Optima is an energy management system for non-residential buildings, which helps owners reduce their energy consumption. “Our main message is this: Take control of your energy use. It all starts there. Optima shows you how to save money and the planet at the same time,” says Optima’s Project Manager Terje Uttian.
Reducing energy use in buildings is essential for meeting the goals of the Paris Agreement. However, today’s non-residential buildings account for about one third of global energy use and carbon emissions. While energy intensity continues to improve slowly, the total floor area of buildings worldwide is expected to double over the next 40 years. This is the equivalent of adding the floor area of Japan to the planet every single year until 2060.
One solution is to dramatically increase energy efficiency in non-residential buildings. “What gets measured, gets done. If you don’t have an overview of your building’s emissions, you don’t know how to reduce them. You’ve got to gain control,” says Uttian.
Optima cloud-based software provides a complete overview of energy use in non-residential buildings, from office buildings to public schools. Optima collects all the energy data about the building and detects any deviations that need to be addressed. “Optima lets building owners gain control over their energy use so they can reduce consumption and lower costs,” says Uttian.
Optima uses data that comes directly from third-party suppliers or meters already installed in the building, so no additional hardware is needed.
Building owners get answers to crucial questions such as “What can we do to lower emissions in certain areas?”, “Are we sorting our waste optimally?” and “Why are we using more AC this summer even though the temperatures are lower this year?”.
The system’s core module, available to all customers, is energy monitoring. Additional modules are available as add-ons, including waste monitoring, environmental emissions monitoring, energy use reporting, and financial reporting. Optima also offers a specially designed module for the manufacturing industry.
“Optima is a one-stop shop solution that supports both building operations and decision-making at management level,” says Uttian.
Barcode buildings, Oslo, Norway.
When used to its fullest extent, Optima reduces a building’s energy consumption by 30 per cent, making the building dramatically more efficient and sustainable. “Our software contributes to fulfilling the goals of the Paris Agreement on climate change. It also boosts companies’ social responsibility efforts,” says Uttian.
These significant energy savings translate into roughly the same level of cost savings, which means that Optima delivers an outstanding return on investment. But in order to take full advantage of the software, customers may need assistance.
“Some building owners know little to nothing about energy management, and they need help to jump start their energy savings. They may not find the deviations, or if they do, they may not know how to fix the problem. Optima provides this service. Our customers are not left on their own,” explains Uttian.
View over Trondheim, Norway.
Europe has 12 million non-residential buildings, representing potential new customers for Optima. The energy management software market is mature, so Optima’s strength lies in its 20 years of experience in the Norwegian market.
“Optima is the number one system in Norway. It’s being used by the largest commercial office building owners. We have a broad customer base that has been giving us feedback to improve the system for two decades,” says Uttian.
Optima is also currently in use in Sweden, and the company plans to expand next into Denmark, Finland and Iceland.
The company has also begun work on the next generation of Optima software. “We are seeing an explosion of data sources into the system as buildings are getting smarter. Today’s buildings have 40 to 50 meters, while smart buildings have over 1 000 meters. Soon we will have the capacity to handle a larger number of smart buildings,” says Uttian.