Local energy services company LTM Energy recently introduced version five of its Enhanced Smart Utility Management System (eSUMS), helping companies not only reduce their utility costs but also boost their climate change mitigation contribution.
“In the wake of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and the undeniable risks posed by climate change, organisations need to measure impacts and disclose their total carbon footprint. It is wisest to consolidate their efforts using one system that is already measuring utility data,” says LTM Energy CEO Dhevan Pillay.
While eSUMS can convert all utility metrics into carbon emissions, it also has the flexibility to capture metrics such as occupancy, square area, waste and even business travel – which can be beneficial to benchmark performance with the South African National Standards and the Green Building Council.
Used by LTM Energy clients locally and internationally for greenhouse-gas reporting, carbon tax compliance and science-based target setting, eSUMS has also saved companies millions.
“eSUMS was used to resolve a dispute that saved one of South Africa’s largest retailers more than R15-million,” highlights Pillay.
Initially launched about five years ago, the business intelligence tool provides a platform for demand management and an end-to-end revenue management solution for electricity, water, diesel, solar, gas smart metering systems or Internet of Things (IoT) devices. Inefficiencies are addressed by the software throughout the day to improve utility savings, enabling long-term planning. This ultimately contributes to long-term sustainability by reducing operational costs and adding to the bottom line.
LTM Energy is so confident that companies will realise savings after installing eSUMS, that it even offers its clients a performance guarantee.
“Only when the savings have hit their bank account through various energy and cost-saving measures, do our clients pay us a portion of their savings, enjoying zero-capital operational expense outlay and risk,” emphasises Pillay.
He first recognised the need for intelligent data gathering to ensure the more efficient management of utility systems at the start of South Africa’s load-shedding woes in 2008, when he was a senior manager at State-owned power utility Eskom.
At the time, existing metering companies were using hardware and software to measure and monitor electricity consumption to generate numerous reports that seemingly yielded no return on investment, Pillay adds.
“We took up the challenge over the past ten years to ensure that any investment in our technology and software yields a handsome return.”
Developed in-house, eSUMS is based on years of experience working with sustainability engineers combined with specialists in artificial intelligence and machine learning, he explains.
Real-time monitoring is coupled with control functionality, while LTM Energy engineers perform value engineering services on data obtained from the system’s user-friendly dashboards.
Additionally, algorithms used in the various modules, such as the carbon module, allow for automated processing without any human interface, which can limit errors and improve reporting accuracy.
Following installation, LTM Energy’s open protocol software can be used immediately for diagnostics if no additional IoT devices and meters are needed. However, training on LTM Energy’s eSUMS software is a key ingredient to the company’s offering, notes Pillay.
Online and physical training customised for various user levels, such as operational staff, engineer and executive level, are available to ensure that each user obtains the maximum benefit from the system.
Customers can opt to white label license the software or pay a monthly fee, which includes support from LTM Energy’s call centre, chatbot and online interfaces.
LTM Energy is readying for the roll-out of eSUMS in 13 African countries, with many of its clients responding to climate change calls to limit temperature increases to 1.5 °C as per the Paris Agreement.
“eSUMS can help them map out this journey and measure performance against climate change targets, as well as make sustainability compliance measures a breeze to work with,” concludes Pillay.