Energy Saving 101: Understanding Energy for My Business
November 16, 2016
With the growing concern about global warming, consumers worldwide are increasingly showing their support and loyalty to businesses who have adopted green standards and solutions. This is giving companies everywhere an additional incentive for intensifying their environment conservation efforts.
In the Philippines, the impact of climate change is easily observed, given the country’s geographic features. This makes green business policies and initiatives even more necessary and beneficial.
At the heart of any green program is energy efficiency. Energy efficiency has been defined as “using less energy to provide the same service.” Using more energy than what is needed to come up with the desired output means unnecessarily consuming fossil fuels, which is a prime environmental concern.
In addition to environment protection, adopting energy-efficient measures can also result in several benefits to your business, including:
- Substantial cost savings
- Improved workplace productivity
- Reduction of health hazards
How to achieve energy efficiency
Energy efficiency (EE) may be achieved in three ways:
- Adopting sustainable building design and construction
- Utilizing energy-efficient technology
- Changing end-user behavior through education and training
The use of energy-efficient technology offers the most flexibility, and is the most measurable option. Existing buildings and facilities, regardless of design, may be retrofitted with these technologies, with outcomes that are more easily measured than the other two solutions.
Understanding energy for your business
- To find out where you can improve energy efficiency, you must first understand your business’ energy consumption.
- In most businesses in the Philippines, the largest energy consumers are lighting and air conditioning. Water consumption is also substantial, considerably adding to utilities cost.
- Energy efficiency solutions in these areas can thus result in significant energy and cost savings.
Measuring your business’s energy consumption
- The obvious method of measuring your energy consumption is through electric and water meters installed by utility companies.
- Understanding how meters work and how they measure consumption can give you a good idea if you’re over-consuming water or energy, particularly when you do a historical comparison against old utilities bills.
- However, this will not give you accurate information on how energy or water is used at different points.
- A metering system that measures consumption at specific points is the most effective and accurate way of understanding your energy use.
- Such a system may include several meters and submeters, and can provide information on real-time consumption of various equipment or processes.
If you are looking to implement an energy-efficiency project, an Energy Audit is the best way to start. The Department of Energy offers energy audit services, but a better option would be audits performed by an energy service company, or ESCO.
- An ESCO is not only an expert in energy audits but also offers a wide range of EE services.
- In addition to performing an audit, ESCOs’ services include mapping out a plan to achieve your energy goals, and identifying technologies that will best help you achieve these goals.
- An ESCO may recommend a number of technologies and measures, based on your energy-savings goals.
- The solutions they offer range from a single project targeted at a particular point in your operation, or a comprehensive program that encompasses your entire system.
- In many cases, a metering system is used to measure the project’s progress and effectiveness.
- An ESCO can also help you in financing your projects, and will work with you until your energy-savings goals are achieved.