Figure 2: Energy management approach
- Committing to continuous improvement
Build a dedicated energy team, institute an energy policy, and implement steps for energy efficiency based on regular assessment of energy performance.
- Assessing infrastructure performance
Conduct technical assessments and audits for existing infrastructure through data gathering, analysis and evaluation. This helps establish the baseline matrix, benchmark past performance and conduct comparison between facilities, industry average and best practices for measuring future results of efficiency. This also helps conduct periodic evaluation of energy usage for all major facilities and functions in the organizations.
Set performance goals to drive energy management activities and promote continuous improvement. For intended results, develop effective strategies for financial gains.
Develop a roadmap to improve energy performance with a detailed action plan to ensure a systematic process to implement energy performance measures. However, it is crucial to regularly update the action plan and reflect on recent achievements, changes in performance and shifting priorities. This requires defining technical steps, targets, and determining roles and resources.
- Implementing an action plan
Implement a phase-wise plan to cater to different measurement levels within the overall energy ecosystem. This is crucial to continuously assess the action plan to monitor KPIs and make modifications for achieving larger set goals based on the awareness, commitment, and capability of the people. This requires creating a communication plan for key audience, raising awareness in the organization, building capacity, and tracking and monitoring progress regularly.
Evaluate progress by reviewing energy usage data and compare activities of the action plan to your performance goals. This helps create new action plans, identify best practices and set new performance goals. This in turn helps measure the effectiveness of projects and programs implemented, make informed decisions about future energy projects, reward individuals and teams for accomplishments. In addition, this helps document additional savings opportunities as well as non-quantifiable benefits that can leveraged for future initiatives.
Provide and seek recognition for energy management achievements for sustaining momentum and supporting the energy management program. This helps validate importance of the energy management program for internal and external stakeholders.
Smart energy management for real time tracking and energy monitoring
Organizations can collect real time energy consumption data by connecting equipment through SDKs and industrial protocols over the network or by adding smart sensors that can collect data and share it over the IoT network with centralized IoT application and tools (see Figure 3). IoT based solutions can help organizations not only connect various data points through smart connected things but also collect and analyze real time energy consumption data by constantly monitoring equipment. This is crucial to improve maintenance and downtimes.
At the same time, smart energy management solutions can help understand real-time status of electrical equipment based on availability of data points for humidity, ventilation, and air-conditioning systems. This helps optimize the energy usage.