According to the United Nations, the world population will reach 8 billion in 2022 and is expected to reach 10 billion by 2058. Obviously, we can see an increase in energy demand in similar proportions. According to a report from the Energy Information Administration (EIA) of the United States, energy use is expected to rise by 48% by 2040.
The currently available renewable and non-renewable resources may not be enough to meet our future energy demands, and saving energy is therefore paramount to our survival. This is where energy management systems (EMS) take center stage, which will help us utilize energy sources effectively and save up to 29% on energy costs. The term “energy management” is not just switching off unused lights and using mass transportation, but carries more depth in terms of the approach and covers broad sectors.
Let’s clearly understand what an energy management system is and how it works from a global perspective.
What is an Energy Management System?
An energy management system (EMS) is a proactive, structured, and methodical way to manage how commercial, industrial, public, and private companies use energy. It assists enterprises in searching for ideal scenarios to deploy energy-saving technologies or make the existing technologies more energy efficient without requiring heavy investment. Most of the time, an energy management system (EMS) can’t be set up successfully without help from experts and training for all of the company’s employees.
In simple terms, we can define an energy management system as a framework that requires energy use to be optimized to achieve the best possible outcomes in terms of saving energy and costs. It also involves energy production planning and its storage for future use. So, the ultimate goal of the EMS process is not only to save energy but also to attain environmental sustainability globally.
How Does an Energy Management System Work?
The four major steps in the energy management process include,
- Collect data by metering your energy consumption
As a basic rule, we know that the more in-depth data you fetch, the better it is. The old method of gathering data for energy use via manual read meters once every 7 days or once a month is time-consuming. Also, this much data collection isn’t enough to make a good analysis of energy use. Interval metering is a modern way to collect energy data because it automatically measures and records how much energy is used.
It records energy usage in short and frequent intervals, like every 15–30 minutes. This cumulative energy usage data will help to study patterns and pinpoint periods where there is energy waste.
- Analysis of energy consumption data captured
The sizable energy consumption data that you have gathered will be of little use if it’s not analyzed to develop energy-saving opportunities. Most of the time, the most cost-effective ways to save energy don’t require a lot of money or any money at all.
Here is one instance:
a.) Utilize your energy consumption data to compute how much energy is consumed every weekend in kWh.
b.) find out the amount of energy that is wasted every day.
Using (a) and (b), figure out how many kWh of energy were wasted each weekend.
- Identifying energy-saving opportunities
You won’t get anywhere if you just look for ways to save energy. You have to take action to get the energy-saving ball rolling. For these chances to save energy to come true, everyone on the job must be motivated and ready to put in their best effort. It can be challenging, but if you manage to get the employees on your side, you can only make some big energy savings by investing time and not wasting any monetary resources.
As for the energy-saving opportunities that require equipment and machine upgrades, you may have to invest both time and certain capital to make the required changes. In this case, you just have to hope you gather enough capital quickly through more sales or cost-cutting to make energy-saving opportunities flourish.
- Track the entire process for continuous future optimizations
Once you’ve implemented energy-saving opportunities, you have to ensure they are working effectively. Changes in employee behavior that save energy need to be checked on regularly to make sure the process stays effective and reaches its full potential.
If you’ve bought new equipment as part of reducing energy consumption, you might have to prove that it’s working as per your assessment. If you have repaired faulty timers or made changes in the settings of your equipment, you must keep checking it frequently to ensure the output is not affected and energy savings are happening at the same time.
If you have monthly goals for saving energy, you should make sure they are met at least 90% of the time and 100% of the time in the long run.
Benefits of Energy Management Systems
- Reduced costs due to lower energy consumption in the long run
- Lower Carbon Footprint making our environment much greener
- High Productivity due to maximum energy utilization
- Achieve Return-on-Investment on energy saving methods as you continue with the EMS process
- Improved Brand Image globally
- Energy scarcity is drastically reduced
- It helps you to meet statutory compliance
- Managing energy will also help save water
The Energy Management System will be the major driving force in our quest to save energy and make our planet sustainable for at least the next 100 to 200 years. The sooner we adopt this approach on a global level, the better for humanity.
To make it successful, both the leadership group and the employees of companies across sectors must invest time, effort, and a bit of funding to ensure energy is saved in significant percentages over long periods using the four steps of the energy management process discussed above. Save money and save the planet with an energy management system at the forefront.