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The communes of Walloon Brabant have a system for monitoring consumption and anomaly detection in their energy bills. It’s an ideal way to realize the cost-cutting goals set by their association of municipal corporations, Sedifin.
In recent years, Sedifin has made a concerted effort to cut the operating costs for the communes and public institutions (the police, the public social welfare agency CPAS…) that it represents as much as possible. With an annual gas and electricity consumption topping 10 million euros, the ‘energy’ budget line is naturally one of the top priorities, according to Vincent Scourneau, President of Sedifin: “To start with, we began grouping our purchases. This made it possible for us to reduce the rates by 10%. In order to further shrink the bills, it was necessary to address the consumption, which we are able to oversee directly, since we receive the energy bills for our partners. We therefore decided to offer them an extra service that would allow them to monitor consumption and track anomalies.”
Complete control in a couple of clicks
The public tender was awarded to Belgacom and its partner Dapesco, a consultancy specialized in energy optimization and the creator of the energy management software for buildings Publinergie, which is available through the cloud via the PubliLink Explore network. Thanks to being connected to this tool, the administrations whose bills are available in digital format (XML, PDF, etc.) can now perform both financial and technical checks on their expenditures.
On the one hand, Publinergie verifies the accuracy of the data on the bills by measuring discrepancies between the expected and measured consumption as well as between the rates billed and the contractual rates. Dapesco estimates that this has led to savings of, on average, 3%. On the other hand, the solution can also verify that the consumption does not show abnormal activity, by comparing it, for example, to standard data for buildings of the same size, built in the same year, or by installing physical sensors for monitoring the meters. Clients who are able to detect abnormal consumption with Publinergie are making savings of at least 5%.
Structuring information before automation
At Sedifin, implementation of the system for verification of the bills was completed in early February. Although the entry of all of the necessary bills and consumption data was a gigantic task, according to Vincent Scourneau, it ensured the success of the project. No fewer than 2,000 energy meter points had to be referenced by the municipal administrations, each of which was associated with different parameters, which had to be recorded so that Publinergie could pinpoint any slip-ups in consumption compared to its evaluative grid. “Fortunately, this step needs to be done only once: after that, the integration is automatic. It’s a huge advantage. Users for the communes and public institutions will be able to evaluate the cost of each of the analysis points and, based on the detailed bills for consumption over multiple years, they can now visualize anomalies (which are signaled by indicators in the Publinergie application) at a given location,” points out a satisfied Scourneau.
Data in detail
Statistics per year, per square meter, analysis of the energy history of a specific building and its classification… There are many ways the data can be used. But it is impossible for Sedifin to anticipate what the various indicators will reveal in the months to come. “In an ideal world, nothing. But there are always meters that malfunction, infrastructure that breaks down… or inaccurate bills based on errors in the consumption measured or the price calculation. In both cases, they will be systematically and immediately checked”.
Operating since 1996 in the province of Walloon brabant, the association of municipal corporations Sedifin manages the participation of the communes in the energy distribution authority SEDILEC, as well as organizing collective purchases for the associated communes and other public bodies.
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