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ENERGY MANAGEMENT - STEP BY STEP

Energy Management

Understanding and managing your business's energy costs require clear strategies for both your technical systems and the people who operate them. The following seven steps provide a simple, systematic approach that enables you to better understand your facility's present energy use and what influences it, as well as the opportunities available to reduce that use.

Step 1: Understand your Energy Costs

The cost of electricity is influenced by a number of factors. Understanding which factors influence your demand (kW) and energy (kWh) costs are important in understanding what steps you need to take to reduce those costs.

Step 2: Monitor and Target

To track your monthly energy efficiency, perform historical data comparisons that will help you determine how your energy consumption varies over time. For example, energy versus production analyses can help you determine your energy costs per unit of production as a means of assessing energy savings opportunities.

Step 3: Understand When Energy is Used

The cost of electricity is influenced by when it's consumed. Your company's demand profile can provide you with important information on energy use patterns. This time-of-use information helps you understand your daily consumption trends - information which is useful when considering possible changes to your company's production times.

Step 4: Understand Where Energy is Used

Build an inventory of your electrical loads as a way of focusing on the largest and most expensive energy consumers. An energy audit is useful in providing a detailed breakdown of how much gets consumed where.

Step 5: Eliminate Waste

Energy waste can appear in many forms, including excess time, volume, pressure and temperature. In order to realize your energy savings opportunities, it's important to match what your business actually uses to what is needed. Once these requirements are established, eliminating waste becomes an effective cost-savings tool.

Step 6: Maximize Efficiency

The condition of your company's equipment and operating conditions can have a significant impact on energy-savings potential. Both operational and technological actions can yield significant savings. While some operational changes can have relatively little or no implementation costs, investments in equipment upgrades or retrofits can yield long-term dividends.

Step 7: Optimize the Energy Supply

Once you've reduced your requirement for energy, you may consider higher cost alternatives to meet your growing energy needs including heat recovery, cogeneration and renewables.

Consider an energy audit

Investing in an energy audit identifies ways in which your business can save money on its energy use. Your electricity bill is the first stop for the auditor as they evaluate how much power you use for your various business operations. Next, an assessment of your company's equipment allows the auditor to make recommendations for changes. Part of the audit should include the projected cost of the retrofits as well as the estimated pay-back period. And an energy audit doesn't need to happen only at the outset of your upgrades. It can be performed even once the improvements are in place to either track results or identify areas of new energy efficiency opportunities. Contact NRCan's Office of Energy Efficiency (OEE) for information on financial incentives to help you plan and implement your energy upgrades: www.oee.nrcan.gc.ca.

RELATED INFORMATION

MANAGING YOUR ELECTRICITY COSTS

Download the Brochure...

By understanding how and when your facility uses electricity, you will be able to discover opportunities to cuts costs and boost profits. Download this PDF version of the brochure, or order a hard copy by contacting us at corporate.communications @ieso.ca. We also want your feedback on this information, so please send us your comments and suggestions.