IMPLEMENTING ENERGY MANAGEMENT
Energy efficiency is fundamental to the success of any business. Developing a good energy management programme can help control costs, extend the life of equipment, and protect the environment. How are you managing your energy use?
Here are some practical energy management tools and suggestions to get you started:
- Appoint a cross-functional team to manage and monitor your facility’s energy usage.
- Analyze energy usage trends from monthly billing data to determine if the two components you are being billed on (i.e. Energy and Demand) are increasing, decreasing or constant. If there are increases, determine why and if there can be mitigation against the increases.
- Benchmark and compare your electricity usage to similar types of businesses or industry peers. Energy benchmarking involves the development of quantitative and qualitative indicators through the collection and analysis of energy-related data and energy management practices.
- The maxim "You can't manage what you don't measure" is true for energy management. Billing data alone will not provide sufficient information for you to develop a comprehensive or effective energy management programme. Sub-metering or metering of major energy consuming areas or equipment should tell you what contributed to any major variation in your bill. There can be benefits to taking your own meter readings at regular intervals. This will enable you to:
- Identify exceptional consumption and attend to the causes quickly
- Compare current performance with previous months and years
- Assess the seasonal pattern of consumption
- Identify efficiency possibilities by conducting an energy audit. One of the simplest types is a walk-through-audit, which, unlike a more complex audit, does not involve major energy use measurements. Audits seek to identify major energy consuming areas or equipment, following which measures can be implemented to control or reduce their energy consumption.
- Install sub-metering points to record the electricity usage in high demand areas and manage the consumption in these areas.
- Make energy efficiency a corporate theme and practice throughout your company. Educate, motivate and infuse energy efficiency thinking in all employees
WHAT'S AN ENERGY AUDIT?
An Energy Audit points you in the right direction.
A thorough energy audit is an excellent way to determine the energy consumption in your facility. The level and frequency of your energy audit is largely determined by the scope of your business operation. We urge you to consult a qualified energy management professional to analyze your energy demands, identify energy-saving opportunities, and help you craft an action plan for achieving energy efficiency to suit your specific needs and budget.
Keep in mind – energy management is a long-term commitment that requires continuous monitoring and measurement to verify impact. It’s not enough to simply implement the recommendations of your energy audit without follow up.
Preliminary audits are basic inspections in which utility and facility data are gathered and analyzed. These audits establish baselines and define a building's average energy consumption for benchmarking performance against similar facilities.
Walk-through audits involve the touring or inspection of a facility by an energy management professional who uses broad-spectrum and engineering judgment to estimate potential energy and cost savings for consideration by the facility.
Standard energy audits involve the measurement of major energy consuming areas/equipment for which specific energy conservation options are identified and savings and costs estimated using engineering calculations and analysis.
Detailed energy audits are more complex audits than standard audits and are not usually as wide ranging. They include the additional steps of using energy simulation applications and providing detailed designs and costing of energy efficiency options. In summary, it is investment grade work, which can be implemented immediately.