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What is energy management

What’s an Energy management plan and how to create it

An energy management plan analyses and identifies activities to achieve specific energy objectives. Here’s how to prepare one.

If you are a professional in the world of energy and environmental sustainability, you will surely have wondered what tools it is useful to know and use to optimize your work in this fascinating and complex sector. In this article we’ll be discovering how the energy management plan is one of the main tools for achieving the objectives of sustainability and energy saving.

In addition to knowing how to draw up an energy management plan, you must also know that in support of this complex activity, there are specific energy management software solutions  that can facilitate your work and make it more efficient.

What is an Energy Management Plan?

An energy management plan is a program in which activities for managing the energy aspects of an asset are planned.

As in all phases related to the world of construction, also in the energy sector, creating a plan that contains useful information, including the type of activity, programming, frequency, any other deadlines and notes, is a strategic way to:

  • optimize the use of energy;
  • reduce consumptions;
  • improve the performance of equipment and plants;
  • improve the comfort and safety of staff and users in general;
  • improving energy efficiency;
  • reduce the environmental impact;
  • reduce greenhouse gas emissions;
  • maximise tax resources;
  • comply with regulatory requirements.

What is an example of an energy management plan?

As said earlier on, an energy management plan consists of planning the activities precisely related to energy issues, including efficiency and usage of an asset. To further clarify the ideas we see an example energy management plan.

Depending on the type of asset, the energy management plan will certainly be more or less complex and articulated but let’s remember that the purpose is always to analyze the current energy status and evaluate what improvements can be implemented in particular to energy saving and sustainability. Therefore, by setting this scope as the ultimate goal of the energy management plan, the sections to be included will be:

  1. introduction and background: this section provides a general analysis of the asset and its energy background;
  2. work team and stakeholders: this section identifies the professionals of the team specialized in the energy sector (energy managers) and the rest of the figures involved;
  3. current status: this section of the plan will be dedicated to the analysis of energy solutions currently in use, consumption and related efficiency. This will include subsections such as:
    • stakeholder requirements;
    • current energy situation (consumption, costs, emissions, etc.);
    • examples of current energy management.
  4. implementation plan: this will be, together with the following one, among the most substantial sections and may include:
    • objectives;
    • areas of intervention and energy policy (strategies, resources, staff training, energy projects, economic resources dedicated to energy efficiency, supplies, etc.).
  5. executive plan: this section analyses all the energy actions that will be taken to enhance the energy efficiency of the asset, reduce consumption and emissions. You can insert this information as a table to make it as visual as possible. Information will be included regarding:
    • the type of activity;
    • the objective connected with it;
    • actions to be initiated;
    • the cost;
    • the date;
    • any other information (frequency, equipment, responsible personnel, etc.).
  6. final evaluation: this last section is used to monitor the progress made in order to assess whether the proposed energy solutions are moving towards the set objectives.
Esempio di piano di gestione dell'energia

Example of an Energy Management Plan

How to create an energy management plan

So far we have seen how important it is to refer to an energy management plan. Now let’s see how to draw it up or update it in 7 simple steps:

  1. assessment of the current energy performance: in order to identify opportunities for energy savings and possibilities for the efficiency of resources, it is first of all necessary to know the initial situation in detail. This preventive analysis makes it possible to identify weaknesses and overcome them with energy-efficient solutions that also result in savings in consumption. The necessarty steps towards a careful evaluation include:
    • data collection and analysis;
    • definition of key performance indicators to assess current and future progress or deterioration;
    • comparative analysis with consumption and energy performance of similar goods;
    • analysis of the most recent energy proposals;
    • technical evaluations of systems and equipment.
  2. definition of energy goals: It is important that sustainability and energy efficiency are clear and well-defined goals for the whole team. At this stage it’s also useful to establish a sort of energy policy in which the following can be established and emphasized:
    • the philosophy that guides the energy management of the asset;
    • the objectives to be achieved;
    • the roles and responsibilities of each team member.
  3. meeting up of a team of professionals in the energy sector: this phase involves the “creation” of a work team made up of expert professionals in the energy sector able to cooperate to achieve the objectives identified in the previous step;
  4. identification of energy technologies and best practices: at this stage we have already identified the energy objectives we want to achieve and grouped the professionals who will help us to do so. In this fourth step, therefore, the team of energy experts will take care of identifying the best energy strategies and technologies to be adopted to achieve the set objectives;
  5. creation of an action plan: at this point we have everything we need to draw up an energy action plan. This means that having known the objectives of energy management and knowing the best solutions to achieve them, we can draw up an action plan that specifies information such as:
    • type of activity;
    • planning of each activity;
    • frequency with which it is preferable to repeat each activity;
    • necessary instrumentation and equipment;
    • operational indications for carrying out the activities;
    • roles and responsibilities;
    • any other useful information.
  6. execution of the energy plan: to be sure that you are in a position to execute the action plan just drawn up, it is useful to follow these small steps:
    • always achieve clear and transparent communication at all levels;
    • ensure that each team member is clear about their role and responsibilities;
    • always update the level of training for the work team;
    • regularly monitor progress.
  7. assessment of progress on the basis of the energy objectives set: the final phase of the energy management plan provides for the evaluation of the results achieved through the action plan. At this stage, therefore, it is verified that the activities undertaken and the solutions implemented have actually yielded the desired results. If the objectives have not been achieved or have only been partially achieved, it is necessary to understand what has not worked so that it can be corrected in the next action plan. If, on the contrary, the objectives have been achieved, it is equally useful and stimulating to communicate the results obtained.

As you may have understood by now, managing the energy aspects of an asset is not at all easy, especially in an era when environmental needs are at the center of the responsibilities of designers and construction managers. Fortunately, in support of professionals involved in energy performance and management aspects, there are specific energy management software tools that help to control and improve the use of energy. Now all you have to do is ask for a free presentation and try it out!