“If you can’t measure it, you can’t improve it.”
— Peter Drucker
This phrase above has been adopted as the “Knowledge is Power” equivalent by those of us working in energy management. It means that the more you know about your energy consumption at present, the better equipped you are to actually boost your efficiency going into the future. This is why measurement is so important! It is an essential requirement for effective energy management — an important piece needed to make use of tools for improvement, like Energy Dashboarding, Monitoring, and Targeting.
Never Too Late to Start Getting Better
Unfortunately, many people and their organizations are still missing out on the first simple steps towards implementing energy management practices. Here are some hard facts we’ve learned at CoEng Advisors:
- In our experience, less than 5% of Small to Medium Enterprises that we approach have an energy management system in place.
- More than half of companies pay their monthly energy bills without them being reviewed by management.
(And now that we’ve got you looking at your last utility bills, you’ll notice that…)
- Energy costs are neither tracked for increase or decrease, nor are they weather-normalized for out-of-the-ordinary seasonal conditions.
Talk about being left out in the dark! In other words, if you aren’t measuring and tracking your energy consumption data, then how can you understand your energy use situation to begin to improve it?
Insights to Gain If You Just Look
Getting insightful data doesn’t need to be a grand operation. There is already so much we can learn about your energy use right from looking at your utility bills — a very straightforward way to get some useful measurements to work with. At CoEng Advisors, we recognize this and we’ve developed our executive Strategic Energy Management (eSEM) Plans to give your organization’s management simple, easy-to-use Energy Dashboarding, Monitoring, and Targeting tools to make sense of this data. Now your management can begin to see how and where their energy cost is being spent in operations.
Example A: The makeup of a recent client’s energy use as determined by our energy assessment algorithm. We can immediately see that their passive loads make up a major share of their energy consumption and are well above what we would expect for this building type.
For instance, we can take your billing data and plug it into the CoEng Advisors energy assessment algorithm to determine how your building consumes electricity. The pie chart above illustrates the algorithm’s findings about one of our recent clients. In the case of this client, we can immediately see that their passive loads are well above what we would expect for this building type. Passive loads are loads such as lights, motors, and other constant loads that are on all the time. Right away, this chart gives a clear indication that our main focus is on electrical consumption that is on constantly in their building.
Example B: A comparison of heating loads to passive loads each month in an apartment building that is heated electrically.
For another sample of what lessons there are to learn, take a look at the plot above. It displays the electrical consumption for an apartment building heated electrically. By separating the passive load from the heating load we can quantify what a certain percentage reduction either in heating or in passive load would save the client over the course of a year. Another simple, yet powerful lesson learned about improving that building’s energy consumption!
While “If you can’t measure it, you can’t improve it” is a saying that probably applies to number of areas in your organization’s work, we hope that these examples have shown just how much this rings true to understanding your energy consumption.