Utility usage and overall expenses can be reduced without sacrificing facility operations when energy use is carefully monitored, managed, and conserved.
Energy management techniques come in a variety of shapes and sizes. In this article, we look at 10 effective energy management techniques that you can use to reduce energy costs.
What is Energy Management?
Energy management is the practice of tracking and optimizing energy consumption to save energy in a facility.
Also, it is defined as the process of developing energy-saving measures, monitoring energy usage, managing, and conserving energy in a structure.
Importance of Energy Management
Without any reason to doubt, energy is one of the most important factors of technological advancement. Energy efficiency and conservation are critical for long-term growth.
Energy management is the term for the process of conserving energy. Every company requires energy management in a variety of ways. Indeed, the global requirement to conserve energy and reduce operating costs has ramifications in various other fields.
As organizations seek to control expenses, conserve energy, and attract younger customers concerned about corporate social responsibility, energy management is more crucial than ever.
Unfortunately, many commercial buildings and enterprises lack an energy manager or automated systems to implement a planned energy management program.
The significance of energy management cannot be overstated. Small actions can be taken, such as keeping track of your energy expenses or switching to LED lighting where necessary. However, it also necessitates complicated financial modelling to plan for the coming year.
An energy management program’s sophistication must rise as it gets more forward-looking to be accurate throughout a portfolio.
Sophisticated energy management packages like these often leverage technology to aid strategic decision-making and link your energy management strategy with your business’s goals and finances.
Basic Energy Management Techniques
The solutions listed below can help facility management executives boost efficiency while overcoming potentially costly difficulties.
Here are10 energy management techniques:
1. Actively Regulate Energy Use In Real-time.
Proactive, real-time data management can reveal various previously undiscovered difficulties related to occupancy, building use, and utility demand peaks.
For example, a popular company developed a robust metering system for a data centre customer, which monitored everything from air and water flows to the data centre’s most minute details.
The real-time data allowed the building operators to spot possible problems right away, take remedial action to avoid major shutdowns, and regulate loads before they wreaked havoc on the entire system.
2. Take Control Of What Is Measurable
Capture real-time data, assure accuracy and solve specific concerns using advanced metering and energy management systems (EMS).
For a quick instance, a school can develop an energy dashboard that actively engaged instructors and students while managing the total building.
The customer could see how the systems worked and how much money they saved due to their actions and system changes.
Meters and monitoring equipment become stranded assets when building owners have utility monitoring equipment but no collection or processing software.
It is because millions of data points must be manually acquired and analyzed many times during the year.
These data points will be collected, processed, and formatted automatically in real-time, if not hourly, by a sophisticated metering system equipped with the appropriate EMS software.
The capacity to convert these relevant data points into a usable format improves the overall effectiveness and functionality of the system.
3. Take Control Of Your Energy Usage
Build a strategy to control expenditures and consumption daily, weekly, monthly, and annual using the data you’ve gathered.
It is essential to evaluate different peak demand reduction options with an industrial customer. Load shifting and demand limitation systems should be deployed to cut expenses and limit client loads during peak hours.
Limiting peak demand consumption has other advantages that aren’t always obvious or easy to claim. During peak hours, for example, utilities use “peaker plants” to meet grid demands.
On the other hand, these plants are frequently older and less efficient power-producing units that are only used to meet demand periodically. For example, reducing peak demand lowers electricity bills during the summer and reduces overall greenhouse gas emissions per kW.
Early detection of incorrect set points, schedule misalignments, and equipment or system breakdowns is possible with consumption management.
Analyzing metered point trends over days, weeks, months, and years can assist identify abnormalities, leakage, and long run times.
Leaks, changes in occupancy, occupant setpoint changes, and energy and water waste can all be detected with the right technology.
4. Create A Comprehensive Strategy
It’s tough to have a substantial influence beyond the “low hanging fruit” without a defined goal and an action plan. A comprehensive plan is required to maximize overall savings and provide a combination of improvements for significant outcomes.
Facility managers frequently benefit from a comprehensive strategy that combines low-hanging fruit like lighting and building automation with longer-term paybacks like renewable energy.
It assesses all prospective cost reductions, including water, waste, energy, and system or facility reliability, to package the best actions for the facility’s goals and budget.
5. Gain Buy-in And Support From The Executive Team
Without direct involvement and support from leadership, real, holistic improvements will be impossible to achieve. It is vital to involve senior management and key decision-makers who have a financial impact on facility operations.
6. Reach An Agreement With Third-party Marketers
Reduce energy costs by negotiating supply arrangements with third-party marketers. You can work with many customers on energy-related issues and have recognized potential to assist them in efficiently negotiating utility rates.
While evaluating improvement solutions, your firm can work with a high-rise customer and be able to negotiate a 5% reduction, at least, in utility rates.
These results can be obtained by knowing previous consumption and having accurate consumption estimates; utilizing available curtailment, arbitrage, and or demand response programs; and issuing pricing Request For Proposals to many suppliers to assure optimal market value.
7. Take Risks
Major adjustments that drastically cut consumption can necessitate difficult steps and decisions, but the benefit outweighs the danger if carefully handled changes.
A trusted Facility Manager’s ability to harness in-house resources, along with a strong commitment to change, can assist relieve the strain.
8. Take Action When Necessary
While facilities management courses, energy studies and audits are beneficial and provide guidance, data is often available and can be used to take action sooner rather than later.
Make a plan of action based on the facts you have. Many facility managers do many energy audits but fail to take action.
9. Collaborate With Those Who Can Help You Supplement Your In-house Expertise
Building successful energy management strategies requires developing relationships and partnering. It may entail collaborating with other facility managers and energy managers, energy services companies (ESCOs), industry subject matter experts.
10. Implement A Behavioural Awareness Program For Users
Only part of the equation is technology installation and building repairs. Its users heavily influence the effectiveness of a building and the investments made.
Education is an important part of the behavioural process, and arming occupants with knowledge and resources will enable them to recognize the impact through efficiency or financial gain, which will help them save more energy.
What Energy Management System (EMS)?
An energy management (or monitoring) system (EMS) is an automation-based system that includes energy data collection instruments and a display system to assess energy consumption efficiently for desired advantages.
It addresses a lack of sufficient insights and unanticipated energy savings attempts, which leads to unexplained energy expenses.
According to research, energy managers around the world are shifting their focus to energy analysis. According to statistics, 67 per cent of managers stated that data had influenced their thinking and decision-making process.
They were able to see savings graphs fly up to a massive 17 per cent in just 12 months, which was incredible. And the project’s complete cost recovery took only 14 to 17 months!
Managing energy usage, on the other hand, does not have to be a full-time job. Although if you make it a regular part of your plan, you’ll get much greater outcomes.
That’s it for the top 10 energy management techniques.
When energy management is done correctly, the effects can be satisfying: easier compliance with statutory requirements; decreased energy usage, spend, and emissions; higher sustainability credentials; and so on.
Compliance and cost are no longer the only considerations in energy management. To meet our critical climate targets, we must all get the basics right: data, energy management, and reporting. What could be more important than that?