Organisations have a responsibility to be energy savers; using an energy management system can help, says Anthony Vasey.
02 December 2019 | Anthony Vasey
Humans are affecting climate change. We need to protect our planet and build resilience into our energy future.
Organisations can commit to energy saving by investing in ISO 50001 - Energy Management, which focuses on continual improvement. And we can conserve resources by building an effective energy management system (EnMS).
1 Identify the scope and boundaries
Understand the activities your organisation undertakes and the facilities it uses.
Consider your energy uses such as fuel consumption of grey fleet / commercial vehicles, and gas and electricity within sites under the control of the organisation when determining the scope of the management system.
Dependent on the structure, size and makeup of the business, boundaries should be identified to highlight those sites/locations/activities where energy performance can be influenced. This can include service delivery of the contract, such as hard and soft FM.
When working at a client's site, we might not have control over energy use, only equipment and processes. So boundaries will be a lot smaller than that of the energy use we control at head office, for example. We can only influence energy we control and are responsible for.
2 Create an energy policy
The energy policy is integral to the EnMS. It will encourage senior management's commitment to support and improve the effectiveness of the system and communicate this with the rest of the organisation.
Key to include in your energy policy:
- Continual improvement of energy performance;
- Ensure availability of information and necessary resources to achieve objectives and targets;
- Comply with relevant legal, customer and third-party requirements; and
- Identify significant energy uses.
3 Gather baseline data
Establish energy use for each type of energy - electricity, gas or fuel - during specific times and capacities. This is your baseline data to identify energy performance indicators (EnPIs). Useful EnPIs could include meter data, consumption of energy per occupant or energy consumption per time.
Baseline data for gas and electricity can be gathered from different sources such as:
- Analysing energy bills;
- Taking sub-meter readings for particular areas or equipment; and
- Obtaining the power rating in watts and time spent in use for estimated energy consumption.
EnPIs are used to assess the actual energy performance against an expected outcome. This can vary depending on operations. For instance, we use an EnPI of energy consumption per unit of floor area plus energy consumption per person.
If business activities change, such as strategies or project numbers, which would affect these EnPIs' relevance, we'd review and update accordingly.
4 Conduct an energy performance review
Collate baseline data in an energy performance spreadsheet or similar. Then review the types of energy use, equipment, power rating and energy consumption period (weekly, monthly or annually).
Doing so will identify which energy you use most, which equipment is responsible for this use and what periods consumption is highest.
5 Find energy-saving opportunities
By following steps one to four, you will identify where you can influence energy savings and this will inform how you implement energy-savings opportunities.
Examples when you have direct control of the asset or energy consumption include using LED lights. When control is not direct, consider energy savings such as proper procurement and LCM plans.
Tell your supply chain that energy performance will be evaluated when selecting products, services or equipment and that you'll be looking for those that can have an impact on energy savings. Not only do you gain for your own business, but you help to change behaviour and the culture of energy consumption.
Anthony Vasey is SHEQ manager at Derwent Facilities Management