Principles of energy efficiency

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Energy efficiency is the efficient use of energy resources. Energy efficiency measures are activities and engineering solutions, the implementation of which results in efficient use of energy.

Why take energy efficiency measures?

  • Reduce the company's expenditure on energy resources.
  • Increase the company's competitiveness.
  • Policy requirements require companies to act in the field of energy efficiency.
  • Demonstrate attitude to society, customers.
  • Reduce GHG (greenhouse gas) emissions.
  • Increase the value of assets.

Energy efficiency measures can be divided into two large groups:

  • behavioural change measures and adaptation of equipment operation – investments in energy efficiency measures are few or not necessary, there are immediate energy savings of about 10-25% depending on the existing situation;
  • technology improvement or replacement – medium to large investments are required, energy savings are usually gradual, but the achieved savings are up to 80% depending on the existing situation. It should be noted that even large investments in the improvement of technological processes, if done correctly, pay off in a fairly short time.

The first step in improving energy efficiency is to identify the current situation and analyse energy consumption. The second step in improving energy efficiency is to implement behaviour change measures.

Employees' involvement in improving energy efficiency is motivated by their interest and knowledge in energy efficiency, communication and dialogue with the energy manager or management and the positive example of this person or team and sharing of experience.

Informational barriers can be solved with information measures that are precisely aimed at a specific target audience – company management, energy manager or employees – thus increasing their understanding and awareness of energy efficiency solutions and related aspects.

Organisational barriers arise within the company of various structural units, functions, etc. under the influence of the interaction of structures. In order to overcome them, the company needs to ensure the exchange of information with employees of different levels, as well as to promote the company's management's understanding of the need for energy efficiency in order to increase its importance, to ensure the definition of energy efficiency goals and the determination of the persons responsible for energy efficiency in the company.

Barriers of behaviour, competences and understanding are related to the personal characteristics of individuals, knowledge, experience and social interaction between management, energy manager and employees. They can be overcome by informing and educating employees, involving employees in the company's processes and offering a favourable environment for discussions and exchange of opinions, attracting external services and consulting with knowledgeable specialists.

In 2020, we conducted a study of legal clients, in which we found out that it is companies with higher electricity consumption that have been more active in educating employees on energy efficiency issues, thus giving employees the opportunity to both supplement their knowledge and get involved in achieving the company's energy efficiency goals.


What to choose – energy audit or energy management?

A company's energy audit is an inspection or audit, during which it is determined where and to what extent energy is consumed and where it is consumed excessively, thereby revealing room for improvement. As part of the inspection, specialists evaluate the level of energy efficiency in the client's facility, as well as determine and evaluate economically justified energy saving options.

It is recommended to implement an energy management system in any company whose electricity consumption causes significant costs, because unlike an energy audit, such a system ensures continuous monitoring and improvement, and also confirms that the company's operation results from the principles of sustainable development.

The energy management system is based on the international standard ISO 50001, which defines the instructions and requirements for the creation and maintenance of the energy management system in organisations regardless of their field of activity.

Advantages and benefits of the energy management system:

  • energy management can be introduced in the organisation gradually, which means that initially the application can be applied to certain structural units, processes, services;
  • the possibility to decide in which processes energy efficiency measures will be implemented;
  • the ability to determine improvements and revise plans according to financial possibilities;
  • unlike the company's energy audit, which is primarily attributable to engineering improvements, the energy management system also includes personnel training and other management methods.

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