5 Gaps in Energy Management that may be interfering with your results

Submitted by Aline Gonçalves on Fri, 06/08/2018 - 18:24
5 gaps in energy management


Learn five actions that should be avoided to ensure the efficiency of Energy Management in your company.


The Energy Management System aims to establish and perpetuate the culture of consciousness and care in relation to energy use through energy efficiency initiatives. However, without the proper care on the part of organizations, such measures, in addition to being isolated, become temporary significantly undermining management results in the long term.

In order to help with the continuity and constant evolution of actions taken by the Energy Management System, companies have increasingly sought a pragmatic way of promoting benefits in light of energy cost reduction and knowledge acquisition to manage more proactively.

According to research undertaken by ISO in 2017, the initial step taken by more than 20,000 organizations around the world has been to seek certification in the international standards of continuous improvement management focused on the area of Energy and Utilities. ISO 50001, published in June 2011, establishes a set of interrelated or interactive elements to establish an energy policy, energy objectives, processes and procedures to achieve these objectives.

If your company's intention is, in addition to reducing operational costs associated with energy and utilities, to position itself as a leader in sustainability, an energy management system compatible with ISO 50001 is essential. But implementing and recognizing the results of this system in your organization can be a challenge and even a daunting task.

To make this transition easier, together we will identify a few opportunities for improvement that will directly influence the effectiveness of your management system. The analysis of opportunities or identification of Gaps is part of the first assessment or initial diagnosis for certification in the ISO 50001 Standard, and from it you can recognize in your organization the most common behaviors that impede the realization of the results of the proposed Energy Management System.

Meet five enemies that may be affecting the energy management performance of your company.


1. Lack of knowledge of the current situation

The first gap to be solved is the lack of systematic observation of the characteristics and general aspects involving the processes that require energy in the organization. Recognizing the interfaces and expectations with other stakeholders, defining the scope and boundaries of the system is of fundamental importance to ensuring optimal performance in energy management, as these are the key elements for the proper structuring and operation of the Energy Management System.

Therefore before starting the management planning cycle, take note of the current situation your organization is in. Establish a schedule, set targets, know the current profile of energy use, consumption, and performance, in addition to recognizing the importance of energy policy and culture within your company.


2. Lack of involvement of the company's senior management

The second gap that may be interfering with your results is the lack of engagement of the leaders of your organization. Considering that the Energy Management System can cause substantial changes in many areas of the company, the leadership and the commitment of senior management are essential elements that influence the effectiveness of energy management.

The construction and maintenance of energy policy should start from the senior management of the organization as well as ensure the visibility of the process by promoting the real savings acquired using the Energy Management System. Senior management should also ensure that the goals of management are compatible with those of the organization and also provide essential resources (financial, human, legal, technological, etc.) for the proper functioning of the system. The commitment to continuous improvement should be the main flag to be raised in order to ensure an efficient management process.


3. Inefficient communication plan

The third gap found from the diagnosis for ISO 50001 certification is related to the lack of communication and inadequate visibility of the energy performance results of the Energy Management System. In addition to establishing an effective advertising and marketing plan, it is essential that the system be open to suggestions for improvement from anyone within the organization. This is an excellent way of involving and raising awareness of all employees in the effort of the organization to continuously improve its energy performance, making the Energy Management System more effective.


4. Incorrect monitoring of energy flow

Incorrect monitoring of significant energy usages and of energy performance is one of the major causes of failure of the Management System. If the data are inconsistent, it is neither possible to establish proactive action plans nor to obtain efficient results. The correct definition of the architecture of this system, with the identification of the relevant variables, among other things, is essential for the Energy Management System to be able to produce and process the necessary information. In this way leadership can make effective decisions aiming at continuous improvement of the Energy Management System and energy performance of the organization.


5. Absence of procedures describing the flow of activities related to the Energy Management System

Finally, the last gap described concerns the lack of documentation of the processes involved in the Energy Management System. The procedures are the basis on which all activities directly related to the improvement of the energy performance of the organization are performed. They ensure the continuity of the system by mapping the activities and related targets, recognition of responsibilities for each of the activities, determine the necessary resources and deadlines for the actions, and allow the establishment of a continuous assessment standard of the Energy Management System.


In conclusion

The constant search for improvements to mitigate the impacts caused by the gaps listed above is the main objective foreseen by the ISO 50001 standard. In general, the entire family of ISO standards offers a set of solutions for the continuous improvement of management systems; ISO 50001 in particular provides a method for the mapping and monitoring of energy consumption of an organization and provides the necessary tools to make energy performance part of the daily life of the institution that implements the standard.

The Viridis platform provides features to directly support the entire energy and utilities management cycle, including monitoring, planning, procurement, costing, measurement and verification, simulation, and optimization of energy consumption. The monitoring functions permit the identification of opportunities for process improvement, stratifying energy consumption in terms of different dimensions, in addition to allowing the quantification of gains in terms of costs and greenhouse gas emissions. The integration of monitoring data with the planning functions provides greater sophistication, consistency, and accuracy in the forecast of future levels of energy consumption and, consequently, about cost planning and its contrast with the value realized. Business Process Management (BPM) functions allow the configuration of procedures specifically aligned with the reality of each operation, facilitating the organization of the entire Energy and Utilities Management System. Finally, the Viridis platform facilitates the integrated management of continuous improvement projects focusing on energy efficiency, promoting strategic alignment from the conception, implementation, and validation of investments performed by the organization using specific measurement and verification functions. Learn more about our products. 

Energy Management Analyst, Viridis

Energy Management Analyst at Viridis, working in Energy Management and Strategic Planning at Bayer. Trained in Electrical Engineering with emphasis on Control and Automation at the Federal University of Uberlândia. Participated in R&D projects for intelligent energy measurement at Enel and CEMIG, conducted innovation, artificial intelligence, robotics, and gamification projects for corporate environments. 

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