Being a business owner in Nigeria comes with its fair share of challenges. The epileptic power supply is a major concern that has led to the extinction of some businesses within the early years of establishment. All efforts to resolve this by the Government proved abortive. This resulted in alternate forms of energy to generate electricity to power the business operations.
To save costs and improve profitability, business owners in Nigeria need to explore the benefits of energy management. It focuses on conserving energy usage. But can energy management be a long-term solution to electrical issues for large and small businesses in Nigeria? Let’s dive into this in detail.
What is Energy Management in Business?
Energy management refers to the systematic process of measuring, controlling, and optimising energy use to minimise costs in a building. It adjusts and optimises energy usage systems to increase business energy efficiency.
Energy management in business is required to minimise utility costs, improve living standards and employee productivity. It can be summarised to the following process:
- Hire a proficient energy manager. This person will oversee the creation of a functional organisational structure to conserve energy in the company.
- Use advanced metering and energy management systems (EMS) in your organisation. EMS monitors every energy-consuming facility in your organisation and provides real-time data for analysis.
- Have a holistic plan for conserving energy. Without a clear plan, it could be challenging to make the most of your system’s energy management. Also, seek strategic opportunities from employees or experts to create an energy-efficient business.
- Start implementing the best energy management opportunities. You might also want to estimate the amount of energy conserved by the strategies you’ve implemented.
- Lastly, track your progress by constantly analysing the data gotten from your EMS. This is essential as it provides information on how much electricity is used. Iterate the process for optimum results.
Why is Energy Management Important?
Energy management is vital because it allows judicious use of energy.
Companies and high-level tier organisations have been under tremendous environmental pressure in the last few years.
In a global marketplace, staying economically competitive and meeting increasingly environmental standards to reduce air and water pollution has been the capital cost investment decision for all organisations.
Energy management will provide insights into energy consumption and automate business energy efficiency measures. Its impact is evident in the environment as it improves air quality. This is made possible by using a good EMS. Small to large businesses can use EMS to track peak demand and seek opportunities that save energy.
Low energy consumption results in lesser thermal pollution at power plants. This process reduces carbon emission – which causes depletion of the ozone layer in the stratosphere – and, generically, improves the quality of the environment.
Why Should Businesses Care About EM?
Businesses should care about energy management because it generates more profit and creates a safer society. There are many other benefits, but here are nine reasons why you should consider incorporating energy management in your firm.
1. Improves business operations
The sole purpose of every establishment is to generate higher ROI on every Naira spent in facilitating business operations. One step in actualising this is by implementing business energy management procedures.
Conserving energy in your company helps to lessen overspending on utility bills. While this doesn’t interfere with the usual business operations, it can help in reducing operating costs.
You’ll be amazed at the thousands of Naira you can save by conserving energy. If this is repeated, it can improve your organisation’s business model.
2. Provides access to real-time data
Data analysis is vital in the energy management process as it facilitates future decisions on conservation energy.
Advanced metering EMS gives a detailed overview of how much energy your business operations consume. With this information, it’s possible to analyse the amount of energy consumed per hour meticulously.
It is vital to note that measurable energy KPIs should be clearly stated to ease data analysis. Setting KPIs is necessary for tracking the performance of your EMS. It’s also vital in monitoring improvements from implementing energy-saving practices.
The EMS tracks energy consumption related to the KPIs across the operational units in your organisation. With this information, you can search and implement the best energy-saving opportunities.
3. Improves power factor to reduce electricity costs
Power factor (PF) measures how your business equipment consumes energy. It is the relationship between true power and apparent power. The value of PF ranges from 0.0 – 1.0. A high PF indicates increased efficiency.
Power factor is significant in conserving energy. Improving the power factor can reduce power losses, which automatically reduces utility bills. The easiest way to achieve this is by using power factor correction equipment. There are several types, the commonest being the PF correction capacitors. They are preferred because they are less costly to install.
4. Reduces peak demand charges
The constant surge in electricity charges is incredibly alarming. Usually, operations in your firm require a large current of power, which increases utility charges. For instance, most companies in Nigeria use more energy-consuming appliances, such as HVAC (Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning) systems.
As highlighted in the preceding step, businesses can reduce peak demand charges by improving the power factor.
Another strategy that lessens utility charges is identifying the operation in your business that consumes the most energy (EMS provides insights on these metrics).
Find business energy management opportunities and implement them. Energy managers are proficient in evaluating energy and optimising it. You can consider hiring one to oversee your EMS.
You can also conserve energy by checking energy ratings before purchasing equipment. Another method is encouraging your employees to put off the equipment not in use after working hours.
5. Reduces global warming
Global warming occurs as a result of an increase in greenhouse gasses in the environment. These gasses are emitted from the consumption of fossil fuels. Electricity generation is one of the major emitters of greenhouse gasses.
Global warming has adverse effects on the environment, including extreme climatic changes and flooding. Businesses can significantly reduce carbon emission by going green
Proper energy management is a powerful tool in driving the reduction of global warming. Lowering energy consumption in your organisation reduces the level of electricity produced by power plants. This consolidates a decrease in the number of fossil fuels burnt to produce electricity. Air quality improves when electrical grids produce lesser power.
6. Boosts business sustainability and profitability
The sole reason for establishing a business is to generate profit. You can achieve this by reducing the costs of running operations in the organisation. An efficient firm energy strategy will help you achieve this.
However, as highlighted above, cutting unnecessary consumption of energy in your building improves profitability.
7. Helps in energy saving
Although energy consumption increases business profits by powering key equipment, it also adds to costs. Technological advancements geared towards this cause have constantly improved over the years. Energy-saving tools such as data-driven predictions, smart metering, etc., are effective in removing energy waste.
8. Automates tasks and data
Using an Energy Management System in your company is easy and requires no technical knowledge. The system is designed in a way that you can implement significant changes by integrating multiple systems into the application.
You don’t have to worry when you’re away from work. With EMS, you can access information from anywhere. You’ll be able to monitor changes, access settings, permissions and schedules from the central management system. You can easily automate repetitive tasks such as accounting and management.
9. Enhances employee efficiency
Energy-conservation techniques are usually geared toward improving business sustainability. Recent studies reveal that it can also be a means to improve employee performance at work. The research further explains how good lighting and appropriately installation of HVAC systems incited the spike in productivity.
Communicating your business energy goals with your employees spikes their commitment. Educating them on the advantages of conserving energy will help them be efficient at work. Companies that implement energy efficiency procedures attract better talent, especially millennials.
Research from Morgan Stanley shows that millennials would rather work in a business that shares their goals and prioritises energy conservation.
Small Ways to Reduce Energy Costs in your Organisation
Here are five ways to reduce energy consumption in your organisation:
- Turn off devices in the offices in the organisation when they are not in use.
- Use low voltage fluorescent bulbs in place of regular light bulbs that consume energy.
- Diversify the sources of generating energy by investing in solar power plants, energy efficient windows, wind energy, etc. They offer different energy units per kW.
- Use electronic timers to turn on or off appliances that are not in use .
- Lastly, consistently replace the wire to cut costs. Changing the old wires helps to save energy by lowering the electrical resistance.
Business energy efficiency can be quite difficult but proves to be an effective way to boost brand identity, employee productivity and help save the planet. There’s no better time to start than now. For assistance with managing energy in your facility in Nigeria, call us on 08144000052 or email email@example.com.