How to guide – Overview
This document provides an overview of good energy management principles and the energy management process. It is intended as an introduction to (and reference document for) the four How-To guides and six Fact Sheets.
How to guide 1 – Data systems and management
A well-used truism for improving business efficiency is ‘if you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it’. In all industry sectors, good quality data is essential to good business management.
This is often accepted implicitly when it comes to financial data, but many companies do not apply the same standards to energy (or other resource) data. This is a mistake if a company wants to reduce costs, become more efficient, and increase its productivity.
Data is important at every step of the business improvement process (see diagram at right). Whether trying to understand current performance, looking for or assessing improvements, for tracking the effect of changes – accurate, reliable and relevant data is essential.
How to guide 2 – Identifying opportunities
There are abundant opportunities available to improve energy efficiency across the supply chain – however different opportunities are more suited to different equipment and different applications. It is important that, in order to maximise energy savings, the most appropriate opportunities are implemented.
How to Guide 1 provided details on how to collect and assess energy data from across the operational supply chain. This paper will help you research and identify opportunities that are relevant to your particular operation.
How to guide 3 – Evaluating opportunities
Finding ways to save money across the supply chain is a goal of many businesses, and a key step towards achieving that goal is through the implementation of measures to reduce energy consumption. However, there are many steps in the processes of identifying and implementing energy efficient opportunities, one of which is building the business case.
After a business has understood its’ energy consumption and identified efficiency measures it needs to determine if those measures
- Are cost effective
- Suited to the business
- Provide an ongoing benefit worthy of investment.
It’s therefore important to have a framework in place to both identify and evaluate the merits of each opportunity.
How to guide 4 – Implementation
There are often two approaches taken when looking to implement energy efficient measures within a business.
- The first sees businesses undertake an energy audit to quantify energy use, but implementation of opportunities is left as a follow-up step and may or may not occur.
- The second approach often taken is when businesses use a ‘pick list’ to choose particular energy efficient measures and trial them immediately with no real understanding about why or how they identified and implemented an opportunity
For greatest effect, the implementation of energy efficient measures should be a combination of both approaches where a business takes steps to understand their energy use, identify improvements, implement those improvements whilst monitoring their progress/outcomes. How to Guide 4 focuses the best approach to implementation.
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