Energy Management Systems & Energy Audits

Energy consumption is regularly the main source of carbon emissions. Hence carbon and energy management is entwined. Maximizing carbon footprint reduction often relies on the implementation of an effective energy management system.

An Energy Management System (EnMS) provides an organisational platform from which to tackle energy performance.
The ISO 50001:2011 Energy Management System Standard specifies requirements for establishing, implementing, maintaining or improving an EnMS. It adopts the Plan – Check – Do- Act continual improvement framework:

Plan: conduct the energy audit and establish the baseline, energy performance indicator (EnPI) targets and action plans necessary to deliver the results that will improve energy performance in accordance with the organisation’s energy policy. The EnPI is a quantitative measure of energy performance as defined by the organisation.

Do: implement the energy management action plans.

Check: monitor and measure processes and the key characteristics of operations that determine energy performance.

Act: take actions to continually improve energy performance and the EnMS.

Under the standard the following requirements with guidance are to be adhered to:

• Senior management will be committed to supporting the organisation’s energy policy and ensure adequate resources are made available to implement and maintain the EnMS.

• An energy audit will be conducted quantifying energy use and consumption.

• The scope and boundaries of the EnMS will be established and a baseline data period adopted.

• EnPIs will be identified for measuring energy performance.

• Targets will be established taking into consideration legal requirements, significant energy uses and opportunities to improve energy performance.

• Action plans will be implemented to achieve targets.

• All staff involved in the energy management process are to be adequately trained and communication plans developed that allow staff to suggest improvements.

• The EnMS will be documented.

• The EnMS should include a procurement policy that informs suppliers of the high degree of consideration placed by the organisation on the energy performance of purchased goods and services.

• The EnMS should be reviewed on a regular basis and updated to ensure continuing compliance with the standard.

Energy Audits

When you are developing a plan to improve the energy efficiency of your organisation, an energy audit that investigates the use of energy in a defined and predetermined area or site would be the logical starting point. The AS/NZ S3598:2000 Energy Audits Standard outlines the requirements for conducting energy audits.

Given that what gets measured gets managed, an energy audit is considered a first step, best practice component of any energy management plan or energy management system (EnMS), giving a solid foundation from which to engage in a successful plan for implementing energy efficiency opportunities. They offer a baseline measure and highlight the hotspots of the energy consumption of an organisation.

Before deciding to perform an energy audit, however, managers must address a series of issues that will play major roles in determining the audit’s success.

Setting The Scope

Audits can vary in scope and complexity and have been divided into three levels:
Type I – a walk-through analysis
Type II – an energy survey and analysis
Type III – a detailed analysis of capital-intensive Modifications.

Each one has an AS/NZS standard that an official energy auditor has to comply with. Determining the exact contents of an energy audit is imperative and will depend in part on the amount the organisation is willing to invest into energy efficiency, the complexity of the facilities’ building systems, and the amount of detail and analysis desired from the audit.

A general Overview of Levels

Identifying the most appropriate level of audit for a particular facility is a key first step in the planning process.

Type I Audit

This audit type Is appropriate if the person responsible for energy consumption and management does not have a large budget for capital -replacement projects or simply wants to gain a better understanding of the facility’s energy consumption and needs a starting point. The scope of this audit focuses on operation and maintenance practices and places less emphasis on major equipment replacement.

What to expect from a type I audit: Walk-through Assessment:

• High-level view of the way the facility operates.

• Defining the space functions in the building as well as specific building information, and types of energy-consuming systems.

• Identification and associated savings and cost analysis of low-cost and no-cost measures.

• A list of potential capital improvements that merit further consideration, as well as an initial judgment of potential costs and savings.

Type II Audit

If a manager already has a good understanding of the facility’s energy consumption or has committed to invest in capitalreplacement projects, a more detailed assessment might be more appropriate.

What to expect from a type II audit: Energy Survey and Analysis:

• Includes the Type I audit components.

• Review and analysis of the mechanical and electrical systems’ design, installation, maintenance, and operations.

• Identification of practical measures and associated savings and cost analysis that meet the organisations economic and other constraints and criteria.

• Preliminary overview of possible changes to operation and maintenance procedures.

• A list of potential capital-intensive improvements that require more thorough data collection and engineering analysis, as well as a judgment of potential costs and savings.

Type III Audit

A Type III energy audit focuses on specific potential capital-intensive projects identified during a Type II audit. It provides detailed project costs and savings calculations, which result in a high level of confidence when making major decisions on capital investments.

What to expect from a type III audit: Detailed Analysis of Capital-Intensive Modifications:

• Detailed field data gathering

• Rigorous engineering analysis

• Itemized equipment inventories and fixture counts

• Schematic layouts of proposed modifications

Benefits of an energy audit

• Energy and cost savings

• Specialist energy advice and technical support

• Help to measure and understand energy use

• Assistance with project implementation

• Opportunities to network and share energy efficiency ideas

• Opportunity to link audit with a NABERS rating.