The requirement for energy review is one of the key clauses of the ISO50001 energy management system standard. But why do we need to do this and how do we go about it.?
Undertaking an energy review helps us to understand what energy types we are using, which of these are significant, relevant variables that might affect energy use and allows us to consider and prioritise the opportunities that when implemented can help support the achievement of energy objectives.
Conducting an energy review is a process, the requirements are broken down into energy review inputs, the energy review itself and energy review outputs.
The first step of the process is to identify your energy types. These might be use of electricity, use of natural gas, use of fuel in your vehicle fleet. You might obtain a certain percentage of energy from renewable sources, these should also be considered at this stage.
Once you have identified your energy types you will need to gather some consumption data to determine past consumption. How far back should you go…? Ideally you will have a couple of years of reliable data for each energy type if possible, however 12 months of historical data will help to get you started.
The next step is to understand the facilities, equipment, systems or energy-using processes where this energy is being used. This will help to breakdown the data so you can see where the areas of opportunity for improvement may lie.
Now you have the data you can analyse it to determine consumption trends.
Once we can see the trends we can start to consider those variables that may influence energy use, efficiency and consumption. This may include variables such as external temperature change, shift patterns, production volumes, occupancy rates and the expansion of facilities.
We must also consider those personnel can have an impact on energy use. This might include management, maintenance staff, operatives or team leaders whose decisions may impact consumption.
We can then define significant energy uses (SEU’s) The standard defined these as “energy use accounting for substantial energy consumption and/or offering considerable potential for energy performance improvement.” Noting that significance is defined by the organisation and can include facilities, systems, processes, or equipment.
Once we have defined those energy uses that are deemed “significant” we can start to consider and prioritise the opportunities for improvement. Activities should be undertaken to determine the benefit from implementing the opportunity. This may relate to payback (ROI), a saving in consumption (kWh) or cost saving (£ per annum) and will lead to the prioritisation of opportunities and a reasonable assessment of expected kWh savings expected for each opportunity.
We can now finally draw our conclusions and present these in the energy review. The requirement to maintain documented information on energy review normally leads to a report being produced. This should include conclusions on energy use and consumption trends, an estimate of future energy use, recommendations for improvement and identified significant energy uses.
In addition to this you need to define energy performance indicators, energy baselines and energy objectives, targets and action plans. Defining EnPI’s and EnB’s correctly is critical to ensuring you can accurately measure and demonstrate improvements in either consumption and/or efficiency.
Once you know which of the selected opportunities you will be implementing, the identified kWh saving expected will inform the targets and action plans, while the identification of significant energy uses will inform the objectives. All of these need to be documented, noting consideration and inclusion of those actions to address risks and opportunities identified (See clauses 4.1, 4.2, 6.1)
Finally, you now know what you want to achieve (objectives, targets and action plans) and you can create an energy data collection plan. This should include measuring those relevant variables for SEUs, energy consumption related to SEUs and to the organisation, operational criteria related to SEUs, static factors (e.g. Facility size; design of installed equipment; number of weekly shifts; range of products) and the data specified in action plans.
This should lead to the creation of a clear measurement plan showing information such as the energy type, specific meters references, frequency of measurement and the responsibility for undertaking measurement activities.
Ensuring that the energy review process is robust and regularly reviewed will provide the basis for an effective EnMS and with top management support (5.1) and the necessary resources (7.1) can drive continual improvement in energy performance for many years to come.