Energy Management And Building Automation

By R.W. Hurst, President, The Electricity Forum

Energy Management
Energy Management Explained

The fundamental goal of Energy Management (EM) is to produce goods and provide services with the least cost and least environmental effect. The purpose of EM is to minimize energy and water consumption and costs, while meeting all operational mission requirements and providing quality working and living conditions for personnel and family housing occupants. EM requires a careful balancing between efforts to use energy efficiently and meet the quality of life requirements, while insuring that primary mission requirements are met. Effective EM strives to avoid conflicts between the two, while achieving substantial energy reductions and cost savings. To establish a successful sustainable energy program, the smart energy strategies manager must have a good understanding of both the technical and managerial aspects of EM.

EM is all about reducing the cost of energy used by an organization, now with the added spin of minimizing carbon emissions as well. Reducing energy costs has two facets: price and quantity.

Continuous improvement of energy performance requires establishing effective energy audit practices and processes to guide the energy star program. Any organization, regardless of size, function or mission can develop an effective EM if they are willing to make the commitment.

Energy management as a support function in industrial companies has developed considerably within the last twenty years. Historically, energy as an input factor within the industrial production process had low or even zero priority for corporate management in industrial companies as energy costs were only a small part of total production costs since energy prices were low and relatively stable at that point of time.

Current research points to a large energy efficiency potential in industry which is still left unexploited. One of the most promising means of reducing energy consumption and related energy costs is implementing an EM program to reduce greenhouse gas.

Energy Management includes the planning and operation of methods to control both energy production and energy consumption. There are many objectives, but the most important ones are conservation, climate control and protection, and energy cost savings. Energy Management is connected closely to environmental management and energy production management. Energy management systems are the proactive, organized and systematic coordination of procurement,conversion, distribution and use of energy to meet the requirements, taking into account the following environmental and economic objectives:

  • ISO 50001:2011. A document that specifies requirements an organizations energy management system should meet, to align with a standard of energy management that is recognized as acceptable in international territories.
  • BS EN 16001. This British and European Energy Management Systems Standard preceded ISO 50001:2011.
  • Energy Management System (EnMS). Promotes the energy performance of an organization through the achievement of improvements in energy consumption throughout the operations determined to be within the scope of the management system.
  • Energy. This term applies to both renewable and non-renewable energy that an organization purchases, stores, treats, uses in equipment, employs in a process and recovers. Energy sources include electricity, fuels, steam, heat, compressed air and other similar sources.
  • Energy baseline. Data showing consumption of energy for a period. It can be used as historical information and then utilized to calculate energy savings.
  • Energy efficiency. The energy efficiency is a quantitative relationship between an output performance (goods, services, or energy) to the input of energy. For example, a ratio might be: energy required/energy used.
  • Energy review. This term defines the ways in which organizations review their energy systems, which are typically consumption and usage. Consumption may include energy sources such as electricity and natural gas. Usage consists of an inventory, which lists each item that consumes energy.
  • EM systems review. Planned intervals during which top management conducts an evaluation of the effectiveness of the EMS. This process includes the maintenance of the records of management review, recording decisions and actions regarding the improvement in the organization’s energy performance, changes to the energy policy, objectives, targets, allocation of energy assets and communication to people in the organization.
  • Energy Performance Indicator (EnPI). This term refers to a metric ratio or a more complex method that provides a quantitative value or a measure of energy performance as determined by the organization.
  • Energy objective. The energy objective describes a specific outcome the organization should seek to achieve to improve its energy performance.
  • Energy policy. The energy policy is a statement developed by the organization’s top management, which outlines the organization’s intentions and course of action toward improving its energy performance. The policy provides a framework and drives the action for establishing energy objectives and targets.
  • Energy monitoring and measuring. This term defines the methods used by the organization to monitor and measure its performance and improvement. It may include a plan for the provision of meters, predetermined intervals for monitoring, measuring and recording significant energy consumption, record of deviations from expected energy consumption (causes and remedies) and comparison of energy performance against competitors or other organizations.
  • Energy Consumption. Quantity of energy consumed within the scope of the management system.
  • EM Team. A collective of representatives at all operational levels of the organization that have been appointed to improve energy management behaviours and to encourage compliance to new or evolving EM policies. BC hydro representatives will invite feedback from all stakeholder groups, to ensure considerations are included where appropriate within the EM system. The energy management team must include at least one member of senior management, who regularly reviews team findings and progress against energy management system objectives.
  • Action Plan. A forecast of opportunities for improvement that include a timescale and responsibilities, along with a validation statement of the method to verify whether an improvement in energy performance has been made, and a validation statement as to the method for verifying the results.