Understanding Energy Management Basics
The path to energy efficiency begins with energy management. It is the tool that will allow you to optimize energy costs in buildings and reduce energy consumption without significant capital investments. So, how does it work?
Importance of energy management
World practice shows that increasing energy efficiency is achieved mostly due to organizational changes in the energy management system of an enterprise or city. By implementing an energy management system, you can achieve significant energy savings of 3-5% in 1-2 years without major financial losses.
Energy management is a managerial activity aimed at the rational use of energy resources during the operation of energy resources, taking into account economic, technological, technical, constructive, social, and environmental aspects. At the same time, the main goal is to ensure the effective implementation of energy-saving measures (energy-saving strategy) within the framework of the general strategy of the business entity.
The energy management system is a part of the overall enterprise management system, which includes the energy consumption system, energy management functions, duties and responsibilities, procedures, processes, and resources for forming, implementing, and achieving energy conservation policy goals. One of the components of effective energy conservation management is control over the use of energy resources, which includes an energy audit, which involves determining the efficiency of the use of fuel and energy resources and developing recommendations for its improvement.
Principles of energy management include a set of measures aimed at saving energy resources:
- energy consumption monitoring,
- development of energy budgets,
- analysis of existing indicators as a basis for drawing up new budgets,
- development of energy policy,
- planning of new energy-saving measures, etc.
Common functions of energy management
The main functions of energy management are:
- energy use planning – the process of learning objective cause-and-effect relationships between energy and other factors of production in agriculture by modeling (designing) them for a certain period;
- organization of energy use – the process of division, grouping, and coordination of work, types of activities, and resources to achieve the goals set concerning energy use;
- motivation of energy use – a set of internal and external driving forces that motivate a person to energy-saving activities, determine behavior, and forms of activity, give it direction, and orient towards achieving the goals of the organization regarding effective energy use;
- energy control (energy audit) – control activity at the enterprise to ensure qualitative analysis and energy assessment of the functioning of the energy system.
Main directions in the energy saving
All over the world, the issue of energy saving is becoming more and more urgent. It is not only an economic benefit for consumers and a reduction in the load on electrical networks but also, which is extremely important, the preservation of the environment for our descendants.
Energy conservation does not involve giving up the benefits of civilization or limiting one’s own needs, but the way of rational use of energy resources, obtaining a greater volume of useful work of electrical appliances at the expense of the same amount of electricity.
In general, the improvement of energy technologies in any country affects the following equipment:
- heat-generating systems (central heating installations, boiler units, furnaces);
- heat distribution systems (substations, underground and overhead heat pipes);
- thermal insulation of buildings, pipelines, hot water tanks, and heat exchangers;
- ventilation equipment of buildings;
- equipment for power generation (electrical installations, air units, hydro turbines);
- power supply systems;
- electrical installations, consumer, and control devices.
In addition, it is necessary to create a legislative framework and a new infrastructure, supplement relevant knowledge and methods, change people’s attitudes to energy consumption, and increase the volume of certain information provided to all participants in the process.