Trends in Energy Management

Managing and reducing energy consumption not only saves money but also helps in mitigating climate change and enhancing corporate reputation. The primary objective of energy management is to achieve and maintain optimum energy procurement and utilization  throughout the organisation which may help in minimizing energy costs and mitigating environmental effects. Infact, energy management is widely acknowledged as the best solution for direct and immediate reduction of energy consumption.

Energy should be regarded as a business cost, like raw material or labour. Companies can achieve substantial reduction in energy bills by implementing simple housekeeping measures. Reduction and control of energy usage is vital for an organization as it:

  • Reduces costs: Reducing cost is the most compelling reason for saving energy. Most organisations can save up to 20% on their fuel cost by managing their energy use;
  • Reduces carbon emissions: Reducing energy consumption also reduces carbon emissions and adverse environmental effects. Reducing your organisation’s carbon footprint helps build a ‘green’ image thereby generating good business opportunities; and
  • Reduce risk: Reducing energy use helps reduce risk of energy price fluctuations and supply shortages.

Regulatory requirements aiming to reduce carbon emissions and energy use require accurate energy data collection and effective management systems. Good energy management practices are compliant with these requirements and help fulfil regulatory obligations.

Businesses worldwide are showing interest in appointment of a formal/informal energy manager to coordinate energy management activities. The main task of an energy manager is to set up a system to collect, analyse and report on energy consumption and costs which may involve reading electricity meters regularly and analysis of utility bills.

Carbon emissions from energy use dominate the total greenhouse gas emissions of most organisations. Sound energy management is rapidly emerging as an integral part of carbon management which in turn helps organisations in effective overall environmental management. In addition to financial benefits, energy management has other significant advantages for an organisation such as:

  • Organisations achieve stronger market position by demonstrating ‘green’ credentials. Energy management improves competitive advantage as most consumers prefer to source from socially responsible businesses;
  • Organisations adopting energy management systems can influence supply chains by preferring suppliers who adopt environment management practices; and
  • Energy management creates a better workplace environment for employees by improving working conditions.

Many businesses are now setting dynamic strategic direction to achieve immediate reduction in energy consumption. The trend towards energy efficiency will only continue to grow to sustain this demand. With increasing environmental awareness, there is significant room for growth and leadership for the adoption of energy optimization  introduction of specialized energy-saving systems and implementation of sustainable energy technologies.

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About the Author 

Shakeeb Ahmad is the Renewable Energy and Sustainability Lead at Melting Coal, a dedicated engineering and consulting company providing customized Renewable Energy, Sustainability and Carbon Management services. He is a specialist in carbon emission reduction and a wide array of alternative energy technologies, especially biomass and waste-to-energy. He has successfully undertaken an extensive range of projects and has been involved in sustainable energy implementations and carbon assessments of over 200 sites globally. Shakeeb is a Chemical Engineer having a Masters from Swansea University (UK) and Bachelors from Aligarh Muslim University (India). He can be reached at shakeeb@meltingcoal.com.

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