Ricardo Accelerated Carbon and Energy (RACE) baseline

Ricardo Accelerated Carbon and Energy (RACE) baseline

Get immediate insight on your energy usage, to reduce your energy spend and cut down your carbon emissions

Data science + Engineering experience + Temporary metering

As a buildings and estate owner we know that you face multiple emissions and energy-related challenges including:

  • significant increases and volatility in energy prices,

  • regulatory, customer and shareholder pressure to decarbonise their operations, and

  • multiple potential solutions to consider as options.

To address these challenges, you will need a decarbonisation roadmap to achieve net zero, which is built from coherent prioritised projects.

Historically in more stable times, you will have developed a strategy and feasibility studies over a longer time frame. However, with the urgency of climate change and rapidly increasing energy prices, timelines are now much shorter and uncertainty is increasing.

When making important and large investment decisions it is essential that you have factual evidence at hand as a basis for selecting the set of measures that best fits your specific situation rather, than relying on measures based on a set of general assumptions. The difficulties with this approach are:

  • feasibility studies make assumptions which could be wrong and
  • installing additional permanent or smart meters is disruptive to core operations and often takes years.

Either way there is a risk of uncertainty and wasted time and resources.

Ricardo has developed a solution which overcomes these problems: 

Data science + Engineering interpretation + Temporary metering
= Validated actionable insight


What are the benefits?

1) Reduced cost and time to creating a detailed scope 1 energy consumption baseline.

Our solution helps you to avoid the high costs and long timelines of more permanent metering solutions, enabling you to quickly and cheaply:

  1. create baselines on energy consumption for scope 1 emissions as part of the first step in creating a net zero plan
  2. use these consumption insights, alongside our net zero gap analysis tool to define a set of short and long term projects to reach net zero and find energy savings
  3. periodically measure and adapt these plans with the flexibility to measure consumption in varied locations
  4. efficiently scale these plans across multiple sites, estates

2) It is much quicker to get insight(s) on energy use

When considering the time it takes to get validated insight(s) on actual energy use, there are two major advantages:

  • Shorter time to mobilisation -  we can deploy the monitoring system in the range of days (depending on location), as compared to months for permanent or smart meters.

  • Get insights earlier - Once on site our combination of technology and agile approach means that we would aim to provide initial insights within 3 weeks and statistically valid insights within 5 weeks.

This reduces the costs you would incur while waiting to get the insights to act on. Our iterative approach also means that you can then choose priorities based on concrete, validated evidence.

3) Lower costs and reduced disruption to operations

As we've outlined above, reducing the time to insights will reduce the costs. Costs are further reduced due to lower manpower requirements and reduced disruption to operations. Our team will only need the support of two electricians (one main, one safety) for less than two hours that it takes to install, or relocate the meters. These meters can monitor up to 40 circuits using clip-on meters with no system shutdown required, as we have demonstrated on the ZEFI project (more on this below). This is compared to several hours to install each meter and a disruptive planned shutdown of the affected areas.

4) Get much quicker feedback to help drive behavior change, team engagement and optimisation

There are two aspects to reducing energy waste:

  • installing capital equipment and
  • optimisation of energy systems to suit specific applications.

Installing capital equipment is relatively easy to deliver, but optimising energy systems usually achieves greater reductions in energy waste. Traditionally the optimisation of energy systems has been difficult because getting feedback on results has been slow and getting team buy-in and behavior change is difficult because it relies on the team getting immediate feedback to reinforce behaviours.

Our solution dramatically reduces the time between spotting an opportunity and getting validated feedback on the effect the actions  have taken.

5) Lower risks associated with the execution of the project

In executing a metering project there is a risk that the meters are not positioned correctly. This risks the value of the insights gained, as the resulting decisions will have been made from incorrect data. This often occurs because people make mistakes or engineering data is wrong, unavailable, or incomplete.

With temporary metering and remote monitoring we can validate the meter positions rapidly and errors can be corrected much more quickly. This was clearly demonstrated at a Scottish islands airport where one meter was manually switched off and we detected and responded within minutes. Equally important is that correcting the mispositioning of a temporary meter can be done within hours. A mispositioned permanent meter will take months to correct, if at all.

Watch our video to see it in action:

Case study – Metering power consumption at airports

As aircraft make the transition to zero emission fuels, it is crucial for airport infrastructure to keep pace with the changing demands of hydrogen-powered and battery electric aircraft. Airports have safety and security critical infrastructure, often built on old sometimes obsolete electrical architecture, making it difficult for our clients to develop a model of these systems based on assumptions.

Our client, Connected Places Catapult, on behalf of the Department of Transport, commissioned Ricardo to deliver a method demonstration to gather valid data and guide the approach to building their model of airports.

We used a powerful combination of temporary metering + data science + engineering insight to prove that you can get the data required for modelling the behavior of airports.

We also proved that our new approach can find hidden energy waste and unexpected behavior because of the higher resolution, greater number of sample points, sampling rates, data cleansing and analysis combined with the interpretative skill of our engineers.


Contact us 

To find out more about this service, get in touch using the form on the right of this page.

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