Most energy management solutions are more suitable for large companies, as they have high costs and require some expertise. Electrical wholesaler Zander has teamed up with codestryke to develop a solution for the electrical trade that is tailored to small and medium-sized businesses.
The challenge: Energy is a growing cost factor
Energy is becoming an ever-increasing cost factor in companies. But many companies have no transparency about their energy consumption. They have no insight into the current main consumers, cannot track peak loads and are annoyed by non-transparent electricity bills. In the case of energy-saving measures that have already been implemented, there is no way to verify the effect.
While there are many different commercial energy management solutions on the market, they are mostly aimed at large enterprises. They are not an option for small and medium-sized companies because of the high investment costs and the equally high demands on know-how.
That is why many of these companies are looking for suitable solutions for SMEs. The first point of contact here is often the electrical installer. The problem with this is that there is no easy-to-use, cross-manufacturer solution in the electrical wholesale market that is simple for specialist tradesmen to install and commission.
The solution: Provider-neutral energy metering with cloud and IoT
The Zander Group, a wholesaler active throughout Germany with more than 100 branches, has developed a cross-manufacturer solution for energy management together with the digitalization specialist codestryke: The ZANDERiot Energy Monitor. It is an easy-to-use IoT solution that connects energy meters to the cloud. This makes it possible to create complete transparency about energy consumption in buildings and production facilities.
The solution consists of one or more energy meters, an industrial PC for processing the data, and the VergeLink gateway from codestryke that provides the transition to the cloud – in this case Mindsphere from Siemens. The configuration of the device is done in a few minutes through VergeLink and is done with an app on the electrician’s smartphone. The solution is so simple that even a person without IT know-how only needs five minutes to get started.
With the Energy Monitor, customers can analyze all important energy data in the cloud application at a glance and immediately identify optimization needs. Individual buildings, floors, production units or main consumers are displayed separately. A warning function indicates irregularities in the current consumption and thus avoids malfunctions.
The result: Cost reduction for users, new business model for Zander
Users avoid peak loads with the energy monitor, validate their energy-saving measures and stop unnecessary consumption. The energy-saving potential is high; even basic measures can save 25 percent of the costs. Due to its simplicity, the solution is suitable for small and medium-sized factories and commercial operations, building operators or shopping centers.
But it is not only the users who benefit; the electrical trade now also has an easy-to-implement solution that they can recommend to their customers with a clear conscience. It does not require any additional IT know-how, any craftsman can install and commission the system in a short time. At the same time, it is individualized for its customers and gains access to the multitenant platform Siemens MindSphere.
The Energy Monitor shows that three-tier sales are also possible in the digital economy. The Zander Group is thus able to transfer its proximity to both manufacturers and the skilled trades as a business model into the digital space. Although product sales will continue to be the main focus, digital IoT solutions will create additional added value, especially for tradespeople, who can use them to attract interesting customers themselves.