Energy management provides a glimpse into when, where, and how much energy you use while providing the tools needed to more easily control your usage. It’s a common misconception that energy management systems are software that simply does the work for you, however proactive energy management is as much about human effort as it is about technology. The effort to reduce energy consumption requires distinct goals, staff participation, and stakeholder investment in appliances and technologies. Businesses can reduce utility costs 10-30% by investing strategically in energy management solutions and encouraging collective energy conservation measures.
What is Energy Management and Why Does it Matter?
According to IBM, energy management is the proactive and systematic monitoring, control, and optimization of a business’ energy consumption to conserve use and decrease energy costs. Effective energy management incorporates minor practices like analyzing monthly energy bills and larger investments like upgrading appliances or installing building monitoring software. These solutions can be customized to fit any size of business or any industry. Implementing a building energy management system is a proactive way to reduce overhead while cultivating a forward-thinking, sustainable reputation for your business.
Any effort to reduce overhead expenses are cost-savings that can be invested back into your business. Energy is one of the top three small business expenses, just behind rent and salaries. Turning the lights on is a surprisingly large investment, however energy management gives business owners the power to reduce these costs considerably.
5 Easy Steps to Implement an Energy Management System (EMS)
With so many variables and options to choose from, implementing an energy management system can be a daunting task. Before diving in, the unofficial first step is to make an earnest dedication to energy-saving efforts. The overarching goal of EMS solutions is not just to monitor energy consumption, but to reduce it as well as your carbon footprint. A commitment to energy management means your business is dedicated not only to upgrading appliances and installing smart technologies, but also long term participation in energy-saving initiatives. While the multi-layered EMS implementation process takes time, the cost-savings achieved through robust management strategies makes it a worthy endeavor.
1. Conduct an energy audit
In order to manage your business’ energy usage, you first have to understand your current energy performance. Conducting an energy audit is a proactive way to analyze your current consumption patterns and identify opportunities for improvement. These assessments can be completed independently or with the support of an energy expert. Once completed, you’ll receive the complete analysis of your business’ energy performance, including insights on how to improve the efficiency of your building structure and operations.
2. Set energy consumption goals and policies
The insights received as a result of your audit lay the foundation for creating energy efficiency goals and operational policies. Creating clear objectives is essential to the success of your energy management program. Whether you want to reduce electricity bills by 15% or improve HVAC efficiency, each goal should be specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound. This phase of EMS creation is an ideal opportunity to create an energy task force. This dedicated group ensures efficiency initiatives are monitored and managed, fostering an ongoing approach to energy conservation.
Combine your Energy Management System with a fixed-rate energy plan to maximize savings and stability.
3. Implement energy-efficient technologies, and upgrades
After the preliminary planning process, it’s time to put the policy into practice. The third stage of EMS implementation are the actual upgrades needed to achieve your energy-saving goals. Common efficiency upgrades include LED lighting, upgrading HVAC components, and improving the building envelope with insulation, windows, doors, or roofing. Modern, energy-efficient building systems enable smart technology integration such as occupancy sensors, timers, or zoning features. This is the phase in which the full-scale EMS software is integrated into the building and the monitoring process begins.
4. Employee training and engagement
Employee training is vital to establish new operational processes and cultivate company-wide engagement. Create regular energy efficiency training sessions that cover simple energy-saving practices or the financial impact of energy conservation. Interactive training empowers employees to identify and implement energy-saving opportunities. Reward employees who demonstrate ideal conservation practices for greater engagement. Employee participation in efficiency initiatives fosters sustainable habits while reducing energy usage.
5. Regular monitoring towards progress
Create a standard routine to regularly monitor your business’ progress. A proactive approach to energy management is not a singular effort, but an ongoing process. Your energy policy should be regularly reviewed, analyzed, and adjusted, encouraging continuous improvement. Moreover, your energy task force is there to celebrate the success and create the next, ambitious step towards an energy-efficient future.
Key Technologies in Commercial EMS Solutions
Energy management solutions combine various technologies to create a comprehensive interface. Below, are the unique components of an EMS solution, providing additional information about the importance of each key component in creating a tailored management system.
- Smart Panel: The smart panel is the centralized panel that integrates building systems, consumption monitors, and smart circuits, including intuitive real-time data analytics. Additional control features include building system zoning and scheduling.
- Energy Management App: EMS Apps allow business owners to remotely manage HVAC settings, lighting, and monitor energy usage. Push notifications provide alerts to any irregularities, offering peace of mind.
- Consumption Monitors: These leverage machine learning and AI to offer real-time updates on equipment changes, enabling businesses to implement efficiency measures and identify and rectify faulty equipment.
- Smart Circuits and Outlets: Smart circuits and outlets provide remote control over electricity flow, offering enhanced energy management for specific rooms or devices within most existing electrical systems.
- Renewable Energy: EMS solutions offer renewable energy and storage integration, such as rooftop solar panels or microgrid storage. Renewables enhance energy performance and sustainability while offsetting utility expenses with clean, sustainable energy.
Manage Energy & Take Control of Overhead with EMS Solutions
In short, implementing an Energy Management System (EMS) is a strategic investment for businesses looking to reduce overhead costs and foster sustainability. By following our five simple steps to implementation, business owners can take control of their energy expenses and pave the way for a more efficient future. Don’t wait to start saving. Take action today by contacting one of the energy experts at Integrity Energy. As one of the country’s leading energy brokers, our team is dedicated to finding the most cost-effective energy plans to support your business’ budgetary and sustainability goals. Take the first step towards energy savings by requesting a free quote today.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
1. What is an energy management system (EMS) and how do businesses benefit from them?
An energy management system (EMS) is a proactive approach to monitoring, controlling, and optimizing a business’ energy consumption. Businesses benefit from EMS by reducing costs, improving efficiency, and demonstrating commitment to sustainability through strategic energy conservation measures.
2. How can I determine if an EMS is right for my business?
To determine if an Energy Management System (EMS) is suitable for your business, assess your current energy usage, identify areas for improvement, and evaluate the potential return on investment. Consider factors such as the size of your business, energy consumption patterns, available resources for implementation, and long-term sustainability goals to make an informed decision.
3. How can an EMS contribute to sustainability and environmental conservation?
An EMS contributes to sustainability and environmental conservation by optimizing energy usage, reducing carbon emissions, and promoting efficient resource utilization. EMS solutions have the ability to integrate renewable energy sources and storage, offering businesses multiple opportunities to reduce their carbon footprint.
4. What steps can I take to implement an EMS?
Businesses can follow five key steps to implement an EMS: conduct an energy audit, set clear energy consumption goals and policies, implement technologies and upgrades, provide employee training, and regularly monitor progress towards energy efficiency targets. These steps create a structured approach to managing energy consumption and promoting sustainable practices.
5. How can I actively engage my employees in energy conservation efforts?
To engage employees in energy conservation, offer regular training, encourage open communication and feedback. Recognizing and rewarding outstanding efficiency efforts also contributes to a culture of sustainability.
6. What are common energy management technologies?
Commonly used technologies in energy management solutions include smart panels, energy management apps, consumption monitors, smart circuits, and renewable energy sources or storage.
For additional answers to your energy management questions, please refer to our general FAQ page.