Energy management is the use of technology and behavioural change to improve the energy performance of an organisation. In this article, Utility Team explains the benefits energy management can bring, and how it is implemented in practice.
The Energy Institute defines Energy Management as; ‘An essential strategy for all energy users who seek to minimise exposure to energy price volatility as well as reduce their carbon footprint and resource use. It can have further benefits for an organisation’s effectiveness and social responsibility. People are at the centre of energy management; energy performance does not improve without active intervention.’
Managing energy is often neglected, it doesn’t seem the most obvious option, and often people assume it wouldn’t have much of an impact on money-saving or energy efficiency. Nothing could be further from the truth.
One key way of managing your energy is by monitoring your consumption, highlighting key areas for improvement and ensuring those aspects are actioned. You can do this through the use of energy management software or an online portal. Example screenshots of the online energy management portal can be seen below:
How can an online portal effectively help your business?
- Saves you money – Having quick and easy access to your data is essential for every company. Whether it is to view your consumption trends or analyse the KVA that you use. Having push-button access helps to not only identify ways to reduce consumption but it also significantly reduces costs.
- Finance – Where historically setting budgets and forecasts for group or individual sites was a very time-consuming role, as various pieces of information would have to be gathered from invoices to consumption reports to do so. Having an online portal that holds not only your contract information but has a feed of consumption data can forecast the financial data for you.
- Sustainability – How do you know if your buildings are energy efficient? How do you know which energy reduction measure is working the most effectively? By grouping sites of a similar size, you can benchmark each of the sites to see which measure is working the most, whether it be LED or solar this can give you the information needed to make that informed decision.
Having the ability to program in occupational hours can show you if something is being left on at night or if a building management system needs to be re-configured. Thousands of pounds can be saved through analysing data, as it can identify spikes in wasted energy usage.
- Behaviour – One of the most effective ways of reducing consumption is human behaviour. Through an online portal, site-by-site consumption can be provided. This can be used to drive behavioural change in the business. Promoting small changes, e.g. informing staff that by leaving the lights on is wasting x amount of energy. Having a league table to engage employees is a good way to motivate people into changing their ways, with competitions between your sites. Having a target can create team spirit.
Being able to access, hold and view your consumption data will not automatically save you money, but it will give you the tools that you need to identify ways in which to do so. In today’s society, data is key, so having quick and easy access to yours is a necessity.
There are also other effective ways of carrying our energy management within your business:
- Data Analysis – Understanding your data not only from your online system but your bills, for example, can help your business avoid charges for consumption in peak demand periods and can identify waste usage.
- Carbon Alarms – If your business is being targeted on its environmental performance, you can arm your purchasing managers with the technology they need to deliver to those targets.
- Energy Reduction Surveys
- Technical Assessment and Project Management – Whether it is generating energy or simply upgrading your reporting software, you can implement, manage and log the performance of any investments your business makes pertaining to energy.
- Training and Support – Guide your staff on good housekeeping and answer their questions as the industry evolves.
- Sub Metering – Identify areas of high energy consumption throughout your buildings by installing sub-meters.
- KVA Analysis – You may not be being charged correctly for the energy you use. KVA Analysis can help to identify that. The level which you set with your distributor may need analysis – if yours is over-estimated, you may be paying too much.
There are numerous ways which you can carry out energy management, saving you a lot of money and time, not to mention helping with your green footprint through energy efficiency.
Utility Team have a full portfolio of services to help you with everything you need to enhance your energy management. Contact us today to discuss your options at firstname.lastname@example.org or on 02476 997 901.