Back in July 2022, Transforma Insights published a report looking at the ways in which IoT, AI and other disruptive technologies can be applied to sustainability and other ESG goals. The report ‘Sustainability Enabled by Digital Transformation’ identifies a dozen (our ‘Clean Dozen’) solution areas that will have the biggest impact on reducing energy and fossil fuel consumption, saving water and otherwise helping to meet sustainability targets. These include fleet management, supply chain, smart cities and smart grid.
The number one single most important solution area is smart buildings. Buildings account for nearly one-third of global energy consumption. According to the International Energy Agency (IEA), digitalisation of buildings (including smart thermostats, controllers, smart lighting) could cut total energy use in residential and commercial buildings between 2017 and 2040 by as much as 10%.
The Smart Buildings section of the report, which is available to download for free HERE, outlines the key ways in which particularly IoT can be used to reduce energy consumption across applications such as building automation, HVAC and lighting.
Heating, ventilation and air-conditioning (HVAC) accounts for 30-40% of electricity usage in buildings, and even higher in commercial buildings. 20-25% of electricity consumed by HVAC systems can be saved by using AI and IoT to control and monitor them.
Lighting is the second biggest consumer of electricity, and second biggest opportunity for energy savings in smart buildings. 35-40% of electricity consumed by lighting devices (bulbs, lamps etc.) can be saved by using smart lighting control systems. Smart lighting control systems enable dimming, daylighting, switching off based on occupancy and other external factors and time-scheduling which contribute towards energy savings.
Building Automation Systems integrated with lighting, HVAC, window control, door control can save an additional 1-3%.
Other benefits to smart buildings solutions include reducing water use. According to the report, the installation of water flow monitoring devices can reduce water consumption by 10% on an average. And we shouldn’t forget that all of these sustainability benefits also come hand-in-hand with cost savings.
Overall, building automation systems integrated with HVAC and lighting control can save nearly 10-20% of total building electricity consumption, equating to a potential overall reduction in global energy consumption by around 3-5%.
The full report ‘Sustainability Enabled by Digital Transformation’ is available to subscribers to Transforma Insights Advisory Service. The smart buildings section of the report is available to download HERE.