You’re running a business, you need power. But you can’t control prices for electricity and other energy sources. Still, there’s no need to feel helpless.
Our research indicates that for most businesses, 50 percent of initial energy savings disappear in the first six to 12 months because of a lack of continuous monitoring and corrective action.
However, significant opportunity remains. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, continuous monitoring and active management practices can capture 15 percent to 40 percent energy savings.
A review of more than 100 organizations revealed most take three common actions to address energy management challenges:
Conduct an energy audit: To establish a consumption baseline—a basic requirement for successful cost optimization—deploy monitoring devices to measure usage from the facility level down to the machine level.
Implement audit recommendations: Actions may range from policy formulation (for example, shutting down computers at night or turning off idle equipment) to automation (automatically turning off lights) to equipment optimization (changing set-points on heavy machinery and equipment).
Invest in high-efficiency equipment: With a full view of the consumption and efficiency profile, managers can make capital upgrades to lower energy consumption. These investments may also qualify for rebates and incentives that can significantly enhance potential return on investment.
As you proceed, recognize where some initiatives fall short, then apply integrated Active Energy Management tactics, such as the following:
Get persistent: Take monitoring from a one-time activity to an ongoing analytical competency.
Go deeper: Use machine-level consumption data to drive sustainable process optimization.
Leverage insight: Use energy demand insight to enhance capital investments and capture incentives and rebates to drive higher ROI.
Tackle the supply side: Branch into integrated energy supply and demand management to drive further savings.
With continuous monitoring and other active management efforts, it’s possible to optimize energy purchases with market intelligence and generate substantial, sustainable savings.