Before Keen Technical Solutions can measure how much money we can save our clients, we need to make some big changes into how, where, and when they use energy. Oftentimes, we measure energy use in kilowatt hours. But what are those?
That’s a really good question and extremely important to understand before you undertake any
sustainability efforts. A kilowatt is a measure of energy used; it goes from electrical current and is converted into light or heat. That’s what powers your washing machine, lights up your kitchen, or keeps your production line moving along smoothly. We can measure how many kilowatts are needed to power your plant, but that doesn’t give us a great frame of reference, and we tend to see so many fluctuations that it may not provide the best information. Instead, we use kilowatt hours to measure the efficiency of everything from a single fixture to an entire facility, even entire cities, states, and countries!
A kilowatt-hour is the amount of time it takes to use 1000 watts. The more efficient an appliance, light bulb, or facility, the higher the number; a light bulb that takes 90 minutes to burn 1000 Watts is more efficient than one that takes just 60 minutes to burn the same amount. By reducing the amount of energy we use, we reduce the kilowatts hours that stack up in your energy costs every day, week, and year.
Of course, things get more complicated once you factor in things like power sources, automated systems, and remote controls. We like to think of these extra tools as further ways to maximize efficiency. If your system requires a particular amount of electricity to function and we’ve made each fixture as efficient as possible, the next step is to restrict that energy use to the fixture only while it is in use. That’s why automatic dimmers and sensors for warehouses, for example, make so much sense; regardless of how efficient each light bulb might be, 100% of energy use lighting an empty room is waste! We address every facility and system to maximize efficiency from every end of the circuit, carefully balancing your business’s needs in the equation.