As more pressure is put on companies and organizations to become more energy efficient, Active Energy Management (AEM) has become a necessary department in a company’s structure.
The first step to such a structure, however, is data collection. According to Schneider Electric in an article recently published by Business World:
Data collection is crucial to Active Energy Management decision-making. Once purchase, operational and consumption data, among others, are captured, these are combined in a single data platform. Global or local, combining existing data sources maximizes value, standardizes complex and diverse data sets, while translating and providing the local context. This is then validated to ensure data reliability. Validation identifies and resolves data gaps, peaks and irregularities, thereby improving data quality and accuracy. Finally, analysis improves decision-making and actions. These steps in turn facilitate forecasting and purchase decisions, help benchmark the performance and save money.
When a company knows how much energy it uses, how much that energy costs and how that energy is sourced, it can have a better control over all aspects of energy management.
The site points to three trends in energy management:
- Decarbonization – reduction in emissions
- Decentralization – lowering dependence on a single energy source
- Digitization – converting information into a digital format
These trends will propel energy towards being labeled an asset, instead of a line item cost.
The site reports that “evidence suggests using resources more efficiently is a strong indicator of superior financial performance in industrial sectors, and companies that have over-performed have taken their sustainability strategies the furthest.”
Energy as a service (EaaS), or working with a third party on energy management, has become a hot topic recently among energy management professionals. In May, Energy Manager Today interviewed Steven Avadek, director and global head of sustainability for Citi Realty Services at Citigroup. At the time, Citigroup was searching for an EaaS partner. Avadek said, “We found the best way to go about this was engaging with big energy providers first. Initially people were skeptical at this energy-as-a-service model. We ended up running three RFPs until we found the right group to bid this with that believed this model could lead to profit for them, and that had the size and skill to take on that risk.”