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Robots could help Aussie businesses save more than $100 million in energy costs

08 May 2019

Data released by Australian technology company BidEnergy shows that over the last 12 months robots found savings totalling $2.6 million in 822 instances, for a sample of BidEnergy’s global customer base in sectors such as telecommunications, retail and hospitality, and resources. 

For one large enterprise customer, robots found a saving of more than $25,000 from just one electricity meter.
 
BidEnergy’s robots, also known as robotic process automation (RPA) technology, found these major savings by extracting and processing energy, gas and water bills together with smart meter data, relating to businesses’ usage and consumption. 

More effective and accurate than traditional manual workflows, these robots are able to process 6,000 bills in the time that it takes one human worker to do one bill completely.
 
Across more than 19,000 enterprise customer sites in Australia, the robots were able to find an average saving of $138 per electricity meter. 

With hundreds of thousands of meters installed across the enterprise electricity market, BidEnergy projects these savings opportunities could equate to more than $100 million.
 
The average saving found for customers was $3,211. Robots found $1.9 million in combined savings relating to bill validation, such as bills past their occupancy dates, bills with incorrect charges or government fees, overpaid bills and overlapping bills. 

Robots also found over $670,000 in combined savings for businesses using cost avoidance tactics, such as changing network tariffs during peak or off-peak periods and discounts in particular locations.
 
As power prices continue to surge across Australia, robots were able to deliver a further $758,000 in addition to the total bill savings, when purchasing contracts from energy retailers. 

For companies billed through multiple electricity meters, robots are able to place companies with more than one single supplier, based on not only their locations and regions but also the time of day to ensure the best energy deal.
 
BidEnergy MD Guy Maine says, “Australian businesses today are being forced to manage an incredibly complex energy pricing structure. For companies managing multiple sites in multiple locations around the country, the focus needs to shift away from just saving money to ensuring the accuracy of data in their existing bills.”
  
Australian businesses supposedly need to realise how RPA and cognitive strategies can drive significant cost reduction and operational improvements or risk falling behind their global counterparts.
 
Maine believes the rollout of smart meters will drive increased interest in energy management software and services across the board, as businesses and homes of all sizes look to understand and use the data generated to make better decisions about how they consume energy.

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