Reducing Wasted Energy

You and I feel it at the gas pump and in our heating bills. The skyrocketing costs of fuel and energy have all of us looking for ways to cut back on these expenses. And it’s hitting industry just as hard as it is our families.

Many organizations are starting to take measures to reduce their energy consumption, but in many cases these attempts are often limited in what they can achieve. Most companies start by looking at a utility bill and setting objectives to reduce the total figure at the bottom. While this “energy-bill-down” approach might sound like a logical place to start, that figure represents only a crude measure. It doesn’t include the detailed energy consumption patterns of individual plant assets that can identify when and where most waste occurs. Without this detail, there’s no way of knowing how much of the energy consumed is being wasted, and therefore what can be eliminated without impacting the running of day-to-day operations.

So where do you start? You can’t achieve any objective to reduce energy waste by just measuring the energy usage by a commodity; you must focus on how that commodity is consuming energy.

To find ways to reduce energy bills, you can start by answering the following questions:

  1. How committed are we to improving energy consumption?
  2. Where is most of our energy being consumed?
  3. How much energy should we be consuming?
  4. How much waste is involved?

The level of information provided by asset management systems can facilitate the action required to remove inefficient processes, parts, and machines that are disproportionately energy-hungry, and the life cycle of an asset can often be extended through evaluation of its running costs against efficiency levels.

With the exception of (1), can you answer the other three questions?

I’d be interested in your feedback. Please leave a comment to this post with your thoughts.


Posted by Rod Ellsworth, Vice President of Global Asset Sustainability, Infor