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The Importance of Energy Monitoring

30 January 2019

Successful organisations recognise the positive correlation between data collection, analysis,  evaluation and business growth. As a result, successful organisations are continuously monitoring and evaluating business key performance indicators (KPIs) such as sales growth, net profit margin and market trends. Similarly, organisations also monitor and measure environmental KPIs to ensure legal compliance, decrease costs, meet the needs and expectations of customers and to promote proactive environmental management. However, countless organisations are failing to recognise the importance of analysing and evaluating data collected on environmental KPIs.

Analysing and evaluating data can improve an organisation’s overall business and environmental performance, so why are so few organisations carrying this out?

Energy data is one of the most readily available data-sets organisations have access to – it is reported on monthly statements by energy providers and can be easily tracked through meter readings. Most organisations record this information in a spreadsheet or database, but a majority of businesses fail to go the extra step and analyse the data for trends and evaluate the relevance to the organisation. Analysis and evaluation of energy data can help with environmental legal compliance, decreasing carbon footprint, increasing savings and promoting positive Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR).

The Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme (ESOS) is an example of the importance of data analysis and evaluation in regard to legal compliance. ESOS is a scheme that requires qualifying organisations in the UK (find out if you qualify) to carry out mandatory energy assessment reporting and undergo an energy audit every 4 years. In 2018, 16 organisations did not analyse, evaluate and report total energy consumption, and, as a result, were penalised for failure to comply with ESOS. The fines ranged in values from £1,500 to £45,000 (DEFRA). It is significant to note that the next reporting date for ESOS Scheme Phase 2 is December 5th, 2019.

Analysis and evaluation of energy data can also help an organisation calculate its carbon footprint. Carbon footprint is defined as the amount of carbon dioxide a business produces from its activities. Calculating the carbon footprint of an organisation is an involved task but can lead to costs savings and reduced energy consumption, identify impacts of supply chain, improve processes and (if applicable) make mandatory energy reporting more efficient and reliable.

If an organisation does analyse and evaluate energy data, it is most often achieved by recording data on monthly statements into a spreadsheet and, after a period of time, reviewing the data for noticeable trends. There are also many software packages that allow organisations to continuously monitor and measure energy consumption with real-time, reliable data. Some programmes can be used for different parts of the business, i.e. a factory floor versus office spaces, as well as monitoring the energy consumption of specific pieces of equipment. Examples of monitoring software include eDAS®, the Carbon Trust Energy Management Service and EnergyCAP.

Are you ready for the next reporting date for ESOS Scheme Phase 2 on December 5th 2019?

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