SCADA Saves the World – One kWh at a Time

Let me start by saying I am not trying to promote any particular theories or ideologies. When it comes to global climate change, I don’t have a dog in the fight. I’m not a climatologist. I’m not a producer of industrial waste. I’m just a casual observer taking note of what I see, and what I see is a new trend in SCADA usage: energy management.

As more and more of the objects in our world are gaining intelligence, and as we continue to find new ways of monitoring our environments, one immediate advantage is called to mind. SCADA systems allow us to pay attention to things that we just didn’t have time to pay attention to before. It has suddenly become a simple matter to track our energy consumption – recognizing periods of high demand and other patterns that lead to higher consumption. Now, I’m not about to suggest you should be concerned about your energy consumption because you’re killing the planet and bankrupting our children’s future – I’ll let someone else point that finger. There are plenty of good reasons to reduce your energy consumption that have nothing to do with melting icebergs.

The most obvious and most compelling reason is simple: money. I think it’s fair to say that most of us would like to have more and spend less. If you can reduce your monthly electric bill by 20%, why not do it? Imagine a small company that spends $1000 a month on electricity. That’s $12000 a year. A 20% reduction would lower that expense to $9600 a year. If you can do that without taking anything away from your productivity then there is really no good reason not to.

You try to get the most value for your investment in everything you do – whether it’s buying office supplies or advertising. If your production monitoring system will allow you to save money by simply monitoring your energy consumption as well, then do it. And don’t worry about people thinking you’re some tree-hugging communist (not that there’s anything wrong with that). To hell with the rainforests and whales – I’m saving money!

And while we’re using SCADA to reduce our consumption, utility companies are using it to create a smarter, more efficient power grid, eventually reducing the overall cost of generating and distributing electricity. So SCADA is making power cheaper and helping us use less of it. Now, that’s some helpful software.

Thank you SCADA!

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