Fitting the Future: Providing Unique Solutions to Energy Management

As energy technology continues to advance, it is important for businesses to be at the forefront of change to capitalize on energy, operational, and maintenance savings, without sacrificing customer comfort and safety. Facility Solutions Group, FSG, provides unique, customizable energy management systems on an enterprise level with their innovative Clarity ecosystem.

The Future of Energy Management

In a world where technology advances at a rapid pace, businesses are looking for the best ways to utilize these advances to their advantage. On the energy front, as LED technology matures and America is re-lit, the question is how do businesses improve upon the staggering savings the energy efficient LED offers? Making something more efficient, such as a switch from a florescent to LED light, is great, but if that LED light is never switched off, that is money left on the table. This is where controls, specifically automated adaptable building controls, come into play.

Controls encompass so much more than just energy management—they also allow a facility to respond quickly to environmental changes. If energy savings is the "icing", the comfort and safety of a location is the "cake". Businesses rely on their clientele, but these clients prefer to be focused on their task at hand rather than wondering why it feels hot, why the humidity is making the floor slippery, or why the parking lot lights aren’t turned on. Many of these factors embody so much more for businesses beyond energy—they represent the well-being and satisfaction of their customers.

At the heart of automated controls is the IoT revolution which, simply put, is taking the method in which something has always been done and reinventing an improved way to do it. For example, take a light switch. At one time, you had to get up and walk across the room to flip a switch. But then, advancements in lighting control systems allowed you to flip that switch from a computer. Now, with IoT, you can control that light from anywhere in the world and extract useful operational data as well.

Say you are a multi-entity retail chain with hundreds, if not thousands, of locations — with the power of IoT, that same control can now give you the ability to monumentally impact your organization’s energy expenditures across the board.

Honing in on the Middle Man

While there are many sophisticated energy management options available for industrial customers, campus settings, and single office buildings, until recently, a one-size-fits-all solution was not available. For instance, installing a state-of-the-art, consumer-grade thermostat is a quick remedy to regulate a single building’s temperature. However, this same expensive, mono-system device falls flat when you need to expand into multiple locations with enterprise-type visibility. And while implementing an expensive, proprietary system may be feasible for the larger manufacturers and industry leaders, it is very impractical in both ROI and implementation to be a viable option for most multi-site businesses. And operating these complex systems usually requires an entire staff of engineers, so at the end of the day, these businesses would come out further ahead by just burning their lights round-the-clock.

This begs the question, though...what happens to the companies that fall in the middle? The firms that must operate on much smaller profits while remaining in the competition with the giants of their respective industries? Energy controls allow these mid-range businesses to reduce their energy, operational and maintenance costs which, in turn, increases margins. The "middle man" businesses—the places that everyday people go to conduct the business of their lives, including the retail store where you buy your food, the quick service restaurant where you get your morning cup of joe, the convenience store where you fill up your car, and the bank that protects your investments—is the market FSG specifically tailored their Clarity energy management solution to serve.

Finding a Unique Fit

FSG has long-standing relationships with many businesses that fit in to this under-served middle market, resulting in a true understanding of the use case and day-to-day bond these companies have with their various sites. It is not necessary for a business to buy a new piece of hardware just to get the latest feature, nor should they have to gut entire working control systems, legacy or otherwise. By helping our customers build new or augment current systems that are customized to their specific needs and long-term goals, FSG has bridged this technology gap. And, much like your dashboard only displays your speed rather than all the various outputs of calculations and/or measurements going on in your car’s computer and engine, Clarity provides the means to summarize all the vast amounts of data available into a meaningful piece of information that can be used to enhance operations.

The goal of FSG Energy’s Clarity is to normalize the customers’ building control interaction while reducing the expertise usually required to access, control and gauge what is happening at multiple locations. Committed to demystifying what other providers try to present as some esoteric, complicated technology, FSG recognizes that this isn’t rocket science—we are simply talking light switches, thermostats, and HVAC units—things your business relies on to operate.

In addition, FSG is not a manufacturer of hardware or software. We aren’t motivated to sell widgets or by locking customers in to a walled garden just to keep them. Rather, FSG is a service company, providing our customers with flexibility and a variety of options on which they can capitalize and benefit from new and emerging technology.

Exceeding Expectations

Another dynamic making FSG unique to IoT and controls is our full-time call center staffed with HVAC and lighting specialists that are available to our customers 24/7! These dedicated and highly-knowledgeable specialists are often able to make simple remote adjustments that can deescalate an emergency service call so that repairs can be made during normal hours when service rates are not at a premium.

FSG can also assist on-site technicians with troubleshooting to quickly identify problems, which not only results in the customer paying less, and more time for the service tech to handle other work orders, but operations remain continuous and in compliance with corporate standards and requirements. In addition, FSG can create tailored escalation plans on a per customer basis to provide a truly customized, unique platform, with as little or as much service as our customers need.

At FSG, our motivation is to help our customers, whether big, small, or somewhere in the middle, to be as profitable as possible. We choose to earn our clients' continued trust and business on a daily basis by being their advocate for automated adaptable building controls. FSG Energy’s Clarity is truly the one-size-fits-all, customizable energy management system!


Joe Hill

FSG Energy Operations Manager

Joe Hill began his career in the electrical industry in 2001 in Las Vegas. Starting as an electrical estimator fresh out of college, Joe received several promotions, and by the age of 30, was the youngest senior project manager for one of the largest electrical contractors in the nation. In 2008, Joe relocated back home to Austin, TX, and came to work for FSG. After several large commercial projects, Joe decided to try his hand at expanding his knowledge and skills to overseeing large multi-site roll out projects. Joe’s focus shifted from delivering plan and spec projects to integrating building controls to make buildings "smart".

Ultimately, Joe's skills for optimizing and streamlining processes combined with his genuine curiosity and fascination of technology have allowed him to excel at any role he performs. Joe has the unique ability to find answers without even knowing the question, which allows him to bring creative, practical solutions to very complex and difficult problems.