A well balanced energy program management vision and approach, based on my experience and observation, needs to be multifaceted. I proffer that, as a minimum, energy programs in large industrial, commercial and institutional facilities must the following four components:
Mere mention of the word “energy” elicits the notion of energy conservation. Almost everyone these days thinks about saving energy in some fashion, at home, at work, and places of commerce. Some measures of energy conservation are putative and obvious, especially in homes, offices and places of commerce. Examples included replacement of old incandescent light bulbs with LED type lamps, setting thermostats lower for winter and higher in summer, etc. Other, less obvious proven measures include the use of VFD’s, optimization of burner efficiencies, improvement of power factor, detection and repair of compressed air leaks, etc. The less obvious approaches to energy conservation require more profound study and discussion supported by contrast and comparison between various proven approaches.
Imagine yourself being responsible for energy cost reduction in your facility. A facility that – through well thought out and optimally implemented energy conservation measures over the years – has minimized energy intensity (MMBtu’s/ton or kWH/ton) to lowest feasible level, and perhaps has achieved the “Energy Star” rating. What more could you do? Well, there are ways to reduce the energy cost without specifically focusing on actual MMBtu, kWH, MJ based energy consumption reduction. One example: revisiting your utility contracts.
As a steward of your facility or organization’s energy usage, in addition to your focus on energy conservation and energy cost, you must monitor and periodically assess opportunities to generate you own energy through renewable and non-renewable sources. This is where pursuit of myriad renewable energy sources fits. Learn about how you can explore energy cost reduction opportunities through inclusion of alternate energy sources in the energy equation and the role of peak shaving.
Awareness of the importance and availability of energy storage solutions is not only integral to the pursuit of renewable or non-renewable energy sources but it can also serve as another tool in facilities energy cost reduction efforts. Many contemporary utility scale renewable energy endeavors include 40% or more energy storage capability through the batteries, pump storage systems, etc.
For deeper understanding of the four concepts stated above – illustrated through discussion of various pertinent technologies and SWOT analysis, thereof, and proven measures – join us in one of our eight hour energy seminars scheduled to be conducted through Sem-Train.com or AEE in 2023.