Recap: Keys to Energy SuccessMid-Large Manufacturing News
Date: Wed, 14 Mar, 2012 at 12:22
For the past few weeks, we have taken a closer look at 5 key principles that are imperative to
sustaining an effective energy management system. A comprehensive management system
will help your organization achieve the following benefits:
- Reduce energy costs by 5%-20% within the first year, then 2%-5% annually thereafter
- Energy cost savings will directly lower operating cost to increase bottom line profits
- Increased public recognition from industry peers and customers
- Drive employee engagement, motivation, and efforts to meet corporate goals and objectives
Corporate commitment is often considered the single most important factor contributing to the success or failure of an energy management system. Commitment from top management is imperative to drive efforts down throughout an organization by demonstrating the strategic importance of energy management and effectively communicate this message.
- Top management must be an integral part in developing an energy policy, approving objectives and targets for improving energy efficiency, and reducing overall energy costs.
- Energy management must be a regular agenda item at executive level meetings.
- The energy manager/ representative must be carefully selected by top management. They must be passionate about the positive effects of an energy management system and have the support of top management.
Understanding of Energy Performance and Efficiency Opportunities
According to ISO 50001, the newly released international energy standard, energy performance is defined as measureable results related to energy efficiency, use, and consumption. In other words, it’s a comprehensive understanding of how energy is utilized once it’s delivered to your facility.
The most effective and efficient method of quantifying your current energy performance is to have an energy assessment of your facility. A detailed energy assessment, such as an ASHRAE Level II, will be able to provide an organization with the following valuable information:
- Analysis of historical energy use that can be normalized to account for production variation.
- Organizations can use this information to identify an energy baseline.
- A breakdown of energy use and consumption based on key processes (Energy Map)
- Organizations can use this information to identify which Significant Energy Users (SEUs) to continually monitor in the future.
- Identify Energy Conservation Measures (ECMs), inclusive of both operational and capital improvement projects.
- Organizations can use this information to prioritize projects based on efficiency gains and return on investments (ROIs).
Targets are meant to provide a measurable focus and direction to develop an action plan for achieving energy savings.
- Must be a quantifiable energy performance requirement to achieve your organization’s energy objective.
- Set your overall energy savings targets based on benchmarking or an assessment of opportunities.
Energy Performance Indicators are quantitative measures of energy performance
appropriate for monitoring and measuring energy performance.
- EnPIs will quantify energy use based on key energy consumption drivers.
- Energy use per facility footprint (MMBTU/Ft2)
- Energy use per unit of production volume (MMBTU/Throughput Lb.)
- Energy use per unit of time (MMBTU/Hr.)
- The quantity and type of EnPIs is solely dependent on what your organization determines as appropriate for monitoring and measuring performance.
- EnPIs must be able to quantify progress towards achieving energy performance as outlined by your targets and objectives.
Employee motivation is a reflection of the passion and commitment that your workers have for their jobs and the organization as a whole. Any successful energy management system is driven by the motivation of the organization and their employees.
- Motivation can be heightened if the goals of the organization can be directly related or shown significance to the individual.
- The commitment of peers can drive employee motivation, such as the development of energy committees and teams
- Social recognition and approval is important and can occur through the awarding of medals and designation of employee of the month.
“You cannot manage what you do not measure” is a simple statement that captures the importance of data collection for any organization focused on change. Once collected, the data must be analyzed and interpreted to effectively quantify progress towards achieving your energy objectives and targets.
The following are helpful tips to keep in mind when developing your metering and monitoring program:
- Review monthly utility bills to determine overall monthly energy consumption, demand, and associated costs.
- Analyze electrical demand interval data measured at the utility meter (recorded in 15 minutes to 1 hour intervals).
- Provides a plant-wide load profile by time that can be cross-referenced with production processes and operating schedules to determine the rate of energy use and check for irregular activities.
- Clearly identify and breakdown your organization’s energy use.
- ISO 50001 defines energy use as the manner of application of energy, such as lighting, heating, cooling, and other processes.
- Dig deep and determine key systems to meter and monitor.
- Meter and monitor the identified significant energy users (SEUs).
- Energy use and consumption reductions for these systems will provide the greatest impact.
- Analyze the data to track energy use and identify variances from target load levels.
- You cannot accurately measure the effectiveness of Energy Conservation Measures (ECMs) without metering and monitoring the affected systems.
The success of any organization’s energy management system is driven by their employees, but often times, employee training and awareness is neglected when attempting to drive improvements. Alcoa, the world’s leading producer of primary and fabricated aluminum, is committed to making sustainability relevant for every employee. Alcoa’s Chief Sustainability Officer Kevin Anton says, “The impact of this change has been to make sustainability a part of the individual performance management dialogue and a priority in everyone’s job, rather than the role of a standalone department” (Singh, 2012). Similarly, your organization must understand the importance of employees and include training within your strategic plan for sustainability.
The following tips can help your organization drive employee training and awareness:
- Provide continued energy educational training for management, the energy team, and employees.
- Management and the energy team will become more effective in identifying and prioritizing energy conservation measures.
- The quantity and quality of employee suggestions for improvements will increase.
- Training should include the fundamental principles of energy and potential areas for energy conservation measures.
- Conduct energy-awareness activities within your organization.
- Focus on cost savings and environmental issues associated with energy use.
- Increase employee motivation with training and awareness.
- Training and increased awareness empowers employees to see and make changes within the organization. When provided with the correct knowledge and tools, employees will be motivated to drive improvement efforts.
- Commit the appropriate time and resources.
- Establish training programs (Self Study, Seminars, Workshops, External Courses)
- Respond to employee suggestions in a timely manner to maintain momentum.
Singh, A. (2012, February 16). Alcoa’s Strategy for 2012: Making Room for Sustainability. Retrieved
March 5, 2012, from Forbes: http://www.forbes.com/sites/csr/2012/02/16/alcoas-strategy-for-2012-maki...
Wednesday, March 14, 2012
From the desk of Young Paik
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