Wasting energy is wasting money. More businesses are realising the economic impact of energy waste as well as its effects on the environment. These companies are focusing on energy management and energy efficiency to reduce costs and lessen their environmental impact.
The production of goods requires energy. It doesn’t matter whether you are building homes, manufacturing cars or producing oil. When every company does its part to practice responsible energy management, the positive impacts on the environment and your wallet can be substantial.
What is energy management?
Energy management is about analysing and reducing the amount of energy consumed by your business. It involves analysing and acting upon the parts of your business where the most energy is consumed. The objectives of energy management include conserving resources, protecting the environment and saving on production costs, without compromising access to the energy needed to continue operations.
The source of the consumption varies from industry to industry. For production companies, energy management could involve identifying machinery that uses excess amounts of energy. It could also include monitoring excess waste in production, which results in expending more energy creating a single product than necessary.
For other kinds of companies, it could include a site where heating costs are excessive compared to the other sites in the area.
Managing energy is about being smart about how you use your energy. You might be surprised to discover some of the ways in which your office is using more energy than necessary. The energy management team in any office may find ways to reduce energy consumption thereby reducing significant overhead for the company.
Why is energy management important?
Energy management has a substantial impact on our environmental health. It can also substantially lower operating costs for companies while improving property values. Some of the benefits of lower energy consumption might include:
1. Lower energy consumption can lead to lower cost
Even small businesses spend thousands of euros on energy each year. Reducing these costs could improve the profitability of your business. There are many ways to lower your energy consumption. From upgrading your lighting to powering down equipment, the less energy you use, the better for your bottom line. An energy audit is a good way to evaluate your energy use and determine how you can reduce it.
2. Lower energy consumption helps save the environment
Consuming less energy helps save the environment by improving sustainability. Sustainable climate actions are actions that meet the needs of the current generation without compromising the needs of future generations. As energy consumption continues to take its toll, it becomes critical for companies to do their part in protecting the environment now and in the future.
3. Lower energy consumption boosts your company image
You may not think lower energy consumption influences your brand, but environmentally friendly companies are often seen more favourably by customers. As awareness of energy consumption grows, more people are looking for businesses that have taken steps to reduce their environmental impact. In addition to lowering your overall costs, your efforts to lower energy consumption could boost your reputation and your customer base.
What can you do to reduce your energy consumption?
You cannot effectively manage the energy you use until you know the precise amount of energy you are currently absorbing to run your business. Any energy management programme begins with an analysis of your company’s current energy consumption. Once the analysis if complete, you can pinpoint areas of energy efficiency and reduce energy consumption overall. Whilst focusing on production might seem like the obvious place to start, office buildings etc. often get overlooked.
Buildings (commercial and residential) account for about 40% of the total U.S. energy consumption. Furthermore, 25% of the energy consumed in commercial buildings in the U.S. is related to space heating. For example, you could identify a specific building that has a much higher heating cost than the rest, or even areas within a building with different performance levels. The cost of heating these buildings and areas may be negated by insulating using environmentally friendly stone wool or other material.
Similarly, an Australian study showed that HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning) systems account for up to 40 percent of a building’s total energy consumption. This could be reduced by adding insulation and other upgrades leading to substantially higher energy efficiency.
Financial incentives for energy management
In many countries, the government or the European Union (EU) subsidises the changes necessary to improve energy efficiency. This allows companies that are strapped for cash to implement energy management practices with less financial strain.
The lower initial cost along with the savings from being able to choose a higher quality solution, lowers the payback time and enhances the business case overall. Done right, it also helps reduce CO2 emissions and helps slow down the ongoing climate changes.
Save energy, save money
As companies are discovering the financial benefits of responsible energy management, more businesses are employing ways to reduce energy use and their environmental impact. Careful analysis of a company’s energy consumption allows you to pinpoint areas where you can improve energy efficiency. When many companies begin to employ energy-efficient processes, the impact on the environment can be substantial.