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In its simplest possible terms, energy management is being able to see and control how much energy is consumed by your business. It requires regular reporting and a proactive approach to spotting patterns and trends that can inform strategic decision managing. In this regard, energy management is like any other form of Business Intelligence.
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Whatever your business does, whatever industry you occupy and whoever makes up your target audience, there are some operational goals that every business shares, like managing utilities. The most obvious of which is reducing operational costs and saving money. This can ease cash flow enable you to make the capital investments that will give you a competitive edge. Nonetheless, reducing operational spending cannot come at the expense of your customers’ experience. You need to cut costs in areas that won’t impinge on the quality of service you offer. Areas like energy use. An energy management plan can save you money without diminishing your USP.
What’s more, an energy management plan can enable you to operate in greener, more sustainable ways. Something that is a top priority for many consumers, including your customers. Here we’ll explain the importance of an energy management plan, and how to implement one.
What is energy management and why is it needed?
Energy management requires:
- Implementing processes and management techniques to proactively improve energy performance.
- An awareness of all aspects of business energy, including energy monitoring, usage and procurement.
- Collecting data on where, when, how, and why your organisation uses its energy.
- Reducing inefficiencies, driving down cost and improving sustainability.
Energy management should be a priority for your organisation for a number of reasons. The most obvious of which is cost. As well as saving money by identifying and eliminating wasteful energy spending, energy management can help businesses to make a bigger commitment to the environment and their Corporate Social Responsibility. This, in turn, can improve their reputation and standing among prospective customers and prospective employees alike.
What is an energy management plan?
An energy management plan is a documented set of processes designed to ensure that energy policy objectives are met within your organisation. In order to be truly effective, it cannot be viewed as a simple “add-on” to your existing operations. It should be woven into the fabric of your operations, informing the every-day decision-making and broader operational planning that can drive down energy usage and costs.
Your energy management system should incorporate the following steps:
- Commit to making your energy management plan a key component of your operations.
- Benchmark your business’ current energy performance.
- Collect accurate energy usage data in real-time.
- Analyse your usage data to target inefficiencies and waste.
- Implement appropriate actions based on your results.
How does an energy management system work?
We’ve looked at what an energy management plan should do. But what should it look like? While the specifics will depend on your organisation, it should incorporate both processes and relevant software tools to address the following priorities:
- Appointing an energy champion / energy manager who can be responsible and accountable for energy management.
- Identifying regulatory compliances and incentives that apply to your operation.
- Committing to capital investments that can improve the organisation’s energy efficiency.
- Taking a proactive approach to energy procurement (i.e. who supplies the organisation’s business energy). For instance, letting your energy contract roll over into a “deemed contract” can raise energy rates by up to 300%.
- Metering, monitoring and targeting. No business can manage what it doesn’t measure!
- Engendering a business culture that values sustainability and is committed to driving down energy usage/costs.
- Ensuring that internal and external communications are clear when it comes to your energy management strategy.
- Management review – regular reviews are vital in keeping the energy management strategy on-track and up-to-date.
The benefits of an energy management plan?
An energy management plan takes time and effort to implement. It also requires an investment in tools and infrastructure. However, the long-term benefits more than make up for the upfront expenditure. With the right systems in place, organisations can:
- Identify areas of avoidable energy waste / unnecessary spending.
- Track the ROI on your energy projects and campaigns.
- Feed back to your team on the effects of energy management measures.
- Set targets to reduce energy usage and carbon emissions.
- Check energy invoices and charges to ensure optimal value for money.
- Ensure that your energy contract meets your organisation’s unique needs.
- Improve cash flow without compromising value proposition.
- Improve your organisation’s reputation.
What is green energy management?
Green energy management employs a specific focus on making business operations more environmentally sustainable. There are a multitude of green energy management measures that organisations can put in place. These range from moving to an energy supplier with a more renewable fuel mix to investing in their own off-grid energy infrastructure (e.g. solar panels, wind turbines, ground source heat pumps etc.).
Understanding the Carbon Trust Standard
Want to reduce your organisation’s carbon emissions, but not sure where to start? The Carbon Trust Standard sets performance criteria for the measurement, management and reduction of your organisation’s carbon footprint. You can find out more about the Carbon Trust Standard here.
Broadly speaking, however, to achieve this standard your organisation needs to:
- Measure your organisation’s carbon footprint over a period of 2-3 years.
- Demonstrate measures taken to reduce carbon emissions.
- Provide evidence of a good working infrastructure for carbon management.
How does your choice of energy supplier impact your energy management plan?
Your choice in business energy supplier can have a long-lasting impact on your energy management plan. Especially since business energy contracts are much longer-lasting than their domestic counterparts.
Not only does your choice in supplier have lasting implications for your energy costs, it can also seriously impact your carbon emissions. Fortunately, we’re here to help!
We can help you to find the best value renewable and carbon-neutral suppliers on the market, with the business energy tariffs to suit your operational needs.
Want to know more?
Get in touch with us today on 0330 054 0017. We’re available from 9am to 7pm.
Energy Management Plan FAQs
How does saving energy help the environment?
Our national energy fuel mix is currently more renewable than ever, with over 50% coming from renewables like wind farming, solar power and hydroelectricity. Nonetheless, much of the UK’s energy still comes from the burning of fossil fuels like natural gas, coal and oil. This in turn results in large deposits of carbon and greenhouse gases being released into our atmosphere.
Saving energy doesn’t just reduce operational costs and improve cash flow, it also reduces carbon emissions. The less energy we use, the less energy companies need to generate.
What does an energy manager do?
An energy manager or champion is an employee within an organisation whose responsibility is to monitor and reduce energy usage. They are responsible for identifying where and how the business uses energy, as well as proposing and implementing measures to reduce energy consumption/waste.
Why do we need to reduce energy consumption?
Reducing energy consumption can drastically reduce operational costs, easing cash flow without compromising the experience that your customers expect from you. However, reducing energy consumption can also reduce your organisation’s carbon footprint, improve its image and demonstrate your commitment to Corporate Social Responsibility.
What are the principles of energy management?
There is no single way to design or implement an energy management plan or system. However, an effective energy management plan should adhere to the following principles:
- Accurate measuring of energy usage (you can’t manage what you can’t measure).
- Controlling the use of systems that use energy (e.g. lighting).
- Implementing operational measures and infrastructure to drive down energy consumption.
- Tracking energy usage data in real time.
- Using this data to inform further measures to design and implement.
- Creating a culture that understand and values energy management.
Updated on 25 Nov, 2020