Silkeborg Municipality uses KMD EnergyKey to utilize more energy data

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Using KMD EnergyKey as its central platform, Silkeborg Municipality aims to create digital connections between the various energy suppliers within the municipality to cut down on energy waste.

There are many ways to approach a bidding process. The most common approach involves drafting a detailed specification of requirements and then selecting the supplier with the solution and services that best meet those requirements. And then there is the approach that Silkeborg Municipality chose when the time came to select a new energy management solution. They deliberately chose not to rely on a list of specific requirements for the solution, because that would only limit the functionality of the solution and its areas of application. Silkeborg Municipality instead chose to describe what their primary task was in terms of energy management and how their organization was set up. From there, it was up to the supplier to build the solution that could best prepare the municipality’s energy management for tomorrow and do so at the best price. The main architect behind this somewhat unusual approach to the bidding process is Lars Thygesen, manager of the Energy and Technology department in Silkeborg Municipality. 

“We wanted to see what the market could deliver in terms of energy management in 2017. We had a fundamental goal to reduce our energy waste. For example, from buildings that run the heating and ventilation systems at night, continuously running toilets, or by identifying vacation periods when things can be shut down. We gave the suppliers the freedom to specify their own requirements for the solution,” says Thygesen.

Data integration via KMD EnergyKey

KMD EnergyKey ultimately became the energy management solution they chose. It was the supplier and solution that was most convincing in terms of defining how Silkeborg Municipality could solve its primary task based on various factors. For example, the solution’s potential for integration with other energy solutions in an existing infrastructure, thus allowing an exchange of data between them.

“We are constantly looking at how to make greater use of energy data. Utility companies are increasingly collecting data on their own and are happy to make it available to us, and the electric companies have to do it via the Data Hub. We can now build interfaces in KMD EnergyKey and collect various types of energy data at a minimal cost,” Lars Thygesen explains.

Utility companies are increasingly collecting data on their own and are happy to make it available to us, and the electric companies have to do it via the Data Hub. We can now build interfaces in KMD EnergyKey and collect various types of energy data at a minimal cost

Lars Thygesen, Manager, Energy and Technology department Silkeborg Municipality.

Tomorrow’s supplier is a data broker

He sees tomorrow’s supplier of energy management solutions as a data broker. Via a flexible platform, a data broker can collect and pass on energy data in all formats from all sources and that can analyze energy data and present it to a growing group of stakeholders - both internal and external ones.

“There are three primary stakeholder groups in our case. There are the technicians and the operations staff that need to use the data, for example, to reduce energy waste in their buildings. There are also the municipality’s senior management teams and politicians who need to be able to see that we uphold our obligations as a municipality. Then there are also the citizens themselves, who need to use energy data to motivate themselves to save energy,” says Lars Thygesen.

More focus on energy management than operations

The energy industry has undergone many changes in recent years. According to Lars Thygesen, one of the changes involves the fact that you have to supplement the traditional focus on energy consumption and energy waste with specialized knowledge about how you drive energy savings through an advanced IT solution.

“We won’t be getting any medals for maintaining databases with a lot of energy data. The value is only demonstrated when we can use the energy data to identify where it is being wasted and then use that to cut costs. To do that we need administrative resources that have the technical expertise to run a complex IT tool. There is no doubt in my mind that energy management offers vast financial potential, so I am not afraid to hire either a part-time or full-time employee to manage KMD EnergyKey. It will pay off. But it requires that the solution runs optimally.

There is no doubt in my mind that energy management offers vast financial potential, so I am not afraid to hire either a part-time or full-time employee to manage KMD EnergyKey. It will pay off. But it requires that the solution runs optimally.

Lars Thygesen, Manager, Energy and Technology department Silkeborg Municipality.

Easy and appealing user experience

Another clear development on the energy market is the need to work via professional solutions that are focused on being user-friendly.

“Our initial market analysis revealed that KMD EnergyKey was in a strong position, partly because the solution can present energy data in a smooth and dynamic manner. We could probably force the operations staff in a building to look at their energy data. But ideally the tool should be so easy and appealing to operate that they do it completely on their own, because they actually want to,” Lars Thygesen concludes.

About KMD EnergyKey

  • A complete cloud and mobile-based solution for managing energy and resource consumption
  • Based on open standards with flexible integration with third-party systems
  • The system can produce many different types of reports
  • Self-service portal, mobile apps, and integration with social media