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Energy management monitoring is the application of common management techniques to the reduction of energy costs through effective and efficient management. There are three aspects to energy management monitoring that must be incorporated into a company’s standard processes: monitoring, key performance indicators, and reporting. This technique is commonly used in large organizations that have either high energy costs or are committed to reducing their use of energy to help the environment. The concepts used are quite logical and follow the basic premise that data collection and reporting of actual and target usage rates are necessary to properly manage energy efficiency projects. All energy management monitoring programs utilize computer systems to collect data, generate reports, and provide a summary of the actual energy usage.
Energy management monitoring has two aspects of data collection: energy consumption and pattern identification. The level of actual energy consumption is based on the meter values provided by the energy company of the number of watts of energy required by the facility. It is important to note that facilities with internal energy production facilities will need to include these facilities in the data collection process.
Pattern identification requires the mapping of production or activities that are known to require more energy. For example, a manufacturing plant with operations between 7:30 am and 3:30 pm each day will block this time as a higher energy usage period. Data collected during this time will highlight activities that occur in preparation for the start of production or the impact of unrelated activities on energy usage.
The use of key performance indicators (KPIs) is very common in business management. The organization determines what the ideal energy usage levels should be for a specific time frame, based on business operations and requirements. The easiest way to do this is to first review actual data of energy usage, map this to actual activity, and then look for a percentage reduction rate that will not have a negative impact on production levels. The KPIs must be realistic, and obtainable to avoid fatigue or frustration of involved staff.
Timely, accurate, and relevant reports are critical to this process. The reports should be tailored to each specific area of the operation that can be managed as a process. For example, the energy usage in the administrative offices should be separated from the usage on the production floor. In addition, each report should provide a comparison of actual usage against the KPIs that were identified for each area. A comprehensive report that shows percentage change for comparable periods will help to keep the business on track to meet the targets.
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