According to the Australian Energy Update 2017:
- Australian energy consumption has increased by 2.3 percent (2015 – 2016)
- Most of the growth in energy consumption was in the mining, electricity generation and transport sectors
- 63% of electricity is generated from coal
- Australia is one of the highest emitters of CO2 gases per capita in the world
What is energy management?
Energy management is a core process within an environmental management system. ISO 14001:2015 Environmental Management system standard requires businesses to identify environmental aspects and implement mitigation strategies to reduce the impact on the environment. Many small and medium service businesses struggle to find initiatives around energy management. They often see energy management as an activity of large companies and firms in the manufacturing, automobile or production sector.
The primary objective of energy management is to reduce energy consumption, resource conversation, climate protection, carbon footprint and cost saving. Energy management is process through which you can monitor and control energy consumption from various sources within your workplace. In some cases, it is a legal and contractual requirement that companies have established energy management.
Below are few initiatives ideas that can be implemented in your business. These initiatives will reduce your cost, increase reputation, improve organisational culture towards environment conservation and comply with legal and other requirements.
- Use of low power consumption LED lights over Halogen or Fluorescent lights.
- Maintaining office temperature at optimum/ comfortable level – usually 25°C
- Set desktop to turn sleep mode when inactive over specified period
- Regular maintenance of the HVAC system
- Use of automatic lights in office – can use motion sensor lights
- Install solar panels
- Design workstation in such a way it receives more natural day-light (where applicable)
- Streamlining business process to avoid wastage
- Implement paper-less IT systems to reduce the use of printer and copier machine.
- Select and procure equipment with more than 4-star energy rating.
- Instruct and encourage staff to turn off light when not needed
ISO 50001:2011 (Energy Management System) is an ISO standard the provides requirements for businesses to establish, implement, maintain and improve its energy management system. Many businesses follow this standard to manage its energy performance, energy efficiency, energy use and consumption. In a typical organisation, energy management will include the following key steps
- Start by understanding the baseline data on your energy consumption. In most cases, looking at your electricity bill is a good starting point.
- Conduct environment aspect and impact assessment to identify opportunities to save energy and reduce cost.
- Implement initiatives that are aligned with identified environment aspects and risks.
- Track your progress by analysing your electricity data and evaluate your performance and cost saving.