There is no need to introduce Shell to anyone. This British-Dutch petrochemical company has been operating on the market for over a century now. It is listed as one of two largest energy tycoons in the world. It employs approximately 94,000 people and operates in more than 70 countries. On the Polish market, Shell has been active since 1992, opening about 400 facilities around the whole country. Today, it runs a network of stations and shops (offering a full range of services from the sale of fuel through car washes to catering points) and produces oils and lubricants. What connected us with Shell?
Awareness of how important energy efficiency is
To know you have made a mistake is the first step to fixing it. Trivial as it may seem, this rule is not always recognized in business. As a mature company, Shell has focused on transparency and started with a major issue: the waste of energy that could be observed in so many areas. The company has decided to fully identify the sources of the problem and create a long-term plan to improve the situation. The impetus for change in Shell was also dictated by the progressive increases in energy costs and the global trend of energy saving.
Shell, like Sescom, sets itself the goal of continuous improvement, this also applies to internal processes. Focusing on energy saving, the concern was looking for a partner whose competences would allow it both to achieve savings and to improve overall energy efficiency management. With two specialised services – Sescom Energy and Sescom Intelligence – our company perfectly fitted into these expectations.
The ideal partner is a proven partner – pilot
You will earn trust early if you show effectiveness. As part of a six-month pilot conducted at five Shell stations, we carried out a number of actions that allowed us to identify 5 areas to work on:
- The habits and actions of employees.
- The condition of devices and the adjustments they needed.
- Condition of the buildings, windows and doors.
- Adjusting the ordered electrical power levels to the real energy needs of the stations.
- Adaptation of energy tariffs to the actual energy profiles of the stations.
Today, energy often makes more than a fifth of the operational costs. Entrepreneurs in search of savings rarely think about the cost of electricity, assuming that they cannot do anything about the matter. However, the development, implementation and enforcement of an energy saving policies can bring significant benefits even to a small company.
A multifaceted improvement process
It is one thing to find areas in which improvement would guarantee a reduction in energy costs, and it is another to know how to improve these processes. The first step that we took when working at Shell stations was to install telemetric systems, the heart of which is the original SES Control microserver. The system is used to monitor energy consumption in both the entire facility and in individual sections, such as lighting, heating, and air conditioning. We also performed an audit of HVACR equipment, of the building, doors and windows, including a thermal analysis of the station in order to find heat losses without invasive interventions. We also conducted a number of environmental interviews and observed the functioning of the station. The knowledge we gained allowed us to develop a programme of corrective actions.
Cooperation that develops both sides: an economizing challenge
The human factor was one of the first elements to be verified in the process. In order to influence the behaviour and habits of the employees, we appealed to common sense with a motto: “shared responsibility for the benefit of all”. We have created a number of daily scenarios for teams, composed checklists with recommendations of desired personnel behaviour, introduced thermometers in shop rooms and time controllers in refrigeration equipment. All this was aimed at improving awareness and rooting the principles of rational use of energy. Activities in the field of internal processes will be developed and implemented collectively in order to educate and encourage station staff to change.
It would be difficult to manage energy efficiency on several hundred facilities without Business Intelligence tools and a qualified team. Our energy manager and data analysts monitor current energy consumption as well as the effectiveness of our austerity policies. We create energy profiles for facilities, select tariffs and ordered capacities, perform multidimensional data analyses and predictions. Our energy efficiency management methodology is not limited to comparing invoices, we take into account many variables, including weather conditions, geographical locations of facilities, station areas, age of the facility and the kind of construction technology. The obtained data enabled us to determine the characteristics of each station, to verify the ordered capacity and tariffs – both in the network context and for single stations with their individual specificity. We now also monitor the most important indicator of our contract – the decrease in energy costs for the entire network of stations.
Energy Efficiency – profitable changes
The pilot stage and the analysis of many variables allowed us to compose a report through which we can now estimate that implementation of all assumptions will allow Shell to achieve savings of more than a dozen percent a year. Improving energy efficiency simply pays off –among other advantages, it reduces operational costs and provides resources for new investments. At the same time, such a policy brings important environmental benefits and reduces CO2 emissions and the carbon footprint.