Energy consumption in offices and workplaces needs to be addressed on a large scale as lot of energy is consumed and wasted here. The use of excess energy contributes to the problems associated with dwindling fossil fuel reserves. Also, wasting energy reduces profitability.
The 5 steps and tips for effective management of energy consumption in offices and workplaces are: –
- Plan and Organize
- Control, Monitor & Review
Step 1. Commitment
The Key factors for commitment and efficient management of energy in offices and workplaces are: –
- Pressure for change (senior management commitment is essential)
- A clear shared vision (involvement of staff)
- Capacity for change (provide the resources: time & finance)
- Action (monitor performance & keep commu nication channels open)
Step 2. Understand
- Identification of exceptional consumption and quick attention to the causes
- Checking of utility invoices will ensure that the payment is done only for the amount of fuel that is consumed
- Comparison of current costs and performance with previous years
- Comparison of several sites, processes or buildings in the company with each other
- Assessing the seasonal pattern of consumption
Making these comparisons will help set improvement targets and identify where the greatest scope for saving energy exists in business. How often you take meter readings will be determined by how much energy is used. As a general rule of thumb, meters should be read monthly if invoicing is quarterly and be read weekly if invoicing is monthly. Meter readings can be recorded on worksheets or on a computer spreadsheet. In either case consumption can then be displayed graphically, which is useful for detecting trends and giving warning of exceptional consumption. In short paying attention to the simplest activity helps in efficient management of energy consumption in offices and workplaces.
Step 3. Plan and Organize
An energy policy statement must be introduced in every organization to raise the awareness among the staff and demonstrate the commitment of senior management towards management of energy consumption in office. A simple policy statement should set out the main objectives, together with the performance targets that need to be met to fulfill the objectives. Once objectives and targets have been agreed, action plans can be drawn up to drive the management plan forward and set down what needs to be done and when.
- When the cleaners are on duty
- At lunchtime
- At night or over weekends (if the meter readings indicate that there is unexpectedly high energy use during these periods)
Step 5. Control, Monitor & Review
Monitoring and Targeting (M&T) has been shown to be an effective management tool in numerous companies and organizations But it should be kept up. Experience has shown that once companies stop monitoring their energy use on a regular basis, waste starts to occur ‘often at least 10% in a relatively short time. This is because problems arise (for example failed or wrongly set controls) and procedures change and the effect on energy consumption goes unnoticed or unexplained.
Therefore, efficient management of energy consumption in offices and workplaces, with regular data collection, its review, monitoring and control will ensure that energy is not wasted and there is efficient energy use.