Regardless of the outcome of the carbon tax, there is a buzz around understanding the creation and impact of energy management programs. Many organisations appear to have started investigating energy efficiency methods as well as establishing KPI’s to minimise wastage and expenses. This has come in a range of measures from smart buildings to bespoke systems that identify, plan and implement processes for improvements. The challenges are establishing sustainable processes that monitor and enable businesses to put best practices in place.
Buildings consume approximately 40 percent of the world’s energy— far more than the transportation sector, *based on finding from The World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD). This has spurred the evolution of the smart building. Memoori, a firm based in the U.K. describes a smart building as “one that will create the greatest synergies between energy efficiency, comfort, safety and security, which turn buildings almost into living organisms: networked, intelligent, sensitive and adaptable.”
Speaking to a college who is involved on a project that is deploying smart building technology, the integration of energy and human behaviour is enthralling. The energy efficient examples range from an automatic booking system for meeting rooms based on preconfigured energy efficient matrixes to full intelligence on the environment that manages consumption based on operational activity.
In a report by Jones Lang LaSalle a global real estate services firm specializing in commercial property management, leasing, and investment management, “the ROI of smart building technology investments typically pay for themselves within one or two years by delivering energy savings and other operational efficiencies.”
There’s no doubt that staying competitive means mitigating increasing energy costs and operational expenses. It’s no wonder there’s such an interest from commercial building owners and investors when turning towards the viability of smart building technologies.
For those companies that are not either in control of the building management or technology surrounding it, there are a number of steps that can be put into place to develop an energy efficiency program. The government has even developed a website (www.eex.gov.au) to assist companies in their endeavours. Following are some of the initiatives organisations can consider as part of an energy efficiency program;
•Have clear objectives and allocated resources for implementing and managing programs.
•Analyse energy performance, for example how much can be reduced in the amount of energy used per unit production or decreased in production time.
•Streamline the number of SKU’s produced or held in stock. Focus on those products that are at the core of the business
•Prioritise business processes and automate systems via technology. Business intelligence and analytics can provide insights into inefficiencies.
•Change the company culture by engaging staff to monitor and feedback energy efficient improvements.
An effective energy program is about having a framework based on practical processes and procedures that can deliver on the company’s goals in relation to energy.
At whatever level your business consumes energy, there are a variety of energy efficient processes that can save time, money and the environment.