The American Council for an Energy Efficient-Economy (ACEEE) periodically issues the International Energy Efficiency Scorecard, ranking the world's 23 largest energy-consuming economies on their energy efficiency policies and programs. Together, these nations represent 75% of all energy consumed on the planet, and in 2013 represented more than 80% of the gross world product. Thirty-five metrics have been used to assess each nation’s commitment to energy efficiency, along with their policies and performance indicators from buildings, industry, and transportation. Germany was top-ranked nation, scoring 73.5 in 100, while Italy and Japan tied in second with 68.5.
Promoting Energy Efficiency
As the results on the world ranking indicate, the cost of energy in a country has very little correlation with its policies, initiatives, and how it promotes energy efficiencies. There are therefore a great many opportunities still available for large energy consumers to improve.
Some companies have already stepped forward and opted to follow the ISO 50001 standard, incorporating an elaborate management system.
Read also: The ISO Standards Family
Most companies, however, got caught in a vicious cycle. When their business is prospering, they see no need to invest time and effort in energy efficiency. When the business is in crisis, they wait for a more favorable investment condition and postpone efficiency initiatives even further.
Contrary to what most managers think, most energy savings come from simple actions and do not require investments. In the sections ahead we describe some simple yet effective initiatives that may help you reduce your energy costs.
1) Process control
Establish good process control on all major pieces of equipment with significant energy consumption (do start on those!), incorporating all relevant data variables that impact on consumption. Correctly defining these variables and their optimal operational intervals is the secret to optimizing energy performance.
2) Prioritize internal training
It is indispensable that all operators and maintainers in all energy-intensive processes be adequately trained in order to promote and institutionalize control in the company’s management system.
3)Pay attention to your maintenance schedule
Prioritize corrective maintenance orders in pieces of equipment that influence energy performance. It is far too common to classify maintenance service orders that do not affect availability as low priority, leading to unnecessary energy waste. For example: stuck fuel control valves in furnaces, control network adjustments, speed control system defects, and many others.
4) Deploy an energy management software system
In addition to other benefits, it will enable real time information use and build a data base that will improve planning over time. Systems of this sort may be commissioned using operational expenditure budgets or even through performance contracts, with no need for capital investments.
As we can see, there are simple actions that could generate quick results and that must always be executed before expensive solutions that require big investments.
Here is a thought that will help you reduce your energy consumption: can I still execute any action that will promote a rational use of energy without making any further investments? Please leave your opinion in the comment section below.