Energy management is a process and business practice that applies continual improvement methodologies to energy‐consuming equipment and processes, like those used in initiatives such as Lean, TQM, and Six Sigma. This approach focuses on developing customized, comprehensive, and prioritized long‐term energy plans, and uses data to support energy‐related decisions in a cost‐benefit comparison. In this way, the practice of energy management allows for good business decision‐making while improving the environmental impacts of the facility.
A very important and common element of successful energy management is organizational commitment, which is demonstrated by allocating staff and funding to achieve energy savings. Some suggested initial steps include a stated commitment from top management, establishing a cross-functional “Energy Management Team” and a dedicated “Energy Champion” which starts to build a culture that integrates energy management into daily practices and decision-making processes. Many companies will implement a formal energy management system (EnMS) like ISO 50001 based on a Plan/Do/Check/Act model.
An EnMS facilitates understanding the relationship between employees, business practices, productivity, energy costs, and energy systems, leading to significant energy cost reductions. A major focus is a documented energy review that leads to action plans with stated goals and key performance indicators.