You can stream the data quickly through your mobile devices with the right mobile solution. You don’t have to spend hundreds to thousands of money and time either. Plus, you get the chance to adjust your energy usage to save more.

Your corporate energy data is your golden ticket to transform your commercial facility into a smart building. Monitoring and controlling the systems within your facility allows you to analyze data and translate it to business intelligence. A mobile energy solution, for instance, can help you track operational efficiency, occupant behavior and energy consumption.

Here’s 4 types of corporate energy date and how they support economic and sustainability improvements:

  • Occupant Data. Providing insight into the people-side of your business, it is becoming an increasing priority in corporate decision-making. Performance and engagement of occupants of the building have a direct influence on your bottom lines. Data about people can help determine Scope 3 (indirect) emissions for carbon accounting.
  • Facility Data. This type of data helps maximize system performance, improve comfort and reduce costs. In order to support a sustainable strategy, all data should be complete – including lighting, HVAC and plug loads). It is valuable for monitoring energy and operations data.
  • Enterprise Data. Addressing core business priorities, this corporate energy data provides insight across disparate systems and data sources. It offers analytics capabilities to optimize your energy use and operations.
  • Distributed Energy Resources (DER) Data. It helps coordinate facility operations, storage capacity and onsite energy resource regeneration. It could also be extended to track and monitor charging infrastructure and EV (Electric Vehicle) fleets.

Investment in mobile energy solutions can lead to efficient and effective ways to track corporate energy data that will determine how well your company is doing, relative to your corporate goals. It can be a competitive advantage that direct visible improvements in how you operate your commercial buildings and offices.

We, at Volatix, can do the heavy lifting. There will be emergency situations, and we want to help mitigate the damage and downtime to your production. We will manage all updates and maintenance too, so you will have all the time you need to achieve business success. Learn more about us here.


Mobile Energy Solution

Mobile Energy Solution: Turning Horsepower to Smart Power

Presently, we are enjoying the luxury of smart phones, autonomous cars and connected clothing. We track the number of steps we take, the calories we consume and the places we’ve been to. Connected technologies have made it possible for us to live more productively, safely, healthily and efficiently. However, our homes (although the biggest investment in our lifetime) remains largely disconnected. So, how can a mobile energy solution help us?

A mobile energy solution can help turn your horsepower to smart power. The technology exists to help you monitor and control your energy usage at home and in the office. Energy fuels both our lives and our homes – informing us if it’s running inefficiently, or if it’s broken or unsafe. Gone are the days when we need to wait for our monthly bill to see how much energy we used.

Volatix mobile energy solution lets you see how much energy your house is using. It is like Fitbit for your home. Instead, of tracking your steps, it is tracking your energy usage and helping you understand how it can be adjusted to make it more efficient and help you save more.

What else can it do?

  • FOR UTILITIES. Monitor generation plans, maintenance dispatch, shadow settlements, and substation operations.
  • FOR OIL AND GAS COMPANIES. Create greater data visibility between corporate and mobile workforce to increase efficiency. See field data in real-time – no downtime waiting for systems to update.
  • FOR REFINERIES AND TERMINAL OPERATORS. Improve the communication between terminal operations, storage and transport teams.

Why do we need to be energy efficient? Through a mobile energy solution, we can reduce our energy usage. This means the world will need less energy to generate at power plants, reducing greenhouse gas emissions and, ultimately, improving the quality of air. It helps the economy too, as consumers and businesses save millions of dollars in energy costs. Check out our solutions to see the best solution for you and your business here.

Mobile Energy Solutions

Radicalizing Field Service with Mobile Energy Solutions

The demands of the digital society are increasing day by day, and electric utilities need to modernize if they wish to keep up. Although digitalization may not be the obvious answer, mobile energy solutions could have many benefits to the energy sector. They could help the energy industry become more effective, efficient and ready for the future.

Every business in the energy industry is unique, and many still use paper-based documentation and distribute information across various silos. Mobile energy solutions can make the workflow easier and faster by making data available online. Employees can communicate internally or externally to solve problems more quickly and access cloud-based tools to become more productive. Furthermore, greater efficiencies can be achieved to transform how field workers work every day.

Mobile energy solutions can be very useful in times of catastrophic weather conditions. They can help technicians access online training, perform damage assessment, and respond to the customers’ needs immediately. Field workers can get notifications to the type of emergency, as well. Applications can give them the data they need to expedite response and become more efficient overall.

Here’s how mobile energy solutions can help radicalize the field service:

  • Eliminate the extended staging process required for crew assignment during an emergency
  • Share accurate restoration data quickly
  • Provide fast and efficient power restoration
  • Respond quickly to unpredictability of weather
  • Share resources when a storm occurs – collaboration with neighboring utilities

By adopting a mobile-based energy solution, utility companies can connect with other utilities, access and gain visibility into available resources in real-time. They enable efficient communication by all utilities to achieve a broad, all-encompassing focus. In return, utility customers can benefit from the shorter outreach times and faster restoration.

Mobile energy solutions enable collaboration, which is becoming increasingly important in the energy sector. They provide utilities and field workers with a unique strategy that offers various benefits to both customers and industry insiders. Find out how you can power your workforce with energy mobile technology here.

energy sector

The Energy Sector after the Destructive Hurricane Harvey

Hurricane Harvey did more than just damaging the cities in Texas. It also has some serious effects on the energy sector, which can be the biggest test in the industry so far. It took one-third of the U.S. refinery capacity offline for days, leaving the sector to consider the costs of adding infrastructure hardening on the Gulf or moving to a different location. The devastating flooding hit the central hub for energy sectors and exposed a downside: vulnerability to storms.

How did Hurricane Harvey affect the energy sector?

  • Closed refineries and offshore crude oil production. The Gulf of Mexico has much of the U.S. refinery capacity and chemical production, which was devastated during the storm.
  • Delayed damage assessments. Damage assessments could take days to weeks to complete. Restarts could also be dangerous as fires and explosions may occur.
  • Power loss. According to the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, over 300,000 residents were without electricity.
  • Increased gasoline prices. The Gulf Coast’s disruption will send gasoline prices upward by as much as 35 cents per gallon over the next two weeks.
  • Shutdown of multiple refineries. About 3 million barrels of refining capacity has been taken offline according to a research note by Goldman Sachs. UBS top analyst Wayne Gordon also said that some of the issues around production may be enduring for at least the next month.
  • Halted oil production. About 22% of the oil production in the Gulf of Mexico has been terminated, both offshore and onshore.

It could take weeks to fully assess the damage of Hurricane Harvey to the energy sector, but it will be undoubtedly extensive. Prices are likely to shoot up in the coming weeks, and when they do renewable energy sources could get a major lift. So far, oil and gas prices endured because much oil and gas are still in storage around the country when the storm hit and most drivers stay at home.

The energy sector is resistant to change, but the storm is surely a challenge. Check out other blog topics here.

Internet of Energy

Internet of Energy: Cleaner and More Efficient Energy Production

Internet of Energy or IoE is the upgrading and automating of electricity infrastructures as a result of the growing number of connected devices, sensors and machines. It puts more power on the hands of the consumers and produces cleaner and more efficient energy. Although data within the IoE is growing at exponential rates, most of them are traditionally siloed across business units. Extracting these data and putting them to work can help companies gain insight and allow them to transform into a collaborative system.

Here are the 4 silos in the energy sector:

  • Generation. The first major silo is dependent on the work of turbines, with even the slightest disruption in their moving parts resulting to power loss, unscheduled downtime, safety concerns and many more. An energy solution can prevent unplanned downtime and catastrophic breakdowns. It can analyze data and provide insights, so companies can continue to improve their energy efficiency measures.
  • Transmission and Distribution. A mobile technology solution can play a key role in energy disaggregation, power voltage instability monitoring, and grid maintenance by creating efficiencies in expenses and operations. It analyzes data to classify and predict failures in advance. The right solution can see correlations in the data that leads to new discoveries.
  • Cybersecurity. The right technology can identify, categorize and combat various industrial threats. It can automate the research process, prioritize threats based on confidence, and display corroborating evidence to reduce overall risk.
  • Energy Trading and Risk Management. This is the fourth major silo in the energy sector. With accurate forecasting, utilities can offer better pricing to consumers. An energy mobile solution can provide insight to this process. Since utility companies are constantly facing volatile commodity prices, they need to develop methods for market and credit risk aggregation.

Analytics play an important role in how energy is produced and provided to consumers. By improving the sharing of data across these four major silos, companies can reap the wealth of new knowledge. And by leveraging an energy mobile technology solution, they can provide more value in the Internet of Energy. Click here to check out our solutions.     

Mobile Energy Management Systems

Mobile Energy Management Systems: How Do They Work?

Reducing your energy consumption can be accomplished in many ways. You can improve your home or office’s ability to retain heat or cold through good insulation, double-paned glass and other similar efforts. Installing solar panels can also lessen your energy use. Most of all, as part of managing your energy use, you need to know how much energy you are using. Your monthly bill may not tell you the full details, but mobile energy management systems can.

A smart meter can get much more information about your electrical usage than a traditional meter. It provides breakdowns of usage and rates down to the last minute – which can be useful for consumer and utilities alike. To fully take advantage of the benefits of this smart tech, you need mobile energy management systems that capture data and manage your workflows. By having access to detailed reports, you can see if your appliances should be running less frequently or only when they’re full.

How do mobile energy management systems work?

  • Displays current energy use, current cost of energy, projected bill and resulting savings compared to previous month
  • Informs how much energy is used in near real-time
  • Updates information regarding electricity use to reduce demand, save money and form new habits
  • Offers energy-saving tips and information on power outages
  • Remotely reduce supply of energy to heating and air conditioning systems during peak demand periods
  • Access and analyze demand data from electricity meters

Why should you choose mobile? Unlike desktop computers, Smartphones are continuously used to view e-mails, play games, make calls and read news. You have the information you need right inside your pocket. Mobile devices are geographically aware. They enable users to point click and send messages. They do not require internet connection to retrieve data. In other words, you and your employees have access to your organizational data anytime, anywhere.

Volatix offers mobile energy applications that give you secure accessibility to your company’s data. We understand that building your own mobile solution can cost hundreds to thousands of dollars – not to mention the manpower required to implement and manage an in-house solution. That’s why we offer a simplified way to connect your data without the upkeep of managing updates and troubleshooting. By tracking analyzing energy use, you can find ways to improve efficiency of your existing appliances. Click here to learn more.


Energy Mobile Technology

Power your Workforce with Energy Mobile Technology

In today’s world, challenges will always be a part of utility companies. Business owners should move toward a more mobile workforce to drive productivity and create efficiencies in operations. Your technical field staff and sales staff should be able to carry out more tasks using their mobile devices. By using energy mobile technology, you can reduce fuel and maintenance costs, automate processes, and track your assets more accurately.

Energy mobile technology can address several challenges behind fuel and maintenance costs. They include:

  • Inefficient Routing. Customer service is a top priority for utility companies. If it’s the same for you, you need to make sure all your personnel, equipment and trucks are where they should be on schedule. An energy mobile technology combined with real-time traffic data coordinates help. It identifies technicians nearest to the location of your customers.
  • Dispatch Issues. An integrated dispatch technology provides you with a map of your field assets, increasing productivity and creating a safer environment for them.
  • Vehicle Health. Bad weather, driver behavior and harsh road conditions can also take a toll on vehicle health and drive fuel and maintenance costs. Through a mobile technology, operators can track vehicle speed, mileage, brake usage, maintenance records and other performance indicators to help you make cost-saving decisions related to maintenance.
  • Paper-based Reporting. Utility industry is fast-paced. To stay on top, you should be able to operate efficiently. A mobile solution frees your staff from completing lengthy hand-written reports. Paperless reporting empowers field technicians – something that can only be achieved with a mobile device and service.

Energy mobile technology gives your field staff the ability to report onsite information electronically from any location. It eliminates the tedious task of completing written forms and travelling from one point to another. It also reduces fuel costs significantly. Your staff no longer have to deliver handwritten reports to the shop. With less paperwork and lesser manual processes, they have more time to focus on core responsibilities and provide better customer service.

If you are looking for ways to improve productivity and reduce expenses, consider an energy mobile technology.  Volatix delivers sophisticated mobile solutions to help you manage your assets and make informed decisions. We help you make better decisions and provide the best customer service. We help you become more efficient. Click here to learn more about our solutions.    

Corporate Energy Consumption

5 Surefire Tips to Reduce your Corporate Energy Consumption

Reducing your corporate energy consumption does not only reduce your costs. It also frees your capital to be invested elsewhere. Electricity, along with water and gas, can be costly – especially if you are working long days. To reduce your business energy, there are a number of factors you need to consider, including the needs of your employees and your customers. Assessing these allows you to make a plan that will help you cut your energy costs when you need it the most.

  • Educate your staff of the benefits of saving energy. Leaving your computer turned on overnight for a year produces enough carbon dioxide to fill a double decker bus. But, computers aren’t the only culprit in your increasing energy costs. Printers, monitors, power leads and phone chargers also play a great part. Make sure you unplug these machines to avoid electrical leakage. Highlight the consequences of your employees’ habits to make it easier for them to change their energy habits.
  • Research about the benefits of switching devices. LCD monitors are now three times more efficient than old monitors. Plus, they can be boosted further by turning down brightness down to 70% – which saves 20% more energy than when running in 100%. Mobile devices are also a great help as they cut the need to use energy needlessly. Because they have less processing power requirements, they use less energy than desktop machines.
  • Incentivize energy savings. Once your staff are educated of the benefits of saving energy, it’s time to reward those who reduce consumption the most. You can also offer a company-wide reward if the general usage drops.
  • Upgrade your building infrastructure. In spite of considerable habit changes, if your corporate energy consumption is still high, the issue may lie in the fact that your office is inefficient itself. Switch to more efficient electrical devices and consider your building’s heating and cooling, lighting, and external and glazing layout.
  • Monitor and analyze your corporate energy consumption. Energy is the biggest cost area for companies. Thus, it should be monitored and managed carefully. You need the right energy data to make appropriate action. If you know your energy usage, you can find ways to reduce it.

To reduce your corporate energy consumption, there is more than one thing you can change in your company. You need to inform your staff, consider switching devices and upgrade your building infrastructure. But before you can do all these, you need to know your energy usage. Volatix allows you to view your organizational data on your phone, and manages all updates and maintenance. We help mitigate the damage and downtime to your production when something unexpected happens. Learn more about us here.

energy data

The Main Reason Why Businesses Don’t Track their Energy Data

Most successful companies track and manage their data. They measure key performance indicators such as sales conversion rates, gross margin and many more. Most of them also use software to manage their data. However, fewer companies track and measure their energy data. Although electricity is a top five operating expense, they think that they can do little to control it. Unlike other operating expenses, energy is still misunderstood and questioned.

Electricity is important for businesses to operate, but it can also be confusing. It is made of thousands of potential combinations and almost always vary from one utility to another. Bills are often based on a combination of these:

  • Peak demand
  • Power factor
  • Time of energy use
  • Total kilowatt-hour consumption
  • Load factor
  • Fuel surcharges
  • Taxes
  • Renewable or energy efficiency programs
  • Fixed customer charges

Many people don’t even know half of these terms. Because they don’t understand their energy data or how much money they could save by tracking and taking control, they skip monitoring it.

Another reason why they don’t track their energy data is the lack of technology before. Utilities seldom offer their customers the capability to track their energy usage in real-time because they want to sell more electricity – not less. Tracking energy in real-time was limited to companies with expensive management systems. Thanks to the advancement in technology, measuring energy data has become easier and cheaper.

What’s the solution?

Volatix allows you to view your corporate data on your phone. We provide a simplified way to connect to your data. Building your own mobile solution can be very expensive, so we do the heavy-lifting for you. You don’t have to look for manpower to implement and manage your own in-house solution. We manage everything, including updates and troubleshooting.

Energy can be tracked and controlled. So, you should get the right solution as foundation to your energy strategy. Choose Volatix to capture your energy data and help you find ways to reduce the amount of energy you spend. As a result, you’ll get annual savings and validate your ROI. Find out more about our solutions here.