Making the Shift to Active Energy Management

October 23, 2017
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Rising demand from consumers to go green has brought the phrase “active energy management” to the forefront of the business world’s lexicon. Regulatory restraints from renewable energy standards, emissions targets, and energy benchmarking laws have also created the need for companies to actively manage energy consumption to reduce emissions and comply with public pressures.

Digitized solutions, in the form of data analytics and the internet of things, have provided companies with the opportunity to take a more proactive approach to energy management. Identify opportunities for cost savings and drive innovation at your firm through active energy management.

Unfortunately, active energy management requires the full participation of relevant team members to institute corporate-wide policies and strategies that will significantly reduce your energy spend. So, how do we begin making the switch to active energy management?

Efforts Across Organization

Essentially, active energy management seeks to improve the maximum utility and cost-savings of current energy management programs and improve upon them through new technologies and sustainability initiatives. However, it’s often difficult to get team members engaged in the process of active energy management; who needs a greater workload?

If your organization segments energy management to its own department than it’s time to start circulating energy management functions across other relevant department to achieve maximum utility. This involves the cooperation of operation managers, shareholders, sustainability directors, and procurement officers with other account managers to share data and commit to an energy management strategy moving forward.

Responsible team members can begin to establish procurement procedures and decision-making mechanisms to execute current and future energy efficient solutions.

Active energy management and corporate sustainability should represent a primary principle of your Corporate Social Responsibility. In today’s world, going green is no longer niche and forgoing its practices as a part of your corporate ethos will leave your business relegated to ashes of other failed startups.

Data Acquisition

With smart meters and utility modules available over the market, companies will benefit from automated energy inputs to analyze their energy consumption habits. Energy data can help companies make informed energy purchasing decisions and create accurate monthly or annual energy budgets.

Big data analytics can identify patterns where energy is being wasted, such as machine malfunctions or periods of peak demand. Identifying waste in your organization will help you control energy costs, which are inherently volatile.

With the sheer connectivity of devices, automated software can be monitored over a smartphone or computer and available to anyone who needs access.

Identify Opportunity Costs and Execute

Reporting energy consumption metrics is simply the easy part. Companies must now identify opportunities for energy savings and evaluate their opportunity cost.

Review existing contracts and work with procurement officers to identify fixed rates that will help your business save money and shield against variable rates. Use historical energy data to predict future energy metrics during months of intense seasonal demand and create an accurate budget to reflect these costs.

When implementing new sustainability programs, it’s critical that employees actively participate. Create incentives for employees to follow sustainable work practices. The result is increased energy savings and positive morale.

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