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What is comprehensive energy management and how can you use it at your organization? Get tips for starting a comprehensive energy program by reading this blog.

Energy management no longer means just switching out the lights at night, especially for large organizations. Comprehensive energy management is all about maximizing sustainability in the long term and finding key ways to save energy and money while creating a culture of conservation.

What is "Comprehensive Energy Management"?

Comprehensive energy management is the comprehensive approach to managing all aspects of energy and basic utility services.

Built upon the foundation of a good data, there are four fundamental levels in a program to achieve superior results through data-driven decisions. 

1. Data

You can’t manage what you don’t measure. The cornerstone of success is people making data-driven decisions, then taking action that achieves superior results.

2. Procurement

Managing all aspects of purchasing energy and basic utility services to ensure the correct and/or lowest amount is paid for utility services.

3. Efficiency

The retrofitting of equipment, controls and systems is today’s standard for energy management intended to generate cost savings, so this step involves identifying retrofit opportunities and then measuring and verifying each project’s performance.

4. Conservation

Conservation by its very nature is site-based. Therefore, empowering people at the facility level is the best way to conserve energy/basic utilities that generate cost savings.

A Proven Approach to Energy Management

At Dude Solutions, we utilize a unique approach to comprehensive energy management with the APPEM model. This is a continuous approach that helps promote awareness and action when it comes to energy. Our Energy Manager solution helps organizations of all sizes stay organized with their energy management plan, as well as provides data quickly and easily to make decisions.

Now, let’s walk through what the APPEM model looks like within each step.

Data

You can't manage what you do not accurately measure

  1. Assess: Determine the data requirements needed to implement your organization's energy management plan and achieve its objectives.
  2. Prioritize: Determine the top list of action items required to achieve the stated objectives of the energy management plan.
  3. Plan: Create combined and/or individual action plans for the top list of action items required for achieving the organization's objectives.
  4. Execute: Implement action plan(s) and begin Measurement and Verification (M&V) on the performance of such actions contributing to and/or achieving the stated objectives. Adjust the implementation of the plan according to the M&V feedback as necessary to achieve the stated objectives.
  5. Maintain: Continuously M&V the performance of the executed action plan to ensure its objectives stay on track, and if necessary take corrective action to "get the plan back on track." Important Note: Continuous M&V requires the monthly maintenance of the organization's energy accounting database, ensuring high-quality data is input into the program in a timely manner.

Fundamental - 1st Level: Track energy/utility invoice data and report on each meter, account, facility, group of facilities, and the organization's monthly and year-to-date performance for both consumption and cost. The industry term used to describe this first phase is: Energy Accounting.

Dude Solutions’ Energy Manager is a "one-stop shop" energy management information system (EMIS) designed to serve the sophisticated energy manager's needs, as well as the facility operators responsible for the day-to-day operation of the organization's facilities.

Procurement

Ensure the correct and/or lowest amount is paid for utility services

  1. Assess: Perform a utility procurement review (UPR), which is the process of determining if the organization's facilities are on the right utility rate, if the historical utility invoicing is correct, if the organization actually is responsible for the utility meter providing the resource to their facility or facilities, and if the organization can participate in a deregulated energy contract.
  2. Prioritize: Analyze the findings from the UPR and construct a priority list identifying the highest to lowest cost saving opportunities.
  3. Plan: Create either a combined and/or an individual action plan for each of the selected cost saving opportunities discovered in the UPR.
  4. Execute: Implement the action plan(s) and begin M&V on the performance of such actions contributing to and/or achieving the stated objectives. Adjust the implementation of the plan according to the M&V feedback, as necessary to achieve the stated objectives.
  5. Maintain: On a monthly basis, M&V the performance of the executed action plan to ensure its objectives stay on track, and if necessary take corrective action to "get the plan back on track". On an annual basis, perform a UPR to ensure changes in the organization's portfolio and/or in the utility provider's rate structure ensuring the organization "stays on track" paying the lowest and correct amounts for its energy and basic utility resources.

Fundamental - 2nd Level: Utilizing the high-quality data in Energy Manager, perform an initial utility procurement review and subsequent annual reviews for the sole purpose of ensuring the organization is paying the lowest and correct amounts for its energy and basic utility resources.

Efficiency

Identify retrofit opportunities then measure and verify each project's performance

  1. Assess: Utilizing expert resources in the marketplace such as and Energy Service Company (ESCo), perform targeted energy audits of your facilities to identify energy efficiency and physical infrastructure opportunities.
  2. Prioritize: Input the energy audit(s) information into Energy Manager and begin properly analyzing the opportunities identified that includes, but is not limited to:
  • the highest to lowest cost saving
  • the capital investment requirement(s) and
  • the standard return on investment (ROI)

3. Plan: Based upon additional governing factors that include, but are not limited to:

  • available investment capital
  • condition of operating environments and
  • facility use schedules

Create a combined and/or an individual action plan for each of the selected energy audit opportunities.

4. Execute: Implement the action plan(s) and begin M&V on the performance of such actions contributing to and/or achieving the stated objectives. Adjust the implementation of the plan according to the M&V feedback, as necessary to achieve the stated objectives.

5. Maintain: On a monthly basis, M&V the performance of the executed action plan to ensure its objectives stay on track, and if necessary take corrective action to "get the plan back on track." On an annual basis, evaluate not only the performance of energy efficiency and infrastructure improvement projects implemented, but assess and prioritize existing and/or new opportunities for reducing consumption and generating cost savings.

Fundamental - 3rd Level: Utilizing the high-quality data in Energy Manager and support from qualified professionals, identify energy efficiency retrofit opportunities for generating cost savings and continuously performing M&V on completed projects.

Conservation

Empower site-based operators to manage and own their facility's energy use

  1. Assess: Utilizing both the Energy Manager database and your knowledge of current operations, create a list of operational and behavior based improvements that focus on areas of potential energy waste and low-cost measures required to eliminate the energy waste.
  2. Prioritize: Input these energy conservation savings opportunities into the Energy Manager’s O&M Activities module for organizing the opportunities and then prioritizing these opportunities based on the stated objectives.
  3. Plan: From the O&M Activities report, build the action plan(s) required to address the top priorities.
  4. Execute: Implement the action plan(s) and begin M&V on the performance of such actions contributing to and/or achieving the stated objectives. Adjust the implementation of the plan according to the M&V feedback, as necessary to achieve the stated objectives.
  5. Maintain: On a monthly basis, M&V the performance of the executed action plan(s) to ensure its objectives stay on track, and if necessary take corrective action to "get the plan back on track." On an annual basis, evaluate not only the performance of these conservation measures (O&M Activities) implemented, but assess and prioritize existing and/or new conservation opportunities for reducing consumption and generating cost savings.

Fundamental – 4th Level: Utilizing the high-quality data in Energy Manager and information on operations and procedures, identify conservation opportunities (O&M Activities) for generating cost savings and continuously performing M&V on completed conservation initiatives and programs.

Conclusion

With a plan, awareness of your energy practices and an energy management solution, comprehensive energy management is possible. And you’ll have the data on savings and improvements to show just that to others in your organization.

Read our Government Guide to Energy Management to get more tips!

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