The theme of sustainability is of paramount importance for many businesses and related entities today, and energy usage is a top area where it’s vital. This is one of the top areas where a quality energy management system holds major value for many organizations, and such systems often play a central role in promoting and maintaining sustainable energy themes for your business.
At Alternative Utility Services, Inc., we’re happy to offer clients the very best in energy management and energy procurement services, from energy savings as a service to energy audits, solar power upgrades and numerous other areas. What are some of the broad themes to consider when looking to utilize an energy management system with sustainability in mind, and how do such systems benefit many companies and entities? Here’s a rundown.
Energy Management Basics and System Types
Broadly speaking, the term energy management refers to a combination of management and technology that leads to a proactive, integrated, and sustainable energy usage strategy. The goal of an energy management system is to holistically manage all energy consumption within a facility so that waste is eliminated, efficiency is maximized, and sustainability goals are met or exceeded.
There are many different types of energy management systems, but most can be broken down into one of three specific categories:
- Energy efficiency: In whatever ways are possible and feasible, energy management professionals look for ways to decrease energy consumption in order to save their clients money. A very simple example of this theme would be switching from older, less efficient light bulbs to modern LED bulbs — the light output remains the same (or even improves in many cases), but energy usage is decreased.
- Energy conservation: A step beyond energy efficiency, energy conservation looks at the actual behaviors behind losses of energy. This is the “management” side of energy management — for instance, a common example of simple energy conservation is businesses reminding employees to turn lights off when they leave a room. Through quality conservation practices, businesses can often see a significant drop in energy usage.
- Renewable energy: Finally, renewable energy looks at the use of sustainable energy sources to power a facility. Facilities that run wholly or in part on renewable energy are said to be “off the grid” and can often provide big savings for their owners. Solar power, for example, is a common form of renewable energy that’s seeing heavy use in both the residential and business spaces.
Our next several sections will look at some of the specific themes energy management programs help you hit at within the realm of sustainable energy.
Analyzing Energy Usage
One of the top uses for energy management systems is the ability to closely monitor and track energy usage for a given facility. By understanding where energy is being used — and wasted — managers can target specific areas for improvement.
This data-driven analysis is one of the key tenets of an effective energy management system, as it allows you to see exactly how your actions are affecting your energy usage. With accurate data at your fingertips, making informed decisions about where to allocate resources for improvement is simple.
Noting Seasonal Changes
One particular area where many businesses struggle with energy management is how their energy usage changes throughout the year. A business that sees a significant uptick in energy usage during the summer months, for example, will need to take different steps than one whose usage peaks in the winter.
By tracking data on a monthly or even weekly basis, an energy management system can help you prepare for and manage these seasonal changes. This can include anything from ensuring the building is properly climate-controlled during high-usage periods to switching over to renewable energy sources that are best suited for your climate.
A common goal of any good energy management system is to eliminate waste in all forms. This ranges from obvious areas such as reducing energy consumption to more subtle practices such as proper maintenance and upkeep of energy-consuming equipment.
Eliminating waste is a key factor in becoming more sustainable, as it helps to ensure that resources are used efficiently. This can help your business save money on energy bills while also doing its part to reduce negative environmental impacts.
Finding Opportunities to Conserve
In other cases, businesses may find themselves with opportunities to conserve energy that they may not have been aware of. This often happens when businesses upgrade their equipment or make changes to their operations, as these new systems are often more efficient than older ones.
An energy management system can help you capitalize on these opportunities by tracking data and providing feedback on how your new systems are performing. This information can be helpful in making future upgrades or changes to your operations that will save energy and money.
Promoting Renewable Energy Sources
And over enough time, this data will show how renewable energy sources can be used to offset or supplant traditional fossil fuel sources. With the costs of programs like solar, wind and geothermal coming down every year, businesses are increasingly looking to these options as a way to become more sustainable.
One of the most important aspects of an energy management system is its ability to promote renewable energy sources. By tracking data on renewable energy usage and providing feedback to facility managers, these systems can help make it easier for businesses to switch to more sustainable forms of energy.
An effective energy management system is essential for any business looking to reduce its environmental impact and become more sustainable. By monitoring and tracking energy usage, businesses can make informed decisions about where to allocate resources for improvement. Additionally, energy management systems can help businesses prepare for and manage seasonal changes in energy usage. And most importantly, energy management systems can help promote renewable energy sources, making it easier for businesses to make the switch to more sustainable forms of energy.
For more on how our energy management systems promote sustainability in several ways, or to learn about any of our solar power or other quality systems, speak to the team at Alternative Utility Services, Inc. today.
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