Energy Management

As business people just as you need to do in your own home, anyone managing a business must buy energy, be that gas and electricity (mostly) or oil, or even renewable energy.

We need lighting and heating, we need to run plant and equipment and we have to be confident about transport costs.

FACT – energy prices have, and continue, to rise. If nothing else is certain, here we have one trend that appears to go only in one direction. So what can you do about the cost and uncertainty of energy consumption?

Energy management, as it ‘says on the tin’ is about how you, or your business, can get the best possible value for money from what you spend on energy. Given the cost of energy to so many businesses this is a remarkably neglected aspect of many company’s strategic planning.

Energy is a commodity and, as such, should be measured and monitored for its efficient use in terms of productivity, wastage and value for money and that is why energy management should rate higher on the list of our strategic priorities than it often does now.

Savings on energy go straight to the bottom line. Anecdotally, a business adopting energy management can save around 10% of its consumption costs in year 1. If you spend £100000 on energy that saving could increase shareholder value, save a job or buy additional equipment.

For energy management to become effective in an organisation it is important to understand how it is used across the business. This involves a number of factors:

  • Measuring and monitoring usage.
  • Ensuring that named individuals take responsibility for the monitoring process. This must include someone at the most senior level within the company.
  • Ensuring compliance with energy legislation.
  • Ensuring that investment decisions have energy cost-benefit assessments.
  • Ensuring that the cost of energy efficiency is woven into any reports on productivity or lean processes or wastage.

If your business has taken no action on its energy consumption it is almost certain that savings can be made quickly and cheaply. More savings will be possible with some rapid-return investment. Energy management can be ‘high-impact’ in the short term with some easy cost savings. It will certainly improve the efficiency of your business over the longer term.

Energy management is not a quick fix, it is a discipline in the same way as monitoring scrap levels or productivity targets or quality. It will not happen unless it is somebody’s job to make it happen.