Given the cost of energy is projected to keep rising, it makes sense for businesses to be energy efficient. And in a market where reputation also counts, good energy management can bring numerous other advantages.
Energy management can:
- unlock big savings
- reduce exposure to future energy price increases and other risks
- improve productivity
- reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
- reduce maintenance
- improve public perception of a company.
How companies do it well
The companies that manage their energy use well often have several elements in common. While historically, corporations have placed energy management within the environmental function, today those achieving the best outcomes have made energy management a cross-functional process that spans finance, operations and environment and business improvement.
Typically, best practice in energy management will include:
- strong commitment from senior executives and clear strategic leadership on energy management
- integration of energy management into the company’s existing systems
- appropriate resourcing of the energy management strategy, energy efficiency assessments and project implementation, and sufficient funds for implementation
- energy-efficiency goals that can be translated into business performance goals, and are time-bound, measurable, linked to action plans and included in management
- performance metrics
- implementation of tracking, measurement and reporting systems to monitor performance
- effective communication (both internally and externally), about the priority placed on energy management.
How to manage demand
An optimal approach will look at both systems and procurement in order to reduce a company’s energy needs.
This often means optimising supply contracts by seeing if there’s a better deal, or at least managing the use of opportunities like peak and off-peak power; assessing technologies such as alternative energy sources; or switching systems (for example – switching from diesel to natural gas may result in cost savings for both stationary and transport applications).