Energy Management in the workplace

Energy Management is the use of modern techniques and technology in order to enhance the energy performance in your place of work. Energy management should be a key part of Facilities Management and a core function of good budgetary control especially in today’s current climate with energy costs soaring in one direction. Given the impact of energy usage on the environment and on a company’s costs, it is vital to actively manage it.  A company’s energy bill can often be one of its largest overheads.

There are a number of ways in which an organisation can reduce energy consumption in their premises.

Analysis of large and moderate sized buildings reveals that regular HVAC systems in typical commercial buildings are responsible for more than 40% of total energy use. Keeping HVAC systems running properly and at peak efficiency is the first step in managing facility energy use. Facilities in which proper HVAC maintenance is completed will use at least 15 to 20 percent less energy than those where systems are allowed to deteriorate.

Turn off appliances and lights when not in use.

Energy is wasted when we keep something going when it is not necessary. Appliances such as computers, photocopiers, printers and coffee machines are consuming energy while not in use but left plugged in. It is advisable to completely switch off appliances. Low-level knowledge for all staff in the workplace can lead to massive savings in energy costs. It is important to develop an energy efficient culture in the workplace.

Ongoing Monitoring

Good data is key to good decisions. This should be at the forefront of the data collection process.  It will also determine how detailed an evaluation can be undertaken.

List your energy requirements from equipment, processes and systems, identify the characteristics of the item(s) and collect historical data of the equipment’s energy use. Invoices are an essential source of information on energy usage, costs and tariffs. It is important to keep and maintain good data records with half-hourly profiles. For invoice data, you should collect copies of all monthly and quarterly energy bills for all fuels. Compare estimated figures with actual figures, and note consumption patterns. Note: delivered energy is not always the same as consumed energy.

Energy Management Services

A fundamental aspect of reducing energy costs is determining how best to outsource energy management solutions for your organisation. Most individuals within an organisation are not ever going to become energy wardens and spend a significant part of each day monitoring and controlling their energy consumption. Carrying out regular planned energy audits, energy surveys and utility invoices analysis can greatly lead to cost savings in the long run. Regular reviews of your efforts will ensure that all goals are being chased effectively. If staff are made aware of how their habits or actions can effect energy efficiency, then they are more likely to make positive changes. At the very least you should keep analysing your energy data regularly to check that things aren’t getting worse. Managing your energy consumption effectively is an ongoing process. Many organisations don’t have the resources to carry out weekly audits, so outsourcing may be the best option.

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