Artificial intelligence (AI) could be used as a fundamental strategy for EU member states to help reach the voluntary 15% gas reduction target placed on them by the EU Council in July 2022. Arloid Automation, of London, advocates the use of AI coupled with any building management system to control and make significant savings of up to 30% on energy and coolant use.

According to the Council of the EU’s press release (26 July 2022), ‘Member states agreed to reduce their gas demand by 15% compared to their average consumption in the past five years, between 1 August 2022 and 31 March 2023, with measures of their own choice’. The importance of reducing energy demand cannot be overemphasised largely due to supplies from Russia being significantly reduced, erratic and they may be stopped altogether.

Most energy saving measures have a significant capital outlay but Arloid’s AI can be implemented without cost until savings are made. This makes it one of the cheapest and easiest ways for EU states to significantly reduce energy consumption with no upfront costs. Once savings are established – this is normally after 30 days - a percentage fee can be charged.

A reduction in energy use is easily achieved through a series of simple steps. Firstly, a virtual building identical to the one where savings are to be made is produced. This digital building has the same construction materials, location, climate and personnel attributes as the real one. From this virtual building AI makes a series of simulations based on live data from the real building. This process takes about a month.

The AI intuitively adjusts the heating, ventilation and cooling settings, thus resulting in real savings. In the real world building services engineers or property managers have previously adjusted these settings but this can take some time. Imagine a world where all these changes are automatically done – then imagine what can be achieved. It’s not only saving energy and money but improving comfort too.

Arloid’s AI uses Deep Reinforcement Learning to automatically manage the operation of HVAC systems in a wide range of buildings via a secure Virtual Private Network (VPN). It then makes decisions based on reinforcement behaviour and real-time data to provide faster optimisation and better HVAC performance. By controlling each HVAC device in the system and dividing the building into distinct heating and cooling micro-zones, provides more control of the environment and better user comfort.

The technology is gaining ground not just in Europe but across the world with actual savings being achieved over 56 million square feet. This includes real estate and many types of commercial building such as retail premises, hotels, medical centres, warehouses. By reducing energy use the cost savings can counter the effects of energy supply issues, higher prices and inflation.