What is Energy Management?
Energy management is the systematic analysis and review of the energy supply and consumption of an individual or organization to identify inefficiencies and areas for improvement.
The objectives set in an an overall management plan would vary depending on the overall aim.
Objectives could be centered around cost savings, renewable energy integration, efficiency optimization, climate change mitigation or a combination thereof.
Energy management begins with an initial energy audit which assesses the current energy system and its components.
This typically includes an audit of each of the following energy elements: lighting; heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC); water heating; appliances and machinery; and the energy supply (whether through the grid or on-site energy generation).
These audits allow the identification of inefficiencies in the energy system and provide a reference case.
Energy management and Energy reduction
Once the reference case has been identified a systemized management plan can be designed to reduce energy consumption. The energy management plan details the energy objectives (keeping in mind the budget) and the strategy on how the objectives will be met.
The individual or organization’s budget determines what level of intervention can be implemented. Usually a progressive approach is used, wherein an energy management system is implemented and, with the savings from the energy reductions, further interventions are then installed later on.
Energy management and education.
This is very much an on-going process of planning, implementation, and review. It is important to review the new energy system to ensure objectives are being met and to identify and eliminate any problems with the new system.
The social component of energy management cannot be overlooked as ultimately the success of an energy management system lies in the hands of the people governing it.
That’s why training and education on efficient energy use for all people involved with the system is critical to successful energy management.