Today, businesses have become more aware of Environment, Social, and Governance (ESG). As such, they do everything they can to ensure they’re socially responsible and practice environmental sustainability through proper waste management, sustainable sourcing, and energy management.
Energy management involves controlling, monitoring, and reducing your business’s energy consumption. Effective energy management is a crucial aspect of a successful business. It reduces your business’s carbon footprint and cuts energy costs, reducing the total amount you’d otherwise spend.
Energy management uses the 360-degree approach to assess your business’s energy-related risks. It’s a continuous cycle that requires regular monitoring, tracking, controlling, teamwork, and effective energy management strategy implementation.
Suppose you’re a building manager or owner. You might be looking for ways to increase energy efficiency for commercial buildings. Fortunately, this article discusses five tips to help you in this endeavor:
Measure your Current Consumption Rate
The first step to effective energy management is analyzing your business’s total energy consumption rate. This step means taking your energy meter reading from time to time to determine the energy consumed during off and working hours.
You can call for an energy audit to investigate all energy sources. You should include natural gas, solar, and electricity and inspect factors that affect your energy consumption, such as heating and cooling systems, lighting, machinery, and appliances. This way, you can identify opportunities to save on energy, reducing your utility bills.
Identify Areas of Reduction
The next thing you’d want to do after measuring your current energy profile is to identify areas you can minimize the amount of energy consumed. It may involve reducing old machinery and appliances with energy-certified ones and reducing the electricity used in data centers. You can also invest in solar power, wind farms, or other sustainable energy sources.
Here are other ways you can do to save energy in your commercial properties:
- Invest In Energy Management System (EMS): AnEMS is an energy framework for power consumers, including commercial, industrial, and other energy-consuming sectors, to help manage their energy use. It uses innovative technology and monitoring tools to visually represent energy consumption in a property or business.
- Add Insulation: Proper insulation will reduce energy expenditure by limiting the heat that escapes from the building, maintaining a comfortable temperature, and minimizing the need for heaters and coolers.
- Consider HVAC System Maintenance: A well-maintained heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system improves indoor air quality and reduces the energy used to maintain comfortable temperature levels. Alongside installing insulation, you may also want to maintain your HVAC system regularly.
Saving energy results in environmental conservation and reduces your utility bills. Therefore, you’d want to invest in quality EMS, HVAC, and proper insulation.
Create an Energy Management Plan
A well-crafted energy management plan is crucial for creating a sustainable future for your properties and businesses. It helps reduce energy waste and greenhouse gas emissions, ultimately reducing your carbon footprint. Your plan must outline the steps to optimize your energy use.
However, your strategy will work better if you engage your team members. Train them on how energy conservation benefits the business. Request them to switch off lights and power-consuming machines when not in use. You can even incentivize the best-performing team members as motivation.
Manage your Energy Supply Contracts
A good energy management strategy ensures you source power at affordable rates and the best possible prices. This means managing agreements and negotiating with suppliers for reliable and affordable sources. That said, here are a few pointers for managing your energy supply contracts:
Conduct Thorough Market Research
A thorough research will help you keep up with the current market research and identify the key players in energy supply. After knowing the various suppliers, request a competitive quotation to find the best prices.
Establish your Goal
Considering your long-term plan before signing any contract would be best. It could be reducing energy costs or looking for sustainable and renewable sources.
The best part is that you can have both, as sustainable energy sources such as solar systems lead to cost reduction. However, it’s always advisable to establish your primary goal.
Consider the Contract Structure
Before signing any papers, consider the contract structure. The most common contract types are fixed and structured rates.
In fixed rates, the supplier charges a specific amount for the period. At the same time, the energy price varies depending on market changes in structural rates. Therefore, consider structured contracts to exploit favorable market conditions and seasons like shoulder months.
Renew Contacts on Time
Ensure you renew your energy supply contracts to avoid power outages, which may disrupt your production process and penalties from early contract termination.
Managing your energy supply contract ensures you have a constant and reliable source. It guarantees affordable sources and optimizes your energy use.
Track your Progress
Commercial energy management doesn’t involve implementing an effective management strategy and managing your supply contracts. It would help if you also track your progress to see whether or not your plans are working as intended and whether they align with your long-term goals.
Check to see if there’s a difference in energy consumption before and after implementing changes. If you’ve noticed a difference, your strategies are working. If there’s no change, consider returning to the drawing board and creating a new game plan.
Generally, effective commercial energy management is a step closer to achieving your business objectives. It allows you to control, monitor, and minimize energy consumption, leading to less carbon emission and reduced energy bills. Just remember to implement a functional energy management strategy and track progress to see how it performs.
Jason is the Marketing Manager at a local advertising company in Australia. He moved to Australia 10 years back for his passion for advertising. Jason recently joined BFA as a volunteer writer and contributes by sharing his valuable experience and knowledge.