20. Nov 2013

Energy Management

Do you know the energy footprint of your company?

Initial Situation

Austrian managers do not place any substantial importance to energy management within the company, which is clearly indicated by a Deloitte survey. Many of them do not even know their company’s energy footprint.

The following questions were posed to top decision makers in this survey:

  • Do you know your company’s energy footprint? And are you already applying energy management systems to reduce energy costs in your company?

Findings

  • An alarming number of top decision makers answered the questions above by saying they did not.
  • About 50% of the companies lack a corresponding energy management system.
  • The benefit of such measures is hardly ever considered in business plans (which experts of Deloitte quote as a possible reason for the lacking of energy management systems).
  • 52% of the managers do not know their company’s energy footprint at all, (so how can they actually define their energy-saving potential?).

 

Comparing the Austrian situation to the USA

  • In the US, the country of “cheap energy”, the general awareness of energy management is by far higher than in Austria.
  • 81% of the US companies stated in the survey that they were carrying out energy management programmes to reduce costs.
  • 76% were also doing so for image reasons.

 

Conclusions

Comparing Austrian companies to US companies may, as a matter of fact, be misleading. Obviously, Austrian companies have a far wider understanding of the requirements of an energy management system (e.g. integrating the topic into the very structure of the company’s organisation). It may thus be concluded that the percentage of Austrian companies using energy management systems to reduce costs is higher than presumed.

It is far more insightful to look at a company’s energy footprint, considering the fact that energy-saving measures are hardly ever taken into account in the companies’ business plans.

There can be no doubt, however, that Austrian companies need to take action (i.e. reducing energy costs, making efforts to protect the climate and obligations resulting from implementing the Energy Efficiency Law).

 

How can ISO 50001 contribute to this?

Obviously, it is hard enough for national economies to outline their energy footprints, so what possibilities do companies have to demonstrate their energy footprints comprehensibly? For the ISO 50001:2011 standards - energy management systems - requirements and instructions for their implementation -, the energy planning process was chosen as a core requirement in the approach.

 

The energy planning process according to ISO 50001:2011 standards

Companies should consider the following points:

  • Carry out an energy planning process and keep a record of it.
  • This energy strategy should lead to measures, which continuously improve energy-related performances (i.e. measurable results in connection to energy efficiency, the use of energy and its consumption).
  • Carry out an energy-related assessment of your company, keep records of it and thrive to maintain it (see illustration).
  • Assess all relevant variables, which have an essential influence on the amount of energy used (e.g. production rate, external temperatures and so on).
  • Assess an energy-related starting point (including the determination of an appropriate period of time), maintain and keep records of it, and adjust only in special cases (establishing formal standards).
  • Define appropriate key figures for energy performance (EnPIs) for monitoring and measuring energy-related performances.
  • Introduce recorded strategic and operative individual objectives for all relevant functions, levels, processes and plants/ locations within the company.
  • Introduce action plans for reaching all strategic and operative objectives. (Bear in mind that the contents are clearly defined.)

Conclusions and Expectations:

  • Whereas up to now companies have in most cases merely had a look at the developments of the various uses of energy (in terms of costs), the focus is now on analyzing how and to what extent energy is used.
  • It is now possible to define a company’s energy footprint.
  • Accordingly, the use of energy (i.e. budgeting, business plan) will be planned systematically.

Author

Network partner

Mr. Wolfgang Hackenauer, MSc

Network partner, Product Expert Environment and Energy

Contact Persons Environment and Energy

Team

Mr. Axel Dick, MSc

Executive Vice President Business Development Environment and Energy, CSR

Network partner

Mr. Wolfgang Hackenauer, MSc

Network partner, Product Expert Environment and Energy

Network partner

Mr. Peter Sattler, MAS

Network partner, Product Expert FSC CoC, PEFC CoC and ISO 38200

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