Surrey County Council implements AI technology on the journey to a Net Zero future.

Many local authorities are striving to reach carbon neutrality, in-step with the government’s wider goals to be net zero by 2050. This is often something that is easier said than done as there is no universal ‘how-to’ on reducing carbon emissions and increasing energy efficiency. Surrey County Council, however, have seemingly found a guide in technology that will ultimately help in achieving their ‘Smarter Working for the Environment Policy and Action Plan’.  Their recent deployment of Grid Edge’s patented technology, works in harmony with their existing building management system to visualise and contextualise data, in a dynamic view that empowers their Facilities Management Team to make precise data-driven decisions that will result in carbon and cost savings.

Surrey County Council outlines its approach to environmental sustainability in five themes: embedding sustainability; climate change resilience; operations and estates efficiency; procurement; and air quality. It is the third theme, operations and estates efficiency, in which the council aims to ‘make buildings, operations and services as resource efficient as possible’, that caused Surrey CC to seek a deeper understanding of how their buildings are behaving. Whilst most building management systems can provide the data needed, the challenge lies in viewing the bigger picture and piecing the data together to be able to get a holistic view of the building’s energy usage. The Grid Edge, Edge2x platform, has been designed to do just that, and transforms the 300+ data points from the building management system into an interactive ‘digital twin’ of the building. Powered by Artificial Intelligence, the Edge2x software quickly learns patterns and behaviours from a range of internal and external data sets. New data and insights are then created by the platform to identify how money and carbon can be saved, whilst also improving the performance of the building.

Speaking of the project, Melania Tarquino (Renewable Energy Programme Manager at Surrey County Council) said this: “Grid Edge technology could be very beneficial to help us achieve our Net Zero targets, especially in Consort House where we have solar PV installed and electric heating. We are particularly interested in the value that Grid Edge can give us in terms of efficient management of our generation assets. As, this year we will be installing solar PV and heat pumps in other buildings on our estate, we would also be interested in having Grid Edge technology in place to help us reduce the operational costs of the heat pumps.”

Paul McCorquodale, CEO of Grid Edge, commented: “We were delighted to be working with Surrey County Council and I look forward to seeing the carbon and cost savings that the council yields as a result of our Edge 2x AI system. Helping organisations like this to reduce their impact on the planet is key to meeting the UKs net zero commitments. Grid Edge was established to help businesses decarbonise. Whilst the direction and speed of the journey to Net Zero may be different for each organisation, the common key to success will be creating a building energy strategy that is driven by data and evolves with each new phase of energy and carbon optimisation. Grid Edge provides the intelligent data-driven platform needed to empower businesses through every step of this journey”.