With rising energy prices and a fluctuating market, it’s key to have a strategy in place to mitigate risk and ensure everyone in your organisation is heading in the right direction when it comes to managing your energy and supporting your overall sustainability strategy.
Here are 5 considerations on how to approach managing your energy –
Identify your main area of energy consumption
It sounds obvious, but different types of businesses use energy in different ways. You may not be an intensive energy user such as a manufacturing or industrial plant, but there will still be energy sources, whether gas or electricity, that will be the main drivers of potential rises in bills. It’s necessary to have a good understanding of how an organisation uses its energy in order to determine where to focus your energy saving efforts.
The most common areas of a business which consume the most energy are* –
- Heating – which can account for up to 49% of energy consumption
- Lighting, cooling and humidification
- Hot water
Collect data in order to analyse
Once you have an understanding of how the type of energy is utilised within the organisation, it is important to collect the utility data (gas or electricity). This will allow you to monitor the current consumption and be able to utilise it as a future comparison. Following the data collection, analysing the information gathered will help to recognise trends and behaviour within the organisation’s day to day operations.
Devise an Energy Policy & Strategy
An energy policy is a document that contains your company’s aims and goals to address energy efficiency. It will also provide your employees with a level of awareness around your organisation’s commitment to sustainability. An effective energy policy and strategy is a key part of ensuring everyone within your business is working towards the same goals and it’s important to maintain a level of engagement through enlisting energy champions.
Identify Energy saving opportunities
Once having a complete understanding of trends and behaviour from the data analysis process, it is possible to identify the steps required to improve the energy usage of the organisation. Some of the opportunities may be classified as quick wins, translating into immediate energy savings with no or very low initial costs. Whilst implementing larger opportunities may require the raising of a higher capital cost, resulting in a higher payback period.
After taking action to improve the energy usage of the organisation, it is crucial to collect energy data to be used as a comparison with the initial energy data collection. This would reveal if there has been effective progress on energy savings. Should improvements not have been made, alternative actions and considerations should be then taken.