The IMServ solution
Boots previously used the data to populate an in-house database, with its own software interrogating the information and helping set benchmarks and targets for the stores. Using Energy DataVision, however, information is presented in a simple, easy to view way, saving time and money. Information can be presented graphically, making it far easier to understand. "Having good data is key, but the way it's presented is very important," says Andrew.
IMServ collects half-hourly data from Boots' top 450 sites, which account for 70% of the group's energy usage. Andrew's goal however, is to obtain half-hourly data from at least a further 200 sites that are currently in the non half-hourly market.
The energy team uses the data to set prediction curves for all stores, which range from small units at airports to High Street pharmacies and bigger outlets. At any given time, they will be able to estimate how much energy a store should be using, something that's particularly important when looking at energy requirements for new stores. "If a contractor tells us the energy requirement is, for example, 120kW, we can look at our model and see if that matches the average we would expect," says Andrew.
Benefits in store
If Andrew can get 800 sites onto half hourly metering, he says it will give him data on around 90% of his energy costs. One of the biggest benefits, he believes, is the ability to replace estimated bills with reliable figures. "We'll be able to look at the figures daily, weekly or monthly, which makes it very timely and easy to track where potential problems may arise." As well as electricity, trials are planned to incorporate multi-utility data, so the team can identify potential problem areas with gas and water as well.
In addition to cost savings, Andrew's team is looking for ways to reduce CO2 emissions and control consumption as part of the Boots' environmental policy and corporate social responsibility (CSR) agenda. "We contribute to CSR progress reports to the board, and the integration of actions and policies across the company makes our job a lot easier," he adds. "We're always working towards improvements - and having the right information when we need it is key to our success."