ESB’s Smart Energy Services business unit engaged with IBM Research – Ireland to show retailers how the Internet of Things (IoT) and Artificial Intelligence (AI) analytics can yield high energy savings.

This unique proof of concept research study focuses on the high energy consumption of refrigeration units in the retail sector, using IoT and AI based analytics to identify and validate savings potential for large energy users.

This analysis of customer energy data is seen as the first step to identifying and delivering energy saving projects which unlock substantial energy savings and reduce carbon emissions. Based on the evidence provided in this study, ESB conducted a series of energy saving projects on refrigeration across the Tesco Ireland estate which delivered annualised savings of 10% on their refrigeration costs, with a 10GWH wastage avoidance. This represented a 5% savings overall in their energy usage.

For the last three years, ESB’s Smart Energy Services has worked with Tesco Ireland in more than 151 stores nationally to deliver 25% savings in cost and emissions across a range of energy management initiatives. Data insights have played a major role in the delivery of these savings, enabling ESB to make changes to Tesco’s energy systems and prioritising energy capital investment.

Michael Mahon, Head of ESB’s Smart Energy Services, says the use of intelligence and analytics is becoming more critical in identifying and rectifying energy solutions.

“With energy being one of the most significant costs faced by business, it makes sense for businesses to closely monitor their energy usage to minimise costs. Through this study with Tesco we’ve seen how large financial and carbon emission savings can be identified through IoT and AI based energy data analytics, highlighting on-the-spot changes and longer term projects which can deliver even bigger savings.”

The cloud-based analysis of refrigeration in Tesco Ireland allowed the seamless data flow from sensor to cloud within one week of acquiring the data, thus demonstrating the scalability using the IBM cloud platform and analytics services.

“This collaborative project with IBM Research – Ireland and ESB to identify opportunities for energy savings across Tesco Ireland’s retail outlets demonstrates how companies with the help of AI on IBM’s cloud platform can unlock substantial energy savings using machine learning and IoT data,” says Dr Wendy Bellumoni, Director IBM Research – Ireland. “It shows how AI and cloud is enabling ESB to lead the way in energy management while helping their customers create operational efficiencies, reduce energy consumption, and effectively optimise financial performance.”

Speaking about the success of this partnership, Geoff Byrne, chief operating officer, Tesco Ireland added:

“Being a sustainable business is very important to us, we are working with our customers, suppliers and partners to create a greener environment. We believe every little help makes a big difference, in recent years we have focused on implementing a wide range of energy efficiency and energy management measures across our 151 stores and distribution centres. Our partnership with the Smart Energy Services division of ESB has been vital in helping us identify and deliver energy efficiency projects ranging from our refrigeration units to high efficiency LED lighting upgrades, as well as heating and ventilation upgrades.”

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