Energy management is not a one-off
exercise; to be effective it needs to be an ongoing process. This short guide provides a
structured approach that businesses can adopt to manage their energy use effectively.
Click here to download the:
This is based on the original version produced in 2000 by Phil Harding at the
Government Office for the South West in partnership with The Carbon Trust and endorsed by CIMA, the Energy Institute
and ESTA. It is aligned to the approach of the European Standard for energy management systems (EMSs), EN 16001, and the equivalent British Standard BS EN 16001.
Click here to download the supporting:
This includes useful advice on how to use the CUSUM technique for energy management.
If your business is wasting energy it is causing avoidable
pollution, primarily through increased carbon emissions leading to climate change, whilst contributing to the problems associated with dwindling fossil fuel reserves.
But wasting energy also reduces your profitability. For every £1 saved
on energy costs, most UK businesses would have to make £10 worth of sales to make the
same £1 of profit. So, for example, wasting just £1,000 a year on energy due to poor energy management would require £10,000 worth of sales to make the equivalent
£1,000 of profit.
By implementing the 'Low Carbon Hierarchy' (see right-hand side of this page) in all investment decisions, your organisation can make the most cost-effective progress towards a
more sustainable future for its energy needs.
The 5 steps to effective energy management described in the 'effective energy management guide' are:
Step 1. Commitment
Step 2. Understand (establish the facts)
Step 3. Plan and organise
Step 4. Act
Step 5. Control, monitor & review
If you have successfully completed all 5 steps (but don't forget to use the Quick Start Guide to Energy Monitoring & Targeting pdf) you should now be making significant energy savings - and also helping to protect the environment!
To maintain these savings on a continuous basis go back to Step 2 and review each step.
Return to TOP
Extracts from the Effective Energy Management Guide
Make it your organisation's policy to use energy efficiently and to keep carbon dioxide emissions to a
minimum wherever possible. A simple statement of policy objectives - perhaps as part of your
environmental policy - will show senior management's commitment to energy efficiency and helping to
reduce or negate the organisation's contribution to climate change. Once this has been decided, it is
important that someone should be the 'energy champion' in your organisation. This person should have
the support of top management and be given the necessary resources to be effective.
The maxim "You can't manage what you don't measure" is especially true for energy management.
Invoices alone will not provide sufficient information for you to take full control over your energy costs.
You need to take your own meter readings at regular and frequent intervals. This will enable you to:
- identify exceptional consumption and attend to the causes quickly;
- check utility invoices and ensure that you pay only for the fuel actually used;
- compare current costs and performance with previous years;
- compare several sites, processes or buildings in the company with each other;
- compare your performance against typical standards for similar businesses; and
- assess the seasonal pattern of consumption.
Making these comparisons will help you set improvement targets and identify where the greatest scope
for saving energy exists in your business.
How often you take meter readings will be determined by how much energy is used. As a general rule of
thumb, meters should be read monthly if invoicing is quarterly and be read weekly if invoicing is monthly.
IMPORTANT - readings should be made at the same time of day and day of the week, particularly
if the reading is weekly.
Once objectives and targets have been agreed, action plans can be drawn up to drive the management
plan forward and set down what needs to be done and when. Your action plan should:
- have management approval
- relate actions to particular objectives
- assign actions to individuals
- allocate resources (both time and money if needed) to each improvement
An important lesson to note from the many businesses that have successfully implemented effective
energy management programmes is the issue of making people accountable. If different business
units or teams of the organisation are required to regularly account to senior management for the energy
usage (and thus carbon emissions) for their operations, they will have an incentive to practice good
housekeeping, implement energy saving measures and to maintain efficient performance levels into the
A good way of finding energy waste initially is to conduct an energy walk-round. Ask key members of
staff to accompany you - both to identify problems and opportunities, and to ensure they feel part of the
Energy management should be a process of continuous control and improvement, not a one-off effort.
You must therefore set up recording and monitoring systems to both check that targets are being met
and to identify further cost reduction opportunities offering attractive returns on investment.
Experience has shown that once companies stop monitoring their energy use on a regular basis, waste starts to occur - often at least 10% in a relatively short time.
In the UK, the process of continuous recording and monitoring of energy use against consumption
targets is known as Monitoring and Targeting (M&T) and has been shown to be an effective
management tool in numerous companies and organisations BUT it should be kept up.
Return to TOP
The Low Carbon Hierarchy - the route to a low carbon, climate friendly economy
The most cost-effective solution for reducing your carbon footprint is to:
1. REDUCE energy use by avoiding unnecessary use and implementing energy efficiency measures. You should include the design of your goods and services and also look up and down your supply chain.
Once you have increased your efficiency you should then look to
2. REPLACE fossil fuels with renewable energy sources and/or use cleaner fossil fuel technology such as Combined Heat and Power (CHP) where it is
feasible to do so.
Finally, having reduced your carbon emissions through avoiding waste, energy efficiency and use of renewable cleaner sources, you can
3. NEUTRALISE the remaining unavoidable emissions through carbon offsetting schemes.
Return to TOP of page