Energy monitoring + targeting in utilities – an overall strategy

By E Dent, Endress+Hauser South Africa

 

Published in:

Electricity+Control, November 2013 (pages 14 - 20)

Enquiries: Evan.Dentz@za.endress.com

 

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Energy savings are easily attained, but making them sustainable is the challenge we face. Using a well structured and supported approach, large energy savings can be achieved. It is critical that the strategy include a monitoring system that will continuously measure and report on the status of the energy on the process against pre-determined benchmarks. A dedicated system will ensure that sustainable savings are achieved by putting the strategy into the KPIs and accountabilities of departments using the monitoring and targeting system.

The four areas of savings are behavioural change, operational efficiency, equipment efficiency and change of technology. Actions that generally need to be taken to address energy use in an Energy Management Programme may include one or more of the following: Developing and approving an energy policy and strategy; Training and actions to raise knowledge and awareness; Energy audits to identify and evaluate opportunities; Developing and implementing improvement opportunities and Implementing performance management systems, including the Energy Management Information System (EMIS)

An organisation’s energy policy should have agreed-upon objectives and demonstrate senior management’s commitment. Training is essential to ensure that operations personnel understand key energy issues and what actions they need to perform in order to reduce costs. Activities to raise awareness can also be used to emphasise the need to reduce energy use and make the link between energy and the environment.

The strategy must be viewed as an ongoing cycle, and not mere ad-hoc events that generally do not show long term savings. The approach is simple, but a structured approach has to be followed.

 

Take note

  • An organisation’s energy policy should have agreed upon objectives and should demonstrate senior management’s commitment.
  • The policy’s energy strategy should outline specific plans to achieve improved performance.
  • Energy audits are traditionally the foundation of an organisation’s energy conservation plan.