Central Government Trials Energy Visualisation

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Intergence and GEO are teaming up to provide the Foreign Office with a new energy monitoring solution

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) is trialing a new energy monitoring system developed by Intergence Systems and Green Energy Options (GEO), it emerged today.

The IT optimisation consultancy and clean tech firm were among the successful bidders chosen by the Technology Strategy Board (TSB) to take part in a pilot to use energy efficiency technology in a number of Whitehall buildings.

Scaling monitoring to the enterprise

Ian Barnes, head of green IT at Intergence, told eWEEK Europe UK that the bid came about after it began extending its enterprise visualisation tools using the energy monitoring system developed by GEO.

“We deal with huge, global companies and have developed visualisation tools to help us improve the IT optimisation work we do in highly complex data centres, networks and security infrastructures – and were partnering with GEO on other projects anyway,” Barnes said.

“We knew there was a need to bring large organisations into the low carbon economy. And GEO had a good solution, it just needed developing into an enterprise solution.”

The partnership and FCO trial will help make it possible to identify and target inefficiencies at departmental, appliance and individual user level, enabling an organisation to develop an energy-wise culture in line with the UK’s Carbon Reduction Commitment.

The internet protocol (IP) enabled monitoring devices will “sit on every circuit board in the FCO,” Barnes added. “But this has the added advantage of making sure they can scale and operate in a completely locked down environment, for security reasons.”

The company also claims the new monitoring system can go beyond the traditional energy-tracking capabilities of most buildings management systems by linking up results from hundreds of offices across the globe.

Influencing positive behaviour

While not meant to replace the complex systems that facilities management teams rely on, Barnes added that software can offer staff a view of their own impact on their energy bill and foster proactive environmental cultures and financial strategies for coping with energy consumption and regulation.

The FCO project is only in its initial stages, where the device components are being assembled. But the project will undergo a baseline phase and then report back on progress within the next 12 months.

A number of government departments are taking part in the pilot project, whose aim is to reduce energy bills, save money for the taxpayer, and give businesses the opportunity to provide innovative new solutions through government contracts.

In addition to the FCO, other government departments taking part in TSB project include the Department for Business Innovation and Skills (BIS), the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) and the Department of Communities and Local Government (CLG).

The project is being run by the government-backed TSB and co-funded by the Department of Energy and Climate Change, with the support of the Office for Government Commerce (OGC). Initial investment totalled £2.75m when the project was launched in December 2009.

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