Any prudent plant manager knows that energy management and energy efficiency are of grave concern to the day-to-day running of the business. Saving energy isn’t just an environmental concern. Energy consumption takes a huge chunk of financial resources. More efficiency means lower energy bill. In addition to this, California energy rebates and other such incentives mean maximum savings for industries that choose to take efficiency seriously.
Taking charge of energy management is no simple task. There are a few areas that are worth looking into seriously to ensure that you stay on top of the management plan and action.
Meter Energy Consumption
The first step to any good energy management plan or policy is data. Metering energy consumption helps to collect data that can then be used to formulate appropriate policy and action steps. Collect as much data as possible and make it as detailed as possible for the best foundation.
Manually reading meters is tedious, repetitive and subject to human error and neglect. Automated interval-metering systems are far more useful for this purpose. They collect, record and store detailed data at regular intervals including every 15 minutes. The detailed data also helps to pinpoint patterns that are easy to miss when collecting data manually.
Identifying Efficiency Opportunities
The reason why collecting detailed data is so important is because it helps to identify opportunities for energy management. Many plant managers are surprised to find out that they can make huge savings and qualify for industrial energy efficiency rebates and perks by simply replacing old lighting or tweaking HVAC. Implementing efficiency measures doesn’t have to be expensive.
The detailed data helps to pinpoint the areas of wastage and therefore come up with the appropriate measures. The advantage here is that it is possible to calculate potential savings reasonably accurately before judging whether the suggested plan justifies the cost of implementation. Above all else, it is important to quantify the savings before taking any actionable steps so that the whole process makes sense from a financial and resource stand point.
Implementing Energy Efficiency Measures
Collecting data and identifying weak spots is all well and good but is useless if no action is taken. The next course of action is to actually do something in the areas you have targeted. Part of the work may mean motivating staff to get on board with the program. Simply asking staff to switch off equipment on their way out or to consume power consciously can make a significant difference. If the plan is well thought out and implemented effectively, you should be able to see the projected benefits.
Implementing a full-scale energy efficiency plan is resource intensive and you may need to involve third party such as energy management companies. These experts know about SCE programs and about implementing measures that maximize ROI in energy savings and rebates and discounts.